Summer is here, guys! And there’s something about it that really makes me want to get all Marie Kondo on my home. You know what I mean? Especially with my pantry, where foods that are a little less than “whole” have somehow crept in. You guys know I’m all for cheating a little bit every day, but when I find myself reaching for an old random, chalky-white Snickers Bite that I don’t even really want, ya’ know it’s time for a pantry refresh!
So here are a few steps for turning what might seem like a daunting task into a super easy and rewarding (not to mention healthy) experience!
Pantry Organization: Tips to Organizing a Healthier + More Satisfying Pantry
Pantry Organizer Favorites:
STEP ONE: DITCH THE OLD & UNUSED
Oddball condiments like swanky vinegars, oils, and spices like to linger in our pantries in hopes of getting used one day. So let’s get real here. Are you EVER going to find a recipe for that 30-year-aged, gold-foiled vinegar glaze that Great Aunt Milly gifted you? I think NOT! It’s time to let those random, unused products go. And if you can’t pronounce the ingredients, let it go.
Also, check the expiration dates on all your spices (yes, those do expire) and say goodbye to the oldies. Toss any open, dust-collecting containers with just a few drops of liquid or pieces of food in them (I’m so guilty of this!) to make room for the good stuff.
STEP TWO: TOSS THE OBVIOUSLY NOT SO GOOD FOR YOU JUNK FOOD
Chips, cookies, those chalky Snickers Bites and over-processed foods—yes, it’s time to part with these, but don’t worry, I’m going to give you some satisfying replacement ideas. How do you know if a food qualifies as junk food?
Take a look at its ingredient label. Ingredients are listed in order of volume, so if your food begins with sugar (corn syrup), fat (hydrogenated oil), salt, or something you can’t pronounce, then it’s really not good for you. In fact, if you can’t pronounce MOST of the ingredient list, hook that bad boy up with your trash can immediately!
STEP THREE: REFRESH + REPLACE WITH THE GOOD GOODS
Yes! You’ve just freed yourself from all the not-so-good stuff, so let’s replace it with food that gives your mind and body a little more love. There are so many really great foods out there that can be just as satisfying as the processed junk foods—I promise! A quick tip, though: If you’re moving from a highly junk-a-fied pantry, you’ll need to give yourself a little more time and grace in transitioning to a more health-forward version. I don’t expect you to go from zero to 60 overnight.
Here’s a quick list of my go-to, good for you, food replacements:
And for a ton of quick & easy and grab n’ go options, we have over 500 recipes in The Transform App, many of which can be prepped in literally minutes! Like..set your timer and prep—I’m totally serious! Plus, we give you a shopping list in the app, which makes grocery shopping a breeze AND you won’t be stocking your pantry with foods you might not ever eat. #winwin
STEP FOUR: PRE-PREP & ORGANIZE
Just as Chris and I pre-prep our refrigerated fruits and veggies for easy eating, we also like to have healthier pantry foods at the ready too. We shop in the bulk section a lot where we pick up our grains, dried fruits, and nuts at budget-friendly prices and then put them into clear, easily accessible containers.
This visibility helps us make better decisions when rooting around the pantry for a quick snack. It also helps me not double purchase the next time I hit the grocery store!
STEP FIVE: JUST DON’T BUY IT AGAIN
Guys, if it’s in my pantry, you can bet I’m going to eat it! Even I have to confront my willpower now and again, so if the foods that challenge me (Hello, Cheetos) are not in my home, it’s a heck of a lot easier to stay on plan! That’s why one of my favorite tips for diet success is don’t buy those not so good for you foods. The goal with a pantry refresh is to help make reaching for and eating better-for-you foods second nature. Until you can do this with confidence and satisfaction, I highly suggest you don’t bring any temptations home to begin with. This also applies to all of us moms shopping for our littles. Which brings me to my bonus tip…
BONUS TIP: KEEP KID-FRIENDLY FOODS AT KID-FRIENDLY HEIGHT.
I’m a big fan of guiding our kids to make healthy food choices. Chris and I try to steer them clear of the bad without restricting them too much, so I like to keep healthier snack foods like dried fruit, nuts, and homemade trail mix at their eye level. This encourages the kiddos to chow down on foods that have benefits as opposed to the sugar-packed, synthetic ones.
There you have it…six pantry refresh steps that are so dang easy they can be accomplished during This is Us commercials. And I promise, the end result will leave you feeling lighter and more motivated to keep living happier and healthier.
What springtime organization or healthy pantry food tips do you have? Do you get the spring cleaning bug, too? I’d love to hear about your projects!
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