National Clean Up Your Pantry Day takes place on April 11. Usually, we buy far more things than we require. It happens pretty occasionally, because as we keep shopping for more, more pantry items remain unused and are eventually stuffed into closets and drawers. This leads to the storage of far more food stuff than we are able to consume before the products expire. At a point, we can no longer keep a track of those items, which simply means wastage. This National Clean Up Your Pantry Day, explore your pantry, look up unused and expired items, and donate spare stuff to the needy.
History of National Clean Up Your Pantry Day
A pantry is a dedicated space, a room, or a cabinet, where items related to the kitchen are stored. These items can be beverages, food, utensils, cleaning supplies, linens, and groceries. The term ‘pantry’ was first used during the Middle Ages to refer to domestic spaces. Colonists in New England used to store food in a “buttery,” which was a small room near a kitchen. The first buttery was an underground room in the Theron Boyd homestead in Hartford, U.S. in 1786. The “butler’s pantry” was popular in England and America during the 1800s. “Practical Housekeeper” magazine, published a quote by Mrs. Elizabeth Ellet in 1857: “Let there be a place for every object, and when not in use, let every article be in its place.”
In 1869, Catharine Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe published a fundamental work that endorsed the idea of incorporating the pantry into the kitchen, called “The American Woman’s Home.” The Boston Cooking-School Magazine was established in 1896 under the influential home-economics movement that inspired American housewifery and kitchen design. During the 1920s and 1930s, as the pantry expanded in size with more shelves and cupboards, the increasingly fashionable ‘breakfast nook’ began to displace pantries in the kitchen layout.
By the 1960s, floor-to-ceiling cabinets became a part of American kitchen design. Three decades later, during the 1990s, a preference for separate storage spaces led to a noticeable resurrection in the use of pantries across America. According to a 2005 poll by the National Association of Home Builders, walk-in pantries were the most liked kitchen feature in American homes that year.
National Clean Up Your Pantry Day timeline
The Theron Boyd Homestead becomes the first buttery in the U.S.
The Beecher sisters publish a book, “An American Woman’s Home,” which promotes the idea of combining the pantry and the kitchen.
The use of more cabinets, shelves, and cupboards helps combine the pantry and kitchen.
The pantry becomes the most liked and requested kitchen feature.
National Clean Up Your Pantry Day FAQs
Who started the community pantry?
Ana Patricia Non started the community pantry in Quezon City in 2021.
What is the community pantry's guiding principle?
The guiding principle is very simple: Give what you can, and only take what you require.
How often should you clean your pantry?
A pantry requires cleaning once every three months.
National Clean Up Your Pantry Day Activities
Arrange your pantry
Cleaning and arranging your pantry cabinets is a great way to commemorate the occasion. Sort out your pills and food items, replenish the required products, discard the expired ones, and donate the usable but outdated pieces.
Donate to food drives
If you have extra pantry items that aren't about to expire, donate them to a food drive. Various food drive groups, like Stamp Out Hunger, accept donations in food and cash.
To make a difference, post pictures of your pantry before and after cleaning it. Use the hashtag #CleanOutYourPantryDay to inspire others on social media.
5 Interesting Facts About Pantries
Pantries vary in size
A pantry can be as small as a cupboard or a wall-mounted shelf, or as big as a walk-in closet.
A butler’s pantry
Traditionally, silver serving pieces and other such things were stored in the butler's pantry.
The origin of word
The word ‘pantry’ is derived from the French word ‘paneterie,’ which means ‘pain.’
Perishable and non-perishable food
Perishable and non-perishable food products are stored in food pantries.
Pantries are not just about food
Pantries store more than just food; they also house personal care goods, cleaning materials, and other necessities.
Why We Love National Clean Up Your Pantry Day
Organizing is therapeutic
Cleaning out your pantry can be a therapeutic experience. Sorting and organizing food items allow you to take stock of what you need and what you don't or ever will.
It's a way to assist others
Oftentimes, a lot of unfinished and unopened canned foods go to waste. Cleaning out your cupboard will help you identify items that can be used to assist someone in need.
Finding forgotten food
It's easy to forget about that tangy tropical sauce you once bought, that is now lying unopened somewhere in your pantry, when that space is unorganized and messy. Check your cupboard before buying that second bottle! You'll save money, time, and earn free condiments in the process.
National Clean Up Your Pantry Day dates