How To Spring Clean Your Kitchen

Nutrition // Lisa Donaldson, APD, M.Nutr&Diet, B.Edu

Spring is here, which means one thing: spring cleaning! Trust us, it’s not just for your wardrobe. We can bet your kitchen may need a little cleaning out too!

One of the best things you can do this spring is in fact clean up, and I’m not just talking about your wardrobe. It’s time to delve into the depths of your vegetable crisper, the overcrowded freezer and the dark corners of the pantry. If you want to feel fabulous this spring (and summer) it’s time to overhaul the kitchen and give it a spring clean. Ditch the processed, the winter indulgences and the ‘out-of-date’ and restock with fresh, minimally processed delights.

Where to start? Grab a bin and get ready to be ruthless. It is time to ditch (or pass on) the following items.

First stop: the fridge and freezer


  1. Old vegetables and fruit looking grey, bendy or mouldy
  2. Everything that is out of date
  3. Bottles and jars of sauces, condiments, spreads and pastes that you haven’t used in twelve months
  4. Deli and processed meats and fresh cheeses that you bought over a month ago 
  5. Items you bought for a party that were opened but not consumed (old dips, quince pastes, antipasto vegies, salami) and have been lurking in the side door for eternity
  6. Frozen foods that have gathered ice crystals and are stuck to the walls because they have been there for years!
  7. Items that contain a chemistry list of ingredients
  8. Anything you bought to try (ie. that trendy ‘miracle’ food) but thought tasted awful and you know you won’t actually consume
  9. Clean, wipe, spray and wash all surfaces

Also read: 10 Meal Prep Tips for Busy Parents


  1. Fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables. Your vegetable crisper should be a kaleidoscope of colour ready for salads, stir fries and BBQs
  2. Skim milk and natural yoghurt
  3. Fresh lean proteins like chicken breasts, trimmed pork steaks, steak and Premium beef/kangaroo or turkey mince
  4. One tub of hummus to use as a spread or as a veggie stick snack
  5. A small block of cheese
  6. Fresh eggs
  7. Fresh herbs, garlic and ginger

Second stop: the pantry


  1. Same rules apply in the pantry for anything out-of-date
  2. Ditch anything you’ve had forever (old spices, packets of white flour, etc.)
  3. Say goodbye to sugary cereals, multiple packets of biscuits, lollies, box of ‘Family Favourite’ gift chocolates, old bottles of coffee and hot chocolates packed with sugar or excessive artificial sweeteners
  4. Ditch old bottles of oil, sauces and spreads
  5. Ditch sodium packed cans of soup, or powdered soups
  6. Goodbye packets of salty chips and white crackers
  7. Excess packets of opened white rice and pasta
  8. Reorganise the shelves


  1. Some new dried herbs or spices (only the ones you use frequently)
  2. Swap all the white flour, rice and pasta for wholemeal or brown
  3. Replace sugary cereals with untoasted muesli and rolled oats
  4. Enjoy some dark chocolate, dried dates and figs for a sweet treat
  5. Freshen up your coffee supply and try cacao instead of sugary milk
  6. Grab some wholegrain crackers and crispbreads
  7. Consider trying some quinoa or freekeh as new grain options
  8. Purchase some lovely fresh oils and vinegar for salads

This process isn’t an easy one, but it is well worth it. By loading up your kitchen with wholesome, minimally processed food items (and less processed junk) you will be more likely to eat well and get in shape for spring and summer.

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