Giving Your Pantry a Spring Cleaning the Zero Waste Way

It’s that time of the year, you know, the one where you have to clean the entire house top to bottom. Spring cleaning can be therapeutic – and feels even better when it’s over and your house smells like cleaning supplies and fresh air after a long, dreary beginning of New England spring.

But I bet you never thought to clean out your pantry. And we don’t mean just wiping the cabinets and putting the food back. No, we are talking about making your cabinets into the Pinterest pantry of your dreams.

Taking food out of the packaging and putting them into labeled jars makes everything visually appealing and more organized too. You are able to see all the ingredients or products you are working with, and mason jars keep food fresh for a long time.

Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, it’s eco-friendly too. Once you have all your packages in the jars– and you enjoy the look and use of them– you can try shopping our bulk section instead. Bring your own cloth bags in and stock up on nuts, grains, and snacks from our bulk section near produce.

This way, you skip the packaging prices and do something good for the environment. It’s a win-win!

This pantry makeover requires a low budget, and a good chunk of time. So take our instructions with you, empty out all the food from your cabinets and get to work (skip watching that one Netflix episode, and burn some calories in the process). Your mind and your body will thank you.

How To Create A Pinterest Pantry: 

What you will need:

  • mason jars/any jar you want
  • silver sharpie or labels of your choice
  1. Take out all your bulk items that you can put into jars (ex. rice, oats, flour, nuts, seeds etc.) Set them
  2. Pull out everything else from your cabinets. You should now have a separation between small packaged snacks and bulk items.
  3. Check the date on everything. Yes, I mean everything. Toss what’s expired, I know it’s sad but it happens.
  4. Pour your bulk items into the jars of your choice. Use wide mouth/larger jars for things like flour so you are able to scoop them out without making a mess. If you use nut flours or alternative flours, they are best kept in the fridge.empty jars-2.jpg
  5. Now is the fun part, labeling your new jars! You can write on them with silver or black sharpie, or add stick-on labels which you can find online and print on decal paper. It’s all up to you on how you want to experiment with it. We tried out both below!DSC_0097-2.jpgwriting almonds-2.jpg
    6. Put your packed snacks into clear or metal containers, that way they are easy to slide out and dig through, without your cabinets being a jumbled mess of packaged snacks. Take a look at the end of this blog for some pantry examples with packaged foods!

    Add the jars to a shelf, or, if you love the look of your jars too much, add shelves to a small wall in your kitchen for some added decor. Place your labeled jars on display, or keep them tidy in your cabinet. Either way, your bulk foods will be much easier and more organized when you go to cook.

    When you need to refill, bring in a cloth bag to our bulk sections and stock up. They are located in the back wall of Lees Market to the left of produce, and in aisle 8 at Clements Market. If you reuse a cloth bag every time you fill up your pantry, you save money and the environment at the same time by not wasting plastic bags that end up getting tossed.


    Here are some examples from other bloggers on how you can label them!

    (from A Beautiful Mess)

    (from Manhattan Nest)

    pantry organization neat method pinterest pantry labels OXO pop containers-9.jpg(from Southern Curls & Pearls)

    mrs meyers pantry.jpg
    (from Mrs. Meyers)

Tag us in your pantry posts or you using our bulk section so we can share it. Also, let us know your tips and tricks for being more eco-friendly in your weekly grocery shop!


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