Spring is in the air, and what better time is there to do some deep spring cleaning of your kitchen? As these warmer days approach, the distractions of sunny days, farmer’s markets, and general spring fever will make it increasingly more difficult to find time to deep clean the kitchen, so it’s best to get started today! Spring cleaning your kitchen will set you up for success with an organized space, and fresh ingredients that are 100% on-plan.
Empty Your Shelves
Start by cleaning everything (yes, everything) out of your cupboards, refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. Do you have an additional refrigerator or freezer in the garage? Even if you rarely store food in these extra storage spaces, its important to include them in your spring cleaning, as it will allow you to jumpstart your meal-planning for spring and summer!
Out With The Old
Go through your food products and throw away anything that has expired, any spices that are over 1 year old (yes, they do have a shelf life), and any foods that are not on-plan and helping you to achieve your goals.
Keeping all of your food products on the counter, organize them into groups of other products that are similar because of the way that you use them. For example, most people might place Apple Cider Vinegar with other vinegars and oils; however, if you take it with water in the morning, it might make more sense to keep it with your breakfast foods. Another way to organize your kitchen is to think of how products are arranged at the grocery store.
Wipe Down Everything
Having a completely clean kitchen might be one of the most cathartic experiences! So grab your scrubber and get to work. To avoid having extra chemicals near your food, try a natural disinfecting cleaner like water and vinegar. Simply fill a bucket with warm water and add 1 cup of white vinegar (don’t worry, the vinegar smell disappears once dry). For the tough, stuck-on messes that always seem to build up in the stove and fridge, try lemon and baking soda by cutting the lemon in half, sprinkling with baking soda, and scrub!
Create Storage Space
Using food-grade, airtight containers will help keep your dried goods fresher for a longer period of time, and clear glass containers can be a great way to organize fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator. Label each container, and include the purchase date or expiration date so you’ll always know that your food is fresh!
Restock and Rotate
The saying “out of sight, out of mind” is also true in reverse – the foods that are more visible tend to be eaten more frequently than those we don’t see. What does this mean for your kitchen? For one thing, it doesn’t mean that you should keep that off-plan frozen pizza in the back of your freezer. Get that thing out of here! It does, however, mean that vegetables should be kept at eye level in the refrigerator, followed by lean proteins, and dairy. For your pantry, you’ll want to keep your unrefined grains at eye-level, along with your favorite Thermo-Snacks®. As you get fresh ingredients from the store, don’t push the old products to the back where they’re likely to be forgotten. Keeping the older products closer to the front of your shelves will ensure that they get used before their expiration date!
Extra Credit Cleaning
Kitchen organization doesn’t end with food products – you know that junk drawer that you’ve been meaning to clean out? Or what about those specialty appliances that rarely get used? If you find yourself craving more ways to make cooking easier, try going through your drawers and cupboards to clean out your appliances. Follow the same steps to organize them with similar items, and keep the most-used appliances in easy-to-reach places.
We want to see how you’re spring-cleaning your kitchen! Take a before and after photo, or a pic of your favorite way to stay organized in the kitchen, and post it to Instagram or Twitter – be sure to tag us @SlimGenics!