METCALF MOVING BLOG

October 13, 2022

Tips for Emptying Your Refrigerator and Pantry Before Your Move

Most people are happy when they have a full refrigerator and a stocked pantry so they can create delicious meals to enjoy. But in the weeks preceding a residential move, your mindset will shift, and it will be a race to empty everything as much as possible.

Generally, moving companies won’t take food. So, you’ll either need to move these items yourself or find other ways to eliminate them. 

In many cases, too, organizing meals with the intent of ‘eating down” your fridge and pantry helps make cleaning easier, eliminates waste, and can be a huge money saver.

Consider the following tips for clearing your refrigerator and pantry before moving day.

Take Inventory

About a month before you move, carefully go through your food storage areas and make a preliminary list of what you need to get rid of before the move. Next, break this list into three smaller lists to better determine how to clear these items.

Dry and Canned Goods

Write down any food you can eat, donate, or take. Items in this category include dry goods, such as rice, beans, cereals, canned goods, spices, unopened condiments not yet refrigerated, and baking supplies. (Note: Donate things that are unopened and unexpired.)

Fresh and Frozen Foods

The second list should include any fresh and frozen foods that can either be eaten or, if not, thrown out or given away to people you know who can immediately preserve them.

Food to Take Along

You will also find some of these foods on the first two lists. Additions will include already opened condiments, sauces, and other long-shelf life items found in your refrigerator.

Once you’ve taken inventory, consider which foods would make great meals or desserts in the days leading up to your move.

Check Expiration Dates

As you examine each item, check the expiration dates, and throw out anything that is expired and no longer good to use.

Plan Meals

With the list of the foods you plan to eat before your move, try to pair items together to make meals. Another idea is to make meals to freeze and simply reheat – this is especially handy in the week leading up to your move when cooking would be a hassle and you’re short on time.

Ideas you can look at to make ready-to-eat meals include sandwiches, soups, pasta, stir fries, casseroles, frittatas, and bread (great for zucchini, bananas, and apples). You’d be surprised at how creative you can be while slimming down your kitchen and feeding your household.

Donate Unused Items

Foods that are unopened, unexpired, and you don’t plan to use are ideal candidates for donating to a local food pantry. One way to donate is through Move for Hunger, a nonprofit company working with movers to donate food to needy people.

You can also give food away to family, friends, and neighbors.

Avoid Trips to the Grocery

If you desperately need a few items, such as milk or eggs, and must go to the store, be sure to create a shopping list and stick to it. Alternatively, you can order groceries online and have them delivered, reducing the risk of overbuying items while in the store.

We Can Help Make Your Move Easier

If you’re like most people, you’ll have to throw away some food before you move if you can’t take it with you. However, the more you can plan and use up, the easier it’ll be in the days leading up to the move. (Pro tip: whatever you do take, be sure to pack these items carefully.)

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