Useful tips for kitchen spring cleaning

Believe it or not, but warmer spring weather is near, meaning it’s time to prepare for spring cleaning.

No need to fear Michiganders, before you know it, the aromas of spring and the grill will soon be in the air. What a better time to clean out your kitchen for the new season! It’s a great way to cleanse yourself of old items you may have in your food pantry, cupboards and freezer:

  • While cleaning your pantry and/or cupboards, you want to throw out any items that are past their expiration dates. Cans that are dented should never be purchased, but if for whatever reason they make it into your pantry, throw them out. Re-arrange your pantry using the rotating idea, all of your newer items should be placed in the back. A helpful tip is to do a monthly inventory of your pantry/cupboards and try to keep a checklist. A stylish twist to your inventory check is to purchase a chalk board, hang it next to your pantry/cupboard and write down your pantry log with calendar reminders. This will help you decide if there are items that need to be used, and can guide your weekly meal planning. Planning ahead can save your family some money and prevent those last minute grocery trips.
  • Take a look inside your freezer. If you find yourself scratching your head and questioning what an item may be, throw it out. If you see items that look or smell funny, throw those out too. Abide by the general rule of “When in doubt, throw it out.” Foods can get freezer burn and absorb smells, and are generally not too tasty after spending a long time in the freezer. Foods you have in your freezer should be replenished on a regular basis, which is a great way to de-clutter the kitchen. Do not overload your freezer; this will help ensure proper temperature and storage. For more information on proper storage for frozen food, please reference the Food Safety and Dairy Division’s frozen food handout.

Michigan State University Extension offers various educational programs for adults, families, and children that focus on lifestyle changes to promote healthy eating and physical activity. For more health and nutrition tips, please visit

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