Hello everybody! Welcome back to my blog. The purpose of this blog is to help people find their way to a healthier lifestyle. I mostly talk about exercise and its science, which is my area of expertise, but I also talk about nutrition, sleeping habits and many other subjects related to wellbeing and healthy lifestyle.
These last couple of weeks I have been a bit MIA because I was pushing hard to finish my Certificate IV in Nutrition. I am officially able to provide people with meal plans and nutritional advice. If you’re interested in improving your eating habits, whether you need a one-day or one-week meal plan or just a little advice and adjustments to your current eating patterns made just for you, contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
This week’s subject is all about food. This time I wanted to approach it from another perspective. As you might know already, I am a big fan of minimalism. After many years getting inspired by others, trying methods and seeing which ones work better for me, I have developed my own practice of minimalism. If you’d like to find out more about this, check my post about (My) minimalism!
I apply this to every single area of my life, including my pantry. Today I want to share with you how to keep a clean, tidy, and minimalist pantry that can help you achieve your fitness goals.
Little tip: don’t do this process with an empty stomach! Doing this process while feeling hungry will change your judgement (especially when you get to step 4).
- Empty the pantry completely.
The first is the easiest and yet the most tedious part of the process. Take absolutely everything out of your pantry, until it looks like the one in the picture.
- Clean inside.
Most of our pantries never get cleaned up because they are too full of stuff. Now that your pantry has been completely emptied, it’s the best time to clean it thoroughly. Think that your food and your family’s food is going to sit there, so you’d want it to be good enough!
- Check expiry dates and get rid of the expired items.
To reduce the amount of items that you have taken out of the pantry, it’s good to start by throwing away anything that is expired, or anything that doesn’t look good. Sometimes the item hasn’t expired yet, however, the way it’s been stored was appropriate, therefore it won’t be safe to consume, or it has been opened already. Even though the expiry date for these items are meant to be after the current date, if they have been opened long enough it might not be safe to eat. Get rid of all these products!
Remember to look after the environment while doing this process. Empty the content in the bin and recycle or reuse the container. The best way to reduce your impact on the environment is to reduce your waste from the beginning, this is, not getting what you don’t need. After this process, you might get conscious enough to avoid over-buying.
- Get rid of the unhealthy foods you find in the process.
This is a key step for you to improve your eating habits. This is the perfect moment for you to throw away everything that it’s not good for you. If you have kids and you think this is an impossible process, try to think that they should be eating healthier too. Get them used to healthy foods and snacks, and allow them to have a treat of their choice from time to time, but do not store them in your pantry. Like I always say, it’s good to have an occasional treat. If you have kids and you want to give them this kind of food every now and again, a good strategy is to buy the one treat the same day you’d like to give it to them. Avoid buying a whole box of them, because you’ll end up getting some or they’ll end up getting far too many.
- Divide items by categories.
Now that all you have left is healthy options, it’s time to divide them by categories. The choice of categories is rather personal, though this is the way I do it:
- Bricks of milk with bricks of vegetable stock.
- Sugar, flour, baking powder.
- Honey, Vegemite, fruit jams, peanut butter.
- Cans of beans, corn, lentils.
- Sardines and tuna.
- Passattas, bechamel, pesto sauce.
- Potatoes, onions, garlic.
- Pasta, rice, nuts, noodles.
- Oats, cereals, granolla.
This process might take a while if it’s the first time. Feel free to test this system out if it works for you, with time you’ll get your own system that works for you and your family.
- Put the items back organised by categories.
Once you have divided your products by categories, it’s time to put it back to the pantry. Before you start getting everything inside, think of the space you have and how much space you’ll need for each category. For example, if you have a big group for your cereals, oats, and granola, you might need a big space in your pantry for it.
- Take into consideration the expiry dates.
When putting things back in the pantry, order your items by expiry date. Put the products of the same category that will expire sooner at the front. This way, you’ll reduce the likeliness of throwing away expired food in your next clean up. For example, if you have 8 cans of lentils, put the one that is expiring sooner at the front, and the rest order by the same criteria behind it.
- Use organisers if you’d like.
I am a huge fan of these organisers. Although I am a work in progress myself, I do use some of these to organise my pantry and many other areas of the house. At shops like Kmart, Target, Ikea, or Primark if you’re in Europe, you can find affordable gadgets to help you keep your pantry nice and tidy.
- You have extra space and you’re tempted to put more unhealthy foods?
You might end up having more space than you planned! This is great, that means you’ve done the process right. You might be tempted by filling up that space. I encourage you to keep the picture above in mind. It gives pleasure to your brain looking at such organised, not too full pantry. If you don’t like the empty spaces, you can opt for some sort of decoration, like in the picture. Put something beautiful, or why not, put a fake plant.
That’s it for today! I really hope that you enjoy it. If you like what I do and you want to support this project, follow me on Instagram and Facebook, like the post and comment! Thank you!