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5 ways you can tell it’s time to clean out your pantry

The toys emptied out my pantry!

The toys emptied out my pantry!

Managing a household takes a lot of work. There are jobs you have to do daily, like wash the dishes. And jobs you have to do weekly, like laundry and cleaning the bathrooms.

And then there are the monthly or yearly jobs, like scrubbing underneath the fridge, or under the washing machine.

Some of these cleaning jobs may fall into the category of only cleaning when you know company is coming, or you are selling your house.

Cleaning out my pantry is a job I do once a-year. I knew it was getting time to clean the pantry, it had been almost a year since I cleaned it out. But it was the last household job on my list as I had homework for my typography class and I am working on my cat paintings for the Opening of Proximity Cafe in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.

But I knew it was time to clean it out my pantry when I came downstairs this morning.

5 ways you can tell it’s time to clean out your pantry

1. Your toys that come alive at midnight in December, shove everything out of your pantry. (Has that every happened to you?)

2. You find a sweet potato in the cupboard that looks like a monster.

3. Your mother is coming to visit for Christmas. (Mine isn’t, but I wish she was.)

4. You buy a can of kidney beans, when you have 6 cans hiding behind the pasta sauce.

5. You find a family of mice has moved in behind  your cereal. (This didn’t happen in this pantry, but it did in our old house in Minnesota.)

My toys come alive at midnight in December. Their last night is on Christmas Eve.

This month they have eaten fried eggs, tossed books out of my bookcase, toilet papered my writing desk, washed my silverware, decorated the Christmas tree, made Christmas cookies, eaten cat food with my cats, had a snow-ball fight, and emptied out my pantry.

Bob, the tiger rolls out the canned food.

Bob, the tiger rolls out the canned food.

Frank and Willow push out the dry goods.

Frank and Willow push out the dry goods.

Margaret and Edward clear out the pantry.

Margaret and Edward clear out the pantry.

My toys help me clean out my pantry.

My toys helped me clean out my pantry.

I wonder what they will do tonight?

Does your pantry need to be cleaned out? Please tell me in the comments.

p.s. You can follow the toys adventure for the rest of the month by liking toycember’s facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/toycember


About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • La McCoy

    Dear Pooh,
    Was there anything good to eat in there?

  • jen b.

    Love it Pamela! I guess my one perk to not having a kitchen pantry is that I don’t have to clean it annually! 🙂

    • Thank you Jen,
      Yes, a good advantage. Why have a space when you just have to clean it? My toys say hello. 🙂

  • I’ve been in my new home a year, Pamela, so guess it’s time to see what exactly lurks behind the cans! You are too funny! Thanks for the big laugh & the reminder about certain cleaning expectations!

    • Hello Linda,
      So happy you got a laugh out of my toys adventure. They are very silly. What did you find behind the cans in your pantry? And First Birthday to your house!

      • Embarrassed, I still haven’t looked, Pamela-perhaps on vacation? Thanks for the wishes!

  • JenniferM

    Haha, I loved the toy pictures! What fun! By the way, #3 is about the only reason anything in my house ever gets cleaned — when people come to visit! (I think I need to have guests more often just so things get cleaned…)

    • Jennifer,

      So happy you enjoyed the toy pictures! We are having fun with this. Today they wrote me a note on my computer asking for popcorn.

      I may have to have a Christmas party just so I clean my house. We are both #3 women.

  • Anita Ferreri

    I too buy what I have because I do not know what I have I find I need to clean 2-3 times a year….but then…I am a slob…and the ANTS and MICE do move in!

    • Anita,
      Being a slob is fine. It is always good to know yourself well. And maybe the ants and mice are hungry.
      If you had toys that came alive at midnight maybe the mice and ants would move out.

  • Jaana

    Cleaning under the washing machine? This even is not in my short term memory. Cleaning the pantry would be if I had one! I am wondering what you will find in your pantry this year??

  • Nancy Hatcher

    Love the pics of the toys…I think my cabinets will get cleaned when we remove them…new kitchen coming in January…I’m excited and want to learn how to cook also!

    • Hello Nancy,
      A new kitchen! How exciting! Are you getting a new kind of stove? Maybe your toys will help you take down the old cabinets.

  • Michelle Crooker

    Oh, Oh – Leave the stuff out – see if the toys put it back again!!
    My pantry has pull out drawers – that makes it easier to see what it hiding behind the pasta sauce. The issue is that the kids help put groceries away – which is great, but it also means that I sometimes end up with 6 jars of applesauce each in a different area of the pantry. 🙂

  • Leigh Anne Eck

    Yep, I have had potato monster dwelling in mine before! This fall I brought home a box of unopened pasta and it had bugs. Well, it didn’t take long for them to find other good things to eat! That was the last time I cleaned out my pantry!

    • Oh Yuck,
      Bugs in the pantry, are worse than mice. Especially when they get into rice. I think I saw a few on the floor today. My pantry will be really clean by the end of the day!

  • Stacey Shubitz

    I do that kidney bean thing all of the time. It drives me crazy when I buy something I don’t need. Urgh! As a result, the answer to your question is yes. Yes, I do need to clean out our pantry!

    • Hello Stacey,
      Would you like me to send over my toys. They can help you at midnight tonight. The only problem is you don’t know what they will do. They might draw all over your walls with crayons!

  • Melanie Meehan

    I promise I will take some pictures this week, but I want you to know that I love this idea! Such fun! Thank you!