This month we have been cleaning the clutter from our kitchens in order to improve our nutritional habits.
Studies show that having an organized and clutter free kitchen makes us more likely to prepare healthy meals.
So far, we have cleaned out our refrigerator and our pantry. This week we are moving on to our kitchen drawers.
Having quick access to spatulas, measuring cups, measuring spoons, tongs, and potholders makes preparing a meal much easier than having to search through drawers full of broken utensils and bric-a-brac.
Over the next week, go through your kitchen drawers:
Throw away any broken utensils, melted spatulas, split wooden spoons, etc.
Stack measuring cups and measuring spoons. Try hooking them together with a pipe cleaner or carabiner clip.
Buy drawer organizers to sort silverware, serving ware, and utensils.
Toss out stained or worn towels and dishrags.
Next, be brave and tackle the “junk” drawer (it’s ok, we all have one). Get rid of pens that don’t work, separate paperclips, rubber bands, and batteries into plastic cups/baggies, throw away old business cards, coupons, and flyers. Sort and organize take away menus.
If you don’t use it or it doesn’t work get it out of your kitchen.
You will be amazed by how getting your kitchen drawers in order will make meal prepping time faster, easier, and more enjoyable.
That’s it for this week. Next week we will clean out your cupboards. Until then,
Last week we discussed how decluttering your environment can have a powerful positive affect on your life. From reducing stress and increasing productivity, to helping you feel happier, more optimistic and even improving the nutritional choices you make. If you want to review last week’s post or get caught up, click here.
Decluttering your kitchen makes preparing healthy meals faster and easier. When there is plenty of room in your fridge for healthy foods like vegetables, lean protein, nuts, and fruit you are more likely to choose those rather than eat processed junk food. The easier it is to navigate your pantry and cabinets the better the chance you will prepare nutritious meals as opposed to stopping for take out or ordering pizza.
Your task for last week was to clean out your refrigerator. I showed you what mine looked like before I cleaned it out and I promised to show you the after. So, here they are:
I make a habit of decluttering and cleaning my fridge every few months, so there wasn’t a big difference, however it is definitely easier to find what I am looking for post-cleaning.
Now, if you took the time last week to declutter your freezer as well as the fridge, bonus points to you. But if you didn’t, don’t worry, we will get to that in a few weeks.
Now, on to this week’s task. Much like the refrigerator, your pantry can become a collection of stale crackers, half-eaten bags of chips, expired cans of food, nutritional supplements you haven’t used in years, and cookbooks and magazines with recipes you will never actually cook. Over the next week, take 10-15 minutes each day to declutter 1 shelf in your pantry. Throw away anything that is expired or stale. If you have canned goods you won’t eat yourself, donate them to a local food bank. Use baskets and tiered organizers to make it easier to see what is in the pantry. Store nuts, grains, cereals, etc. in clear glass/plastic containers to keep them fresh and easy to find quickly. Don’t forget to label them so youremember what they are. Go through your cookbooks and magazines and tear out the recipes you use regularlyand create a binder or computer file to store them neatly away. Wipe down the shelves and line them with shelf paper if you choose. I’m pretty OCD, so I alphabetize everything based on category: spices, canned goods, baking supplies, oils, etc. It makes finding things quick and easy, but it is a bit extreme.
Once you have your pantry decluttered, cleaned, and organized, take stock of what nutritious foods you still need to prepare healthy meals such as: grains, spices, nuts/seeds. Add these items to your shopping list.
Having a pantry that is organized and easy to navigate will make preparing nutritious and delicious meals faster, easier, and more enjoyable as well as keep you on track with your nutritional goals.
Until next week, happy decluttering!
Decluttering your kitchen is just one easy habit that will help you stay on track with your health and wellness goals. Building a series of healthy habits is the best way to maintain your goals for life. My nutritional coaching program is designed to teach you how to build a healthy nutrition routine that you can maintain for life. Learn more about how I can help you achieve a balanced and healthy lifestyle by visiting mywebsite today!
Back in elementary school, I had a teacher that frequently “reminded” us, “A messy desk means a messy mind”.
It turns out she was right, scientific research proves that clutter can have a negative effect on many aspects of our life, from our career, to our relationships, finances, and yes, even our health and wellness.
A cluttered home or workspace can lead to increased feelings of stress, depression, and unhappiness. Remember that time when you were facing a deadline at work and you had files, reports, and binders all over your desk? How much did you enjoy working on that project?
Clutter also has a negative effect on nutrition. Studies show that individuals with a messy kitchen are more likely to choose highly processed, fat and sugar laden foods. Also, if your cabinets and drawers are full of pots, pans, plastic takeout containers, broken measuring cups, and melted spatulas, it can be difficult to find the tools you need to cook a healthy meal. Additionally, if your fridge is loaded with jars of pickle juice, multiple containers of ketchup, expired milk, and a moldy mystery container, there is no place to put healthy fruits and veggies. And those 5 bags of potato chips in the pantry, well let’s just say they are not giving you a good return on your pantry shelf investment.
The point is, if preparing healthy meals in your kitchen is difficult or impossible, you are more likely to stop for take out, or binge on those chips in the pantry, neither of which supports healthy nutritional goals.
This month we are going to be working on decluttering our kitchens. Don’t worry. We will take it slowly. Over the next 4 weeks I will share a short project designed to help get your nutrition and your kitchen into tip-top shape.
This week’s task is to clear out and clean your refrigerator. You will need about 15-20 minutes, a large trash bag, and a recycling bin if that’s your thing.
Go through your fridge and toss out anything that is expired, moldy, or otherwise unappetizing in appearance.Combine all of those partially empty ketchup bottles (you know you have at least 2). Repeat with the other condiments.If you haven’t used a sauce, salad dressing, or condiment in months, put it in your trash bin.Consider donating any unopened cans, jars, or packages of food to your local food bank.Look at each item left and decide if it helps support your nutritional goals, if it does not then into the trash it goes. It is ok to have a few small treats, I keep some chocolate in my refrigerator at all times, just make sure the majority of the items favor your goals.Once you have cleared out all of the old food, condiments, etc. give your fridge a good cleaning. Wipe down all of the shelves, drawers, and walls.
Now that your refrigerator is free from clutter, restock it with fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein. Invest in containers that can neatly store precut vegetables, precooked grains, nuts, seeds, etc. The more organized and easier it is to find things in the fridge the more likely you are to use them to prepare yourself a healthy meal or snack.
I declutter my refrigerator every 2-3 months and it’s due for a good cleaning. Here’s what it looks like right now:
Check back next week to see what it looks like after I declutter.
Decluttering does not have to be hard work, it just takes a little time and the willingness to let go of things that are not serving your health and happiness.
Until next week: Happy Decluttering!
If you want additional help reaching your nutrition and fitness goals, my coaching program can help. Learn more today!