Organizing your pantry has countless benefits, but one of our favorite reasons to invest the time and energy into organizing a pantry is how much easier it is for everyone in the family to eat a healthy diet. Trying a new diet or changing your behaviors around what you eat requires more than just meal planning and motivation to be successful. Actually, setting up your environment to work for you matters more when you’re trying to change your habits! Author James Clear echoes this sentiment in his book, Atomic Habits, where he talks about designing a better environment to increase success. Let’s apply it to organizing your pantry…

  • Subtract negative influences – With any pantry organizing project, begin by grouping your food together by category and checking expiration dates so you can throw out or donate expired food (some food pantries will take unopened expired food, so check with your local food pantry). While categorizing your food, separate anything you deem unhealthy or processed so it’s separated from the rest of your food. When you organize the whole foods back into the pantry, place the foods you want to eat on the eye-level shelf while moving the unhealthy foods like chips, sweets, and baked goods on a higher, out-of-reach shelf. Depending on your kid’s age, it might be easier for you to store their grab-and-go snacks on the bottom shelf in a divided turntable.
  • Automate good decisions – If your family is trying to eat a diet with more whole foods and less processed foods, you have to make it easy to find whole foods in your pantry! After you’ve placed the whole foods on an eye-level shelf, you might consider decanting some of the rice, grains, and pasta to make it easy to see. Decanting food is something that does require extra steps after you unload groceries every week, but for certain lifestyle changes it can be worth it to take the extra few minutes to decant into clear jars. Pro tip: Buy BPA-free plastic containers if you want your kids to help with dinner time! You may also consider adding the cook times or expiration date on the bottom with a chalk marker. Another idea to automate meal prep is to set up bins for specific recipes you will make every week. For example, if you want to make protein muffins or protein balls on a weekly basis, try grouping all of the ingredients together in a bin so all you have to do is grab one bin when you want to make them vs. searching the pantry for all the ingredients every week!
  • Get in the flow – Lastly, you want to ensure that these good decisions will fit into your family’s daily routine. Perhaps you are interested in making smoothies for everyone in the morning or taking daily supplements and vitamins. Consider storing your blender in the pantry next to your smoothie ingredients (think: chia seeds, flax seeds, protein powder, etc.). You can store all of the ingredients in a bin and simply grab the bin and blender when you’re ready to make a smoothie. For supplements, it’s best to place those in a spot that you frequent daily. If you consider yourself a coffee lover, a coffee station in the kitchen is a great spot for supplements but if you’re not a big coffee drinker, a cabinet near the fridge or sink would work well too as you likely frequent those areas of the kitchen daily.

By making these small changes to your pantry, you’ll be well on your way to seamlessly integrating new, healthy eating habits! Come follow me on Instagram for more organizing tips or to learn more about what we do visit our website!