Overtaken by stuff? These mom-tested strategies will have you cleaning house in no time.
By Diana Reese
Cupboards full of food you're not sure you're going to use? Some solutions:
•Check the expiration dates on everything in your pantry, fridge, or freezer. If it's about to expire, put it on the menu for that week, says professional organizer Bohn.
•Motherboard Mom Dawn Schnake gives her sons what they call "muffin pan snacks" to get rid of those almost-empty bags of cereal, crackers, and chips. She fills each of the 12 muffin cups with a different snack and throws in some veggies, cut-up fruit, and cheese cubes. "The boys think they've sat down to a feast," she says—and she gets her pantry cleaned out.
•If you know you're never going to use an item—and it's still good—give it to your local food pantry.
•Have an "Eat Out of the Pantry or Freezer" week, says Marla Cilley, flylady.net. You'll be surprised at how creative you can get with your menu planning when you're only using the ingredients on hand. She also suggests this as a way to inspire creativity and frugality: "When you throw away food, imagine you're throwing dollar bills in the trash can!"