Is your kitchen overdue for a deep clean?
If so, join our #BBKITCHENCLEANOUT challenge!
Earlier this year, we kicked off a kitchen clean-out challenge that was a full 12 days long.
Now that we're midway through summer, we want to bring you an abbreviated version of our kitchen clean-out challenge that's just 5 days.
Take the next 5-days and tackle one easy activity to do each day, so you'll have an organized kitchen that's easy to manage at the end!
Look, we get it – it's a LOT of work to try and organize your life, let alone your kitchen. So, we created this challenge to help simplify the process, with easy (and quick) activities you can tackle each day.
A clean and organized kitchen will help you stick to your health goals of the year, even given the current situation & this time of uncertainty.
Are you in?!
Day 1 – Refrigerator
Take 15 minutes & check for anything expired, wipe down your jars & bottles (don't forget the lids – they can get pretty gross!), and wipe down all the shelves. Make a note of anything you're running low on or that needs replaced for the next time you're at the grocery store.
Day 2 – Fats & Oils
Today we're going to ditch the junky oils for good AND check the expirations on our spice collection.
But first, a quick nutrition lesson on fats & oils:
Healthy fats and oils are critical for good health: they’re incorporated into our body cells and help create their structure. Building cells from healthy, natural fats is ideal, but unfortunately, man-made, highly processed, unhealthy fats are pervasive.
Today your task is to look through your pantry, cabinets, and refrigerator and toss the following oils, along with any product that lists one of these as an ingredient:
- Vegetable oil
- Canola oil
- Corn oil
- Cottonseed oil
- Soybean oil
- Sunflower oil
- Crisco and other butter-like spreads
- Anything hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated
You might be asking “So Diane, what do I cook with now?”
- REPLACE liquid oils for cooking, baking, and eating with real butter, preferably grass-fed (or ghee if you need to remain strictly dairy-free), extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, animal fats from pastured animals (like bacon fat or schmaltz), or coconut oil (melt or store near heat to use as a liquid).
- REPLACE solid fats for cooking and baking with real butter, preferably grass-fed (or ghee if you need to remain strictly dairy-free), coconut oil (room temperature), lard or tallow from pasture-raised pigs or grass-fed cows, or palm shortening, organic and sustainably sourced.
The second activity today is to check your spices expiration dates – the potency of spices will deteriorate over time, and while they will not go bad or rancid, they'll simply not taste as fresh or potent. So I recommend tossing any that are 5 years or older, though I'd encourage you to use up any that are over a year old quickly!
Don't forget to make a note of any oils or spices that need replaced for the next time you place an online order or head to the store.
Day 3 – Tackle your freezer
Today you're going to tackle your freezer.
Remove everything (yes, everything!) and toss anything that's been lurking in there for over a year.
You'll be surprised by what you find! Before putting everything back, get your cleaning gloves on & use hot soapy water (we're going old-school here, but it's the best for a freezer-situation) to wipe down the inside.
Make a note of anything you're running low on or that needs replaced for the next time you're at the grocery store.
We'd highly recommend stashing some Balanced Bites Meals in there for those days when you need healthy food but are only staring at “ingredients” with little time to prep (and no desire to chop or clean up!).
Day 4 – Pantry day!
Let's take a look-see into your pantry today.
What does yours look like? Black hole? Mary Poppins' magic carpet bag? Hey, we get it, we all love food here so it's easy for things to pile up!
Like yesterday's freezer challenge, this will work best if you take everything (yup, everything) out of your pantry first before even beginning to think about reorganizing. As you're taking everything out, check for expiration dates, then start to sort the items according to the type of food. Nope, don't put them back in the pantry yet – you'll want to see everything in one place before putting anything back – just start creating piles: canned goods, pastas, jars, baking, toddler foods, snacks & sweets, etc.
Now that you have everything sorted, you can start putting everything back. Be strategic here – the items you reach for most often, place those at eye level or mid-level. Snacks & sweets you might not want to see every time you open your pantry?
Try keeping them in a basket or container up high, or behind other items so they're less easy to see – we all know how addictive a bag of Siete tortilla chips can be! Make a note of anything you're running low on or that needs replaced for your next online order or grocery store trip.
Need to re-stock spices? You know we'll recommend grabbing Balanced Bites Spices so you can “grab one jar” and season food easily and perfectly every time!
Day 5 – Re-stock day!
We hear you, yesterday’s challenge was a bit of a doozy. You might not be done yet. You might have not even started.
Whatever the case, take some time today or over the next few days – we promise, you’ll feel incredible once your pantry is organized! (For everyone who did complete the challenge, are we right?! Or are we right?! 😆)
Your challenge today is to create your list of all the items that need replenishing. You’ve been taking notes all week, so you should have a list started of what you need, and we created our Essential Clean Pantry List (with recommended brands!) to help you out as well – sign up for our Balanced Bites Insiders newsletter and we'll send you the download straight away!
Also, stay tuned for our blog post next week — we know it's tough (& stressful) to head to the stores these days, so we'll be sharing some of my favorite brands that you can order from directly online.
Want to take it up a notch? Complete all 12 days!
To receive a FREE printable of the challenge (& our Essential Pantry List that we talk about on day 5) sign up for our BB Insiders email list and we'll send you the PDF right away!