You all know how much I love getting rid of things, but for some reason I’ve had a hard time ridding my pantry of non-essentials. Why am I so emotionally connected to the $3.89 jumbo sized tub of Crisco that’s been in my baking cupboard since I moved in in 2007? Why can’t I simply toss out the 4 packages of cornstarch, or the Frosted Flakes? I think it stems from a small problem I have with food possession, fair warning that if you ever go out to eat with me, never under any circumstance take a bite of my food without asking, and even if you do ask there’s a pretty good chance I’ll stab you in the back of the hand with my fork. Yikes, someone should send me to food rehab 😉 So there it is, my dirty, food-hoarding confession. Now I see that I have a problem, and maybe you do too, so I’ve set out to conquer my problem with a simple checklist that will get your pantry in tip-top shape in no time making it easier to make better food choices.
- Take a deep breath, and a before picture this isn’t for the faint of heart
- Throw away anything that is expired (no-brainer)
- Throw away anything you haven’t used in the last 6 months, I realize that I make seasonal meals that require special ingredients so these can stay just as long as they won’t expire before you use them again
- Throw away anything that has an inch of dust on it or a faded label or just looks funky
Clean pantry also means clean diet, so we’re going to be getting rid of a few more things
- Wheat flour, white flour, rice flour etc…
- Sugar, granulated, powdered, brown
- Sugar substitutes like splenda, sweet and low anything chemical-based
- Powdered or condensed milk
- That 7 year old tub of Crisco (boo hoo)
- Sugary drink mixes
- Get rid of the spices in your cabinet that are expired or not fresh or loaded with MSG
- And lastly, give your Ghirardelli chocolate chips to your mom since it would be a sin to throw them away
Now comes the time to go shopping to replenish your pantry with the good stuff!
- Buy almond, coconut, or other nut flours to replace the traditional flours
- Agave, maple syrup, and honey are pretty good natural sweeteners, stevia is also good too
- Buy organic coconut oil, and a good olive oil. Also many baking recipes use applesauce as an oil replacement
- Buy green tea
- Buy some really good organic dark chocolate and find a good paleo chocolate chip cookie recipe like this one here.
Active.com also has some helpful tips on spring cleaning your pantry.
The bottom line is that having an unhealthy attachment to something even as silly as a tub of crisco is still unhealthy. The best thing to do is to ask yourself, “do I need this?”, “is it serving it’s purpose?”, “is there something better?”. The less clutter you have in your life the easier it will be to live your life happily. Downsizing doesn’t mean you’ve lost, it means that you are smarter for not allowing your brain to be consumed with clutter.
What do you do to declutter your life? Leave a comment below and let me know!