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Spring clean your pantry in 4 easy steps

Posted by Nic Florido on 14th Oct 2021

Hurrah! Spring has finally sprung, Covid restrictions are easing, and we’re finally getting back to normal (well, sort of). If you’re like us, your pantry has probably been collecting a wide range of weird and wonderful things, as you test out sourdough recipes and try your hand at homemade cocktails. Spring is the perfect time to deep clean and revitalise your home and there’s no better place to start than the kitchen pantry.    

Apart from the obvious advantage of a clean and uncluttered space, there are plenty of benefits to spring cleaning your pantry. Now we don’t mean to get all Marie Kondo on you, but cleaning has been linked to better mental health. Having a clean and tidy space allows you to be better focused throughout the day, and the act of cleaning can even help reduce anxiety and stress 

And when it comes to your pantry, having a clean, tidy and organised space can help you make healthier choices, no matter what your health goals are. You’d be surprised how many expired cans you might have hiding in the back, and how much sugar, salt and artificial ingredients might be hiding inside. Read on for our top tips for spring cleaning your pantry. 

1. Take everything out

Yes, we mean everything! As you pull everything out, check its expiration date and if it’s off, chuck it out. If it’s still in date, but about to expire, put it to the side so that it can be re-stacked at the front when you put everything back.  

While throwing away old junk can be the most satisfying part of a spring clean, it’s important to take note of all the things you’re throwing away – so you know to buy less of them next time. Sticking to fresh, wholefood ingredients when you’re out grocery shopping means you’re more likely to keep healthy habits in the house and preservative-filled foods out. Plus, your next spring clean won’t be so tough. Our rule of thumb? If you haven’t used it in the last 9 months, it’s not worth keeping. 

2. Read the food labels

This is a big one. When we’re doing our weekly grocery shop, we don’t always get the chance to look at the back of the labels and have a real think about what’s inside the food we buy. Luckily, Aussie guidelines are super strict about food labels, and this handy guide should help you figure out the nutritional info mumbo jumbo. Here we break down the nutritional information from our 1L Watermelon Iced Tea. 

When you’re deciding what to keep and what not to keep, take a look at the nutritional info on the back label. The main things to remember is that the ingredient list is ordered from largest amount to smallest amount, so if an old tomato sauce reads “Ingredients: Tomatoes, sugar, salt, ect” that means there’s probably a lot of sugar inside!   

A spring clean is the perfect time to get back to basics and give your pantry a healthy revamp. See an ingredient on there that has a number next to it? Or something you can’t pronounce? Give it a quick Google search, because it’s likely to be an artificial ingredient that will only leave your body craving more nutritionally empty foods. By learning more about ingredient labels and throwing away (or donating if they’re not out-of-date) foods rich in sugary and artificial ingredients, you’re setting yourself up for a healthy, fresh, and natural spring! 

3. Sort it out

As you’re pulling things out, you’ll need to clean, date and rotate. Check everything’s sealed properly and not leaking or spilling. When everything’s sorted, then you can start to take inventory. Do you really need three half-empty spice jars of oregano? Probably not. Add them all to one jar, keeping note of their best-before dates and labelling them clearly.  

You don’t need to run out and get all new storage solutions either. Collect old pasta sauce glass jars, takeaway containers and baskets and re-use them for your pantry storage. Store your homemade sauces in recycled Nexba Kombucha bottles! It’s much better for the environment and easier on the wallet. 

Now you’re ready to take inventory. You’ve cleaned, de-cluttered and vowed to make better choices at the supermarket next time. Keep a shopping list or chalkboard handy somewhere close to your pantry and keep notes of everything you have. Sorting them into baking, cooking, spices and snacks (or whatever works for you) in the pantry means you’ll stay more organised throughout the year and have more time for other things (like say, baking up a storm of sugar free goodies). 

4. Clean and organise

Once your pantry is empty and the contents have been cleaned, dated and rotated, it’s time to clean your pantry. Use a natural cleaner to wipe down any spills and make sure it’s neat and tidy before re-stocking the shelves. Organise everything in a way that makes sense to you and your family. We love to keep kid-friendly snacks on the lower shelves so they can grab and go as they please, while keeping the easy-to-spill sauces and oils further out of reach.  

All done? Having a freshly organised pantry should get you excited to start baking, cooking and mixing healthy recipes. Happy cleaning (or better yet, happy cooking!).