A Peek Inside My Organized Pantry…

One of my absolute favorite spots in my home is my pantry. 1. Because I love food. 2. Because I love organized food. 3. Because with these staple pantry items I can simply throw a healthy meal together in no time.

The question I get most often is what items should I have in my pantry to eat healthy? It can be very overwhelming to know what to buy and have on hand. These are the items that I always keep stocked because I use them most often. Plus y’all know I like to save money and since I frequently use these items, I save money by only purchasing them when they are on sale. That way when I am meal planning or making a recipe, I am prepared and don’t have to make special trips to the store and possibly have to pay full price for an ingredient.

 

My Organized Pantry - www.eatcleanlivesimple.com

 

I got lucky when a local spice store was going out of business and they were selling all their glass jars. I bought about 20 of them and they work perfectly in my pantry. I also like to up-cycle and have saved old glass jars from salad dressings to use to store my seeds. I prefer glass over plastic, because glass does not contain BPA, so I encourage you to save and clean out your used jars to create this look. And of course no pantry organization is complete without my best friend, my label-maker. Be sure to read all the way to the bottom of this post where I share all my tips to achieve an organized pantry.

 

My Organized Pantry - www.eatcleanlivesimple.com

 

I love the clean and organized look that clear jars give a pantry. You can look right into the jars to not only see exactly what you have, but how much you have left. I do have another cabinet that I keep a back supply of the items that I stock up on when they are on sale. That way when something is getting low, I can easily fill it up.

 

My Organized Pantry - www.eatcleanlivesimple.com

 

Nuts        

Nuts are awesome to have on hand. I love throwing them into recipes for added protein and fiber, and they are also incredible snacks to help curb hunger in between meals. Nuts are packed with vitamins and nutrients and have been linked to lowering cholesterol and better heart health.

Tip: Try adding nuts to your favorite salad for added flavor and texture.

Nuts:

  • Cashews
  • Almonds
  • Pecans
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts
  • Peanuts

 

My Organized Pantry - www.eatcleanlivesimple.com

My Organized Pantry - www.eatcleanlivesimple.com

 

Beans

Beans Beans they’re good for your heart, the more you eat the more you…put them in your cart. LOL you thought I was going to say something else didn’t you? But beans really are amazing in so many ways. Not only are they loaded with protein, but they also are digested slowly which helps stabilize your blood glucose levels. These nutrient packed legumes are also super affordable, and for those living on a budget beans go a long way.

Tip: Try to mostly use dry beans, but when time isn’t on your side, be sure to have your canned beans stocked as well.

I love the Simple Truth Organic canned beans because of the ingredients, they are simple – water, beans, sea salt.

Beans (Dry & Canned):

 

My Organized Pantry - www.eatcleanlivesimple.com

 

Seeds

Seeds may be tiny, but they are mighty when it comes to nutrition. They are perfect to add to salads or your own trail mix. My favorite seeds are chia seeds and I add them to my morning smoothies everyday. Chia seeds are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, plus give you protein, fiber, calcium, they’re packed with antioxidants and are a great detox for your body.

Tip: Up-cycle old salad dressing bottles, making the perfect container to store and pour your seeds when needed.

Seeds:

 

Dry Foods

Dry Foods are also important to have on hand. Dried fruit especially makes great snacks. (My husband is obsessed with the dried papaya, he claims it taste just like swedish fish!) You can find a lot of these items in the bulk foods sections at Whole Foods, and some Kroger stores have also started a bulk foods section. Quinoa is a must in our household. Many times when I don’t feel like being creative in the kitchen, roasting some vegetables and serving on top of quinoa can pull a healthy and easy meal together in no time.

Tip: There are so many options for dried snacks, but be sure you read the labels, often you will see added sugar to items that don’t need it and you can usually find a similar option without the sugar.

Dry Foods:

 

Oils

Healthy oils are essential for cooking. I recommend extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil. I also have local honey on hand to add to tea or to use as a sweetener instead of added sugars. Broths are also great to keep on hand for those quick and easy crockpot meals.

Tip: Buy a large container of coconut oil. It costs around $24, but lasts us about 2 months and you get more bang for your buck with the larger jar.

Oils & (Liquids):

 

Cans & Jars

There are also a variety of other essential pantry items that I always have on hand. Tomato sauce and paste to use as a base to make homemade sauce. Also, many crockpot meals – soups and chilis call for these ingredients so it is important to always have these items stocked. Also tahini, this is used to make homemade hummus and stir-fry. And of course salsa, because who doesn’t love salsa.

Tip: I love making my own homemade pasta sauce to put over zoodles (zucchini noodles), but it is always good to have back ups and have some healthy pre-made sauce on hand for those quick dinners.

Cans & Jars:

 

My Organized Pantry - www.eatcleanlivesimple.com

 

Spices

Spices are simply a must. They are what can transform your meal from bland and boring to delicious and indulging. It took me a while to get comfortable with using spices (a lot of spices). We grow basil, oregano, and cilantro and I love fresh spices, but you definitely need to have dry spices on hand. But beware of spice “blends” most of the time these are laced with natural flavorings and chemicals. You can usually make your own blend using a combination of spices. There is however one exception to this rule in our household. My husband is from Maryland and he puts Old Bay on everything! And I mean everything. That is something I have learned to accept. (I mean did I really have a choice?)

Tip: Experiment with spices and flavors on chicken. Everyone has different taste buds and you need to explore to see what flavors make your mouth water. Cut up some chicken and use a different spice on each section, this will help you get comfortable with tastes and flavoring.

Another Tip: Whole Foods has a new bulk spice section and I am in love with it. It is so much more affordable to buy organic spices in bulk.

Spices:

  • Garlic Powder
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Chili Powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Cumin
  • Onion Powder
  • Paprika
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Old Bay

 

Essential Oils

Essential Oils are also frequently used in our household and in our kitchen. I use dōTERRA essential oils I love adding a drop of Citrus Bliss into our green smoothies in the morning or a drop of lemon into hot water or tea. There are many many many uses of oils and I honestly could not live without them.

Tip: Don’t have a lime? Use a drop of lime essential oil in your beer.

Essential Oils (ones I use to cook with):

  • Lime
  • Lemon
  • Citrus Bliss

 

My Organized Pantry - www.eatcleanlivesimple.com

 

To create an Organized Pantry, here are some additional tips:

  1. Up-cycle or purchase stackable clear containers.
  2. Clearly label your jars for easy reference.
  3. Group items by type so you know exactly where to find an item.
  4. Purchase a tiered rack for your spices, cans, or jars to maximize space and visibility.
  5. Strategically place the items you use most frequently low and accessible.
  6. Don’t let your husband put your groceries away. (hehe)

(Okay that last tip was a joke, but if you create a system together with your spouse and family giving every item a place, they should easily be able to help themselves to items and put them back where they’ve found them. It may take practice and patience, but remember kind reminders will eventually turn into routines for everyone.)

 

Thank you for taking a look inside my organized pantry. By having a stocked and organized pantry it makes grocery shopping easy. Each week I buy my fresh produce and meat for my meals and any other staple items that are getting low (if they are on sale). When you create an organized and balanced pantry you have a sense of zen in the kitchen. Cooking doesn’t seem as much of a chore when you are at peace with the ingredients you are using. I love opening my pantry and knowing what we are putting into our bodies and that gives us reason to smile. I like to think my jars are smiling back at me.

 

 


How to Keep Your Day Organized

How to Keep You Day Organized - www.eatcleanlivesimple.com

 

I love organization and making lists, probably one of my favorite things to do. And as much as I love technology and my iPhone, there is something about writing things down and checking them off that I still love. Having a busy schedule, I use to find it hard to stay focused and productive without feeling overwhelmed. I would spin and spin, not knowing where to start or what was most important to get done from my monster to do list. I needed a simpler way so I created my Daily Action Sheet and it is my favorite tool I use!  I seriously do not know what I would do each day without it. Every night before I go to bed, I create my Daily Action Sheet for the next day. This allows me to dump all the thoughts in my head onto paper which helps me sleep without all the things I need to do the next day still on my mind. I feel good going to bed with an action plan for the next day. Eating a clean diet and weekly meal planning also takes time, so it is so important for me to be organized. This tool has allowed me to be more productive, organized, and accomplished on a day to day basis.

 

Here it is the Daily Action Sheet:

How to Keep You Day Organized - www.eatcleanlivesimple.com

 

Pretty neat huh? I print off about a weeks worth of Daily Action Sheets and then hole punch them with my Levenger Hole Punch and pop them into my Levenger Notebook (one of my favorite things ever!) But you can print them and keep them on your desk, put on your refrigerator, or whatever is most convenient for you. My Levenger Notebook goes everywhere with me, so my Daily Action Sheet is always assessable to be updated throughout the day.

 

Description of the Daily Action Sheet Sections:

Work life and personal life must be balanced and up top of the Daily Action Sheet you can see I separate out these two categories, Work To Do and Personal To Do. I think it is important to keep these categories separate so you can focus on work while at work and personal while at home (or on your lunch break). Notice I have 1-10 under each of these, I write out the 10 most important things to do that day. For my master to do list (which is way longer than 10 things by the way) I love the app Wunderlist, but I like to write down the top priorities that I know I need to get done that day.

Below that you will see Emails/Calls For The Day, that way I know who I need to return a call or email to. Also, I recently added the To Discuss area which had been super helpful. Throughout the day I often think of things that I need to talk to Steve about, but know I can’t always call during work, so it goes here and then when we get home at night I know what topics need to be discussed.

I like spreading out my organizing and cleaning throughout the week so on the weekends I am not drowning in cleaning. So I have a goal to clean or organize 3 things a day, whether that be cleaning out my purse, putting laundry away, cleaning out the fridge, etc. I find this to be a great system to keep on top of clutter.

Errands for the day, that is pretty self-explanatory, but it is good to write them down. There have been many times that I needed to run out to several places, only to pull into my driveway and realize I forgot a stop while I was out. This helps eliminate forgetting where you have to go. I also find it helpful to write next to the place what it is that needs to be done there, whether that is a return, to use coupon, etc.

I meal plan and grocery shop on the weekends, but it is always nice to see what our plan in for dinner on my Daily Action Sheet. It also helps me if I need to prep in the morning for dinner or throw food in the crock pot before I leave for work.

My favorite little corner on the bottom left is what holds me accountable for my health. I don’t know how many times I have forgotten to take my vitamins or forgotten that I’ve already taken my vitamins…luckily I haven’t gotten high on probiotics. In addition to vitamins, it also helps me track my water intake, if I’ve exercised, and if I’ve reached my step goal for the day (I use a fit bit and check a box for every 1,000 steps I take). I also love my Today I Feel section where I can hopefully circle the smiley face every day 🙂

And last but not least is my schedule on the right. I copy down what is on my iCal the night before or as things throughout the day pop up. Again, I have this on my phone, but putting all these things together on my Daily Action Sheet is the perfect snapshot of my day to make sure I have my plan to have the best day I can have.

My Daily Action Sheet is exactly what I need to keep my day organized. I am giving you a free download below if you would like to use it. Or you can always tweak this to fit your daily needs. Everyone is different and the important thing is to remember is to find a system that works for you.

So what do you think? Do you think this Daily Action Sheet would work for you? What are some other ways you keep your day organized?

Download your own Daily Action Sheet Here:  Daily Action Sheet