Spring has well and truly sprung, the birds are singing, the bees are buzzing and the flowers are blooming. It's the time of the year when everything is bursting with life, until you open your pantry where the cold cobwebs of Winter haven’t seemed to have gotten the memo. There’s a reason that Spring cleaning is a thing - Spring is the season of change and new life, out with the old, in with the new, the fresh, and all the things bursting with life. That’s why now is the perfect time to completely overhaul your pantry, get rid of the junk that no longer serves you and set your pantry up to nourish your body with all things good.
If you struggle to muster the motivation to clean out whatever is lurking in the shadows of your pantry and start fresh, follow our easy steps below and your cupboard will be Pinterest worthy in no time.
Step 1 - Lay it all out in front of you
It may seem daunting, but seriously, physically taking everything out of your pantry and seeing what’s hiding in the dark corners of your pantry is the first step to starting fresh. This allows you to have a blank canvas to work with (so to speak), and also take stock of what you already have (hello 5 bottles of balsamic vinegar, were you guys having a party back here or something?)
Step 2 - Chuck out all the junk
If you’ve found yourself in a comfort food rut over the cooler months, there is no better time to shake things up then right now. With your whole pantry laid out bare, take this as an opportunity to remove temptations and replace these with healthier alternatives (but we’ll get to this part later).
Step 3 - Check the dates
This may come as a surprise, but pantries do absolutely nothing to preserve your foods. Did you know that spices can go off? That’s right, that jar of Sumac that you bought for that one recipe two and a half years ago probably isn’t in the best shape right now. So take stock of what you have in your cupboard and cull everything that isn’t up to scratch, or passed their use by date. As a rule of thumb, spices are good to go for six months to a year, if in doubt, trust your nose, spices passed their prime won't give off a strong odour.
Step 4 - Scrub everything down
We’re starting fresh here. Don’t get complacent, chances are your shelves have been long neglected and are in dire need of some TLC. Getting those cupboards shining is the next step in getting a Pinterest worthy pantry.
Step 5 - Get Organising
Now comes the fun part (believe us, it’s way more fun then it sounds) - it’s time to get organising. Think of your favourite grocery store: things aren't arranged on the shelves willy-nilly, they’re organised in a way that makes sense. Use a system that works for you, and they way you cook. The way that we like to do it is arranging items that are often used together, or used as a substitute for one another, in the same place, eg. spices all live happily on the same shelf, as do our oils, our flours and baking supplies, all things pasta and grains, you get the idea. Another important step within this step is arranging these so that the oldest products are used first, a little hospitality term we call ‘first in first out’. Have it so that you’re reaching for the oldest products first, which will help reduce your food waste as you’re not going to have them sitting there getting older, while you’re using newer product!
Step 6 - Stock up on the good stuff
Now that you’re all over what is actually living in your pantry, you can now restock on the things you're low on or healthy alternatives for all that junk you chucked out earlier. Nuts are a great snacking option for those mindless grazers out there (guilty), Raw Almonds and Raw Cashews are a god send, full of healthy fats to keep you feeling satisfied. There are a bunch of gluten-free flour alternatives out there that are a great option even if you aren’t following gluten-free lifestyle. Try organic coconut flour, buckwheat flour, or quinoa flour. Finally, for those of us out there with a sweet tooth (also guilty), it’s always great to have organic sultanas, dates, and cacao nibs on hand.
The last tip that we can offer is don’t get overwhelmed! You've done the hard work, now it’s just about maintenance. You’ll be amazed by how many delicious creations that are going to come out of your kitchen thanks to your freshly spring cleaned pantry, and your body is going to thank you for nourishing it with nutrient dense foods that are just as convenient as their junk food alternatives. So go forth and organise, and don’t forget to tag us in your freshly spring cleaned pantry photos! #wholefoodpantrygoals
Image via @anthropologie