An organized life makes healthy choices easier, it’s as simple as that. Meals planned, exercise scheduled, house uncluttered – all can be helpful to have your best life. But more specifically, what about an organized kitchen? Having meals planned is wonderful, but what if you can’t remember why you purchased that fresh herb or you can’t find what you are looking for when it’s time to cook?
There are simple steps you can take to keep your kitchen organized. An organized kitchen will help you to stay on track each day and each week as you plan well and eat well.
- Put like products together. In your pantry are cans mixed with boxes, vegetables with fruits? Take a few minutes to organize food products. Consider putting cereals or other grains in clear containers so you quickly know what and how much you have. Also, containers with uniform sizes can keep the space neater making it easier to find what you need. Put canned products together by food category – canned meat, fruits, vegetables, sauces.
- Alphabetize and date dried herbs and spices. Herbs and spices are most beneficial for flavor and nutrition if they are fresh. If you have had a bottle for many years, it’s probably time to toss it. Recommendations range from 1-3 years to keep most spices. Signs that your spices should be replaced: faded in color, diminished flavor, minimal aroma.
- Place foods in freezer in sections. Decide on an area for frozen meats, vegetables, fruits, breads and meals. Rather than just throwing everything in on top of something else – keep sections separate and you will be less likely to find a freezer-burned dinner months down the road.
- Use crisper drawers for their intended purpose. They say the crisper drawer is where food goes to die. That will be the case if you n’t regularly clean out your refrigerator. But using the crisper drawer for it’s intended purpose – fresh produce – will help you to be more aware of what you will find and how often you need to check what you have and eat it.
- Once/week clean and reorganize your refrigerator. Food should be fresh for it to be delicious and high in nutrient value. Particularly if your refrigerator is quite full, you must see what you have at least once each week to make sure you are eating what is oldest and preventing wonderful food from ending up in the trash. When stocking your refrigerator, be sure to put the newest items in the back and move the oldest items to the front.
- Once/month clean and reorganize your pantry. Of course, the pantry doesn’t need to be cleaned out as often as the refrigerator, but it shouldn’t be neglected either. Make a note that on the first of each month you review what you have and plan to use anything that has been there for some time. The lifespan of packaged goods varies. Check the dates regularly and move those items coming due to the front of the cabinet so they get used sooner rather than later.
With a few simple steps you will have an organized kitchen that will help you to reduce food waste. Not only will you save money your efforts towards meal planning and cooking nutritious meals for you and your family will not go wasted. Happy cleaning!
If you are ready to end the cycle of feeling sick, bloated and being overweight – click here to contact Lynda to learn how to create healthy eating and healthy living that will work for you.
There is no one size fits all approach to nutrition and healthy living. Recommendations given are not intended to replace the personalized guidance of a health professional.