One way to stay focused on our wellness goals is to take a few hours to tackle….the PANTRY! (cue the scary music here).

What do you see when you open your pantry?  Are there neatly organized baskets and canisters, labeled and filled with healthy options, a.k.a. (Pinterest Worthy Goals)…..OR Are there opened bags of chips leaving grease marks on the shelves?  Are there cookie boxes next to expired jars of peanut butter?  (Been there; done that!) Is your pantry a space that brings you peace and calm; or stress and frustration?

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Let’s think, for a minute, about grocery store shelves.  Research is conducted and many dollars are spent on the perfect placement of every item that appears on a store shelf.  Store managers have a 4-tiered strategy:  

  • Top Shelf: Smaller or regional brands, and gourmet options

  • Bull’s-Eye Zone: Best sellers

  • Kid’s Eye-Level Shelf: Kid appeal

  • Bottom Shelf: Store brands, bulk items

The grocery store method is tried and true, so why not mimic it in your own pantry?  The way our kitchens and pantries are set up can really help determine our success with following a nutrition plan. 

  1. The first step is usually a little cleaning out of expired items, stale items, or items that might cause you to stumble.  Just toss them. 

  2. Next, place your little goodies on the top shelf.  Things like dark chocolate, treats, specialty granolas, pancake mixes, and sweeteners; things you are going to have to intentionally reach and stretch to get to…not your easy grabs. 

  3. Your Bull’s-Eye Zone is where your staples should be placed.  In my kitchen, those shelves contain things that I use daily like: nuts and seeds, quinoa and farro, lentils, beans, seed crackers, cartons of chicken and veggie stocks and soups, bars, kale chips, oats and loads of apples and pears.  I need to see, right in front of me, my best options so that I don’t go searching the dark corners for other, less healthy options. 

  4. My Kid Shelf is a large, basket in the bottom of the pantry that can be easily accessed….things like trail mix, protein bars, organic sweet treats, and bags of popcorn.

  5. The bottom shelves contain cereals and flours; things that we don’t use a ton of like pastas and rice, or baking items. 

  6. My spices are lined up in labeled glass shakers near the stove, rather than stuffed in a dark cabinet.  This way, I can actually use them when I cook instead of forgetting about them. 

Bottom line is: when I’m hungry, I don’t want to search…which often leads to frustration, which can then lead to a less than healthy choice. Your pantry is like any other space in your house…organization turns frustration into success; and chaos into clarity.  

Wanna share pics of your pretty pantry?? Post on FB or Insta, and then tag me!

FB: @ lifebyloriz & Instagram: @life_by_loriz

Happy Pantry Purging!