Spring Clean Your Pantry In 8 Steps
Ladies, you know how much I love to clean! But there is one area of the house we all use regularly that probably doesn’t get cleaned as often as it should: the pantry! A cleaner pantry is good for your health (especially if you're not keeping expired food in there!) and you'll be surprised how much easier meal prep can be with a well-organised pantry.
8 Steps to a Clean Pantry
Here’s how you can spring clean your pantry in just 8 steps:
Step 1: Check the date stamp
Go through your pantry and check the date stamp on every item. You’ve probably already noticed there are two different types of date stamps: use by and best before. These mean:
- Use by: The use by (or used by) date is placed on foods that must be eaten within a certain time for health and safety reasons.
- Best before: Best before dates are used to refer to the quality of a food item. That means they may lose some quality after the best before date has passed, such as nutritional content, colour or texture loss.
As you go through and check the product date stamps, throw away any item that has passed the use by date. Any product close to its best before date should be used as soon as possible.
Step 2: Suss out your spice rack
If you enjoy cooking, your spice rack is probably loaded with goodies! As you spring clean your pantry, it’s a good time to check all the staple herbs and spices you have. Most dry spices will be fresh and fine to use for between 6 months to a year. After that, they begin to lose quality. Go through your spice rack and throw out any spices that are more than a year old. Check the best before date of any unopened spice containers too.
Step 3: Check your condiments
As you clean the pantry, check your condiments. Products like sauces, jams, nut butter or even mustard can be prone to mould growth, whether you keep them in the pantry or the fridge. If there is any mould or type of growth sitting on the top of the product (or in the top of the lid), throw it away. Even if the growth seems to be only on the top, the ‘treads’ of the mould may have spread throughout the rest of the product. To be on the safe side, throw them out.
Step 4: Do a temperature check
To keep seeds and nuts fresh for as long as possible, you need to store them correctly. Place them into an airtight container and store them somewhere cool. There are lots of health benefits of nuts, they are a healthy fat after all. But that fat content can be affected by heat, light and oxygen, which can cause nuts to go bad. If you don’t eat nuts very often, or you live somewhere the weather is often warm, it might be best to keep nuts in a container in the fridge.
Step 5: Clean up
Now that you have sorted out the products you no longer need and thrown away any out-of-date goods, it’s time to clean! Because your pantry stores food, regular cleaning is pretty important. Wipe down the shelves to remove any dust and dirt, as well as any food crumbs that might attract creepy crawlies! You can use a natural cleaner to get rid of smells and to remove anything sticky on the shelves.
Step 6: Get labelling
To keep some of your pantry staples fresh, store them in airtight containers. Particularly if you purchase grains, flours or cereals in bulk, it’s a good idea to keep them in a container labelled with the date you opened them. If you use bulk bins at the market or health food store, label the containers with the purchase date, so you know how old they are.
Step 7: Restock
Now that the pantry shelves are clean and dry, it’s time to add everything back in. As you add items back into the pantry, rotate them so that the oldest products (those with the shortest best before date) are at the front. That way you’ll use them first and reduce the amount of wastage.
Step 8: Get organised!
Keep your pantry looking clean and tidy by grouping items. If you organise the foods in your pantry by food group, it makes it easy to find ingredients AND it makes it easier to keep track of what you have on hand. This can save you money, because you’ll be less likely to buy doubles of ingredients!
A clean pantry makes a big difference!
I know your pantry probably comes in pretty low on the list of things that need cleaning, but remember it stores your food! Those products will end up in your body, so taking the time to make sure they are safe to use is very important!
I hope you find these tips helpful girls.
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.