5 Ways to Get Your Kitchen Ready for Spring

200512920-001Spring is finally here! After a long winter, it’s time to  enjoy the warmth of the bright sunshine while you marvel at the gorgeous array of fragrant Spring flowers. You might have already started to organize your closet in anticipation of the mild spring weather. But have you organized your kitchen recently? Spring is a great time to get your kitchen organized so you can prepare and eat healthy foods. Let’s get started!

1) Clean out your refrigerator and freezer

When was the last time you cleaned out your fridge? You might have simply wiped off spills and thrown out a few expired items, but now is the time to “Spring clean” your refrigerator. Take everything out and clean off the shelves (and bins) with warm, soapy water. Next, dry off the shelves with a clean cloth. Keep your refrigerated items in a cooler while you clean (to keep everything safe and cool). Before you put the perishable foods away, make sure the refrigerator temperature is under 40 degrees F. Toss out old, expired items. Place a “refrigerator-friendly” baking soda freshener in the back of the refrigerator to capture lingering odors.

2) Time to restock!
Make a detailed shopping list(using an app or written list) before you head out to the grocery store. Remember if you “overstock” your shelves, you’ll probably wind up wasting food. Buy what you need to prepare healthy and nutritious (pre-planned) meals. You’ll save money and stay within your calorie, carbohydrate and nutrient budget! Check out this article on to learn how to save even more money while shopping on .

3) Group “like-items” together
Think like a librarian. Children’s books are in one section, while romance novels are in another. Keep condiments and sauces together (perhaps on a Lazy Susan or on shelf on the door). If you have diabetes, keep your snacks together in a clear labeled bin or basket. This way, you can easily locate a “carb-counted” snack when you want one.

4) Keep fruits and vegetables in separate drawers
Some fruits and vegetables give off ethylene gas, which speeds up the ripening process. If you store your veggies and fruits together, some may spoil before their time. Store produce in perforated bags. You can also punch holes in plastic bags (about an inch apart) Don’t wash your vegetables until you’re ready to use them, as this will extend their shelf life. Check out the delicious and seasonal fresh produce at Costco.

5) Clean off your counters
Do you keep piles of newspapers, bills and clipping all over your kitchen counter-tops? Don’t let your clean up effort overwhelm you. Start by organizing your papers into piles. Toss what you don’t need (including expired coupons or junk mail). Once you have usable counter-space, you can start to prepare healthy meals.

Spring is the perfect time to organize and re-stock your kitchen. If you want more organizing tips, please check out “The Complete Diabetes Organizer: Your Guide to a Less Stressful and More Manageable Diabetes Life“, Spry Publishing 2013. What will you do to start organizing your kitchen this Spring? Please share your comments.

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Susan Weiner, MS RDN CDE CDN is a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator and Certified Dietitian/Nutritionist with a private practice in New York. Her dual masters degree in Applied Physiology and Nutrition has afforded her the opportunity to practice as a nutritionist and exercise physiologist.


She is the author of “The Complete Diabetes Organizer: Your Guide to a Less Stressful and More Manageable Diabetes Life”, Spry Publishing, 2013. This is the first “how-to” book on diabetes organization.


Susan is the recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Alumna Award by SUNY Oneonta, where she attended undergraduate school. This award is presented to a SUNY Oneonta graduate for significant accomplishments in his or her personal and professional life and distinguished community service.

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