4 Steps for Spring Cleaning Your Kitchen
Is there anything more satisfying than a clean fridge and organized pantry? Those tidy spaces are important for food safety and make us feel like we have our lives together. But with busy schedules and towering to-do lists, our kitchen’s cleanliness can slip through the cracks. As we enter the spring season filled with new beginnings, now is the perfect time to make sure your kitchen is fresh.
Step 1: Check for expiration dates
If you’ve ever uncovered a can of soup from the 90s or happened upon a boxed dinner purchased when you moved in 10 years ago, you know how quickly time flies and how easy it is to let your pantry pile high. To avoid these startling discoveries, check for expiration dates on all your items. Start with the pantry and go through each item one by one, searching for expired or soon-to-be expired items. If an item has expired, it’s best to throw it away immediately. If an item is close to expiration, consider using it soon or finding a recipe to make use of it before it goes bad.
When you’re finished with the pantry, move onto the fridge and check the same way. Look at expiration dates on all perishable items such as dairy products, meat and produce. If any item is past its expiration date, it’s best to throw it away as soon as possible to avoid foodborne illnesses.
Want to know the difference between best-by and expiration dates? Here’s a helpful primer.
Step 2: Clean out the pantry and fridge
Once you’ve sorted through all your food items, it’s time to get sudsy! Start by taking everything out of the pantry and wiping down the shelves with warm soapy water. Next, follow the same process for the fridge. This will help remove any spills or stains and ensure your storage areas are clean and free of bacteria.
Step 3: Organize your items
Now that your pantry and fridge are clean, you’re ready to get organized. Group similar items together and put them in clearly labeled containers or jars. This will not only make it easier to find what you need, but it will also help you keep track of what you have and avoid buying duplicates. For example, you can group all the baking supplies in one section, all the canned goods in another and all snacks in a separate area. If you’re looking to spruce your space up even more, consider color-coding your containers.
Step 4: Make a shopping list
A well-organized pantry or fridge makes it easier to see which items you have on hand and what you need to buy for your next meal or recipe. As you organize these spaces, make a list of items you need to restock. This will help you avoid overbuying things you already have or forgetting products you need. Maintaining order in your kitchen can help save you time and money.
A kitchen clean-out can be daunting, but spring is the perfect time to start fresh and ensure your pantry and fridge remain safe places to store food. Plus, doing yourself this favor now will help you avoid headaches down the road. Here’s to a happy and healthy season!