You know that feeling when you finish a deep spring cleaning of your house? It’s hard work and can be time consuming, but is so rewarding when you’re finished. I’m going to show you how to spring clean your pantry step-by-step with tips on how to stock your shelves with FitLiving Eats essentials.
Friends, it’s spring time. A time of year when the flowers are blooming, there is a renewed sense of energy in the air, and all you want to do is spend time outside and soak up the sun in all of its glory.
Sounds idyllic, right? Well, it’s also a time of year when the pollen is falling like rain and allergies kick in out of nowhere, the grass is growing so fast it needs to be cut almost daily and oh yeah, I look out the (somewhat cloudy) windows and remind myself that it’s time to do a spring cleaning! Yep. That’s more like it!
I don’t know about you, but I actually enjoy the annual spring cleaning. I don’t love the thought of it, but once I get to it, I enjoy the process of deep cleaning to make everything like new again. Tell me I’m not the only one?
I recently gave my pantry a much needed overhaul and thought I would share my tips and tricks with you to guide you in the ultimate pantry makeover.
6 Steps to Spring Cleaning Your Pantry
Out with the old, in the with new.
First step, take everything out of your pantry. Yes, you heard me. everything. Why? Because you don’t know what might be hiding in the back say, from 10 years ago.
As you pull things out, note the expiration date. If it’s expired, toss it out. If it’s close to being expired, you’re going to want to put those items towards the front of your pantry so that they are used first.
Un “process” your shelves.
It’s time to get back to the basics and give your pantry a healthy makeover. The best way to do this is to pay attention to the foods in your pantry by looking at the labels. See an ingredient on there you can’t pronounce? Then it’s more than likely something that is not fueling your body in a healthy way and should be thrown out (or donated).
Most of the items in my pantry only have one ingredient on the label and I try to keep packaged and boxed foods out of the house. These foods are often filled with excess sugar, sodium and artificial ingredients that only leave the body craving for more of these nutritionally “empty” foods.
One of the greatest assets in my pantry are mason jars. I am obsessed with them! I use them for smoothies, storing overnight oats in my fridge and for organizing the many nuts, seeds and grains that are in my pantry.
Not only does it make my pantry look organized and pretty (who doesn’t want a pretty pantry?), it keeps the food items as fresh as possible. If you like to store grains and pastas in airtight containers but are afraid of not knowing how to cook them when you throw the packaging out, here’s a tip: cut out the directions from the packaging and put them in the container with your grains/pastas.
In my pantry, I have shelves that house different food items which I find makes it easiest for when I go to the pantry looking for something. Here’s what my shelves look like (but may look different for you depending on how your pantry is set up):
- The bottom floor: When I make a big grocery run and stock up on certain foods, I’ll keep the extra on the bottom of the pantry and rotate the items through as I run out of that certain food that’s on the shelf.
- First shelf: Oils and vinegars, as well as any disposable plateware I have on hand.
- Second shelf: Nuts, seeds and dried fruits organized in mason jars, as well as coffee, teas and baking ingredients.
- Third shelf: Canned goods, grains and stocks.
- Fourth (top) shelf: A bit of a miscellaneous shelf where I keep superfood smoothie ad ins, oats, and the like.
Restock your shelves with the essentials.
Now that we’ve gone through and cleaned out the pantry shelves, only keeping foods that are fresh and with minimal ingredients, let’s take a look at what might be missing.
I like to keep basic essentials in my pantry to have on hand for when I need to throw a meal together in a flash. Some of these essentials include: a variety of whole grains, different kinds of beans, tomato sauce, pastas, nuts and seeds, oils and vinegars.
Related: Meal Planning Starter Kit & Guide
Ahhhhh, the pantry is now organized and stocked with healthy foods that are packed with nutrients and can be used for a delicious and filling snack, or a more robust meal.
To ensure that I always have my essentials on hand, I like to keep a notepad in my kitchen somewhere (or maybe you even have a chalkboard on the inside of your pantry door!) to write down what I might have run out of that I need to get next time I’m at the store. Essentially, we’re keeping inventory to make sure that the next time you reach for some black beans to say, make black bean and spinach enchiladas, you’re not having to run to the store last minute when you realize you ran out!