Back on Day 4, I was realizing that my completely chaotic and utterly overflowing pantry was a daily nuisance to me, but I had grown so accustomed to being annoyed by it, I never actually took the time to address the problem.
We have a similar situation in our new home. When we arrived in our house, it was far from empty. There was furniture in every room, decorations on the walls–and food in the pantry, all of it left by my in-laws, who in the past would stay up in the mountains for long stretches between May and September.
Rather than boxing up all the canned goods and stowing them away for a year, we just pushed our new purchases onto the shelves wherever they would fit. The result: well, you can see for yourself.
Tonight, I went through everything on the shelves and did what I should have done a month ago. I checked expiration dates on the cans, and I looked for rust and bulges. It turns out lots of what was in there was way past the “Use By” date–as far back as 2009. And if a can has an expiration date of 2009, that means it probably dates back another two years, if not longer.
So out it went. And yes, it did feel wrong to be throwing away food, but given the fact that even the most hard strapped of food banks would have passed on these goods, I’m not sure what else I could have done.
The end result: I have a pantry I can find things in, once again–and I have eliminated one minor, nagging irritation from my daily life.