How To Spring Clean Your Kitchen

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 Ditch the processed, the winter indulgences and the ‘out-of-date’ and restock with fresh, minimally processed delights.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 Everything that is out of date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 Same rules apply in the pantry for anything out-of-date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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Lisa Donaldson, APD, M.Nutr&Diet, B.Edu
Lisa is the Lead Dietitian for 12WBT. With a Masters in Nutrition & Dietietics as well as a Bachelor of Education, Lisa is keen to help all 12 Weekers understand how to achieve health for life. Lisa studied Sports Dietetics at the Australian Institute of Sport and has a keen interest in gastrointestinal health. A highly regarded communicator, Lisa is a spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia, the ‘Dietitian in Residence’ at the University of Canberra and a lecturer at the Australian Defence Force Academy. She has also been an expert on ABC Television’s Ask the Dr Series.

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    1. I’ve loved being on every single round of 12WBT! The key, changing factor for me was the healthy diet which was yummy and filling and really helped me carry good habits forward. However, that’s before I started working full time. I now find it too difficult and exhausting to do the shopping and then cook. Is there hope that you’ll start a ‘healthy box’ service— that is, a delivery service with all the ingredients so we at least cut out the shopping bit? I noticed weight watchers is now doing it…. Hope it’s on the 12WBT horizon!!

    2. Hi Michelle, congrats on your ptegnancy first! I would like to know what do i do when my son and his girlfriend have so much “quick meals” and chips rubbish in the cupbuard and fridge freezer. And it is too tempting for me? i eat healthier! Well the past few mths. It is so tempting for me? Thanks Michelle

      1. Hi Chanel,

        On behalf of Michelle, it’s Leila here from the 12WBT Support Crew 🙂

        Perhaps you can ask for their help? Ask them to try to support you by eating the same meals as you, either by not keeping the food they eat in the house or by asking them to keep that food somewhere else. It’s tough but remember why you are making positive changes to your eating habits. Always come back to the reasons you’re on this journey and it will become much easier to resist ‘temptation’. Affirmations are always helpful as well, for example “I am choosing to nourish by body with healthy foods” or “I am in control and excited about my healthy future”. Good luck Chanel! We’ve got your back.

        12WBT Support Crew

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