Happy New Year! Anyone else dreaming about cleaning and purging? I admit, I have started with the Marie Condo method once again and hit my own closet hard!
And even took a trip to the dump after giving my workshop a good clean after the table saw lesson from my brother Les.
Things are coming along quite nicely here! I want to start kicking up some real dust with renovating, but I want to return things that need returning and do some purging first so there’s room to move around, know what I mean?
However, my cleaning focus of clothing quickly changed course… this post is all about how and why I’m storing dry goods in a kitchen pantry with containers and bay leaves.
I really love my kitchen island.
It’s the central focus to my entire upstairs, and it also happens to be where I store all my dry goods thanks to some stationary and slide-out drawers. An island that stores lots is a good investment!
However it’s been hiding a dark secret that started in the new year.
In all the 10 years I’ve lived here, if I had a spilled bag of sugar or flour in the island, that just meant it was due to be cleaned up. Nothing more.
However I must have brought home something contaminated over the holidays, because it was as if overnight, I invited an entire village of critters to the island for a major feast.
And NO! I did not take pictures. I don’t even want to explain anything I saw. But let’s just say, those food bags could have walked out on their own.
(After freaking out), I started throwing everything out. FAST.
Then I vacuumed the drawers, and gave them a deep clean wash-down, as well as all surrounding areas.
Every single food can also got inspected. This was a good opportunity to throw out anything past due date as well, in which there were a few.
And of course, at that very moment, I wished I had hundreds of dollars worth of stackable beautiful perfectly matching Tupperware to make everything safe and airtight instantly.
In fact, I had just found a local Tupperware consultant and was lining up a meeting….
Then the threat of a snowstorm overtook the sky. Lovely. With no food in the pantry, I was forced to shop for dry goods not knowing how I’d deal with it once home.
Price efficient Glad plastic containers
While shopping, on a whim I decided to pick up some of those cheap Glad plastic containers. Although not completely airtight, I remembered their seals being pretty good. I mean, for $20, I got quite a few and it was at least better than nothing for a start.
I don’t bake any longer (because I eat it!), but I do like to have a little flour, sugar and grains on hand, so this served me for the time-being.
I didn’t even bother to make pretty labels. A cluttered chaotic kitchen is something I avoid at all costs, so this was about doing this on the cheap, easy and FAST. So masking tape and a sharpie was my fancy label maker for the day.
Feeling better already! But, did you notice something on those containers?
Along the way, some tips online shared a few ways to avoid dry food pests.
And the most organic, instant way?
So I put it to the test. I found a critter and placed a bayleaf beside it. It came to inspect, then quickly dashed off in the opposite direction! Hot dang.
So now there’s bayleaves EVERYWHERE. On the containers and beside.
Then everything else went back in.
All dressed up with bay leaves of course…
I use to store BIG bags of flour and sugar in this second island drawer, but no more! Maybe if I bake again, I’ll get outfitted with much larger containers for this area. After all the purging I did, I certainly have the room.
I could put more food in this area from another closet, however I want to get more containers before doing that. This appeared to be the only infected area.
And of course, I’m also now going to do the entire kitchen, in case. So far, I don’t see any major issues.
Being that this issue is a very first for me, I collected some other tips I found interesting…
Other pantry de-bug advice I found:
- Ditch all boxes and place all dry goods in sealable containers. The bugs are attracted to the glue on boxes and can return.
- Pantry moths can come from any dry goods and especially rice. Egads.
- It doesn’t matter where you shop. Any critters can come from anywhere. Carefully inspect everything you bring home just in case. All it took was for me to bring home one contaminated box and it was game on.
- You can ‘fog’ your kitchen, which is a bug repellent but you’ll have to leave your home for a few hours.
I’m sure there’s plenty of other advice on how to ditch this issue, however I am hopeful I caught it in time so I don’t have to do anything drastic. While this is a first, I’m hoping it’s a last!
While I didn’t anticipate on attacking the kitchen quite yet, it sure is feeling nice now that I did.
What are you currently working on? And do you have any tips to share on this issue?
Other related posts:
Click HERE to visit my fav Amazon Pantry Store selections! (affiliate links)