Guest Author - Carol M. Olmstead
When spring fever strikes and you start to clean your house and clear out old energy, it's also good Feng Shui to pay attention to your pantry and the cabinets where you store food. In Feng Shui a clean, food-filled pantry represents the center of family life and a symbol of good health and continuing prosperity.
First, remove all the cleaning products out of your pantry or the cabinets and shelves where you store food. In Feng Shui, when cleaning products and food are stored together it symbolizes cleaning away your good health. This includes brooms, mops, buckets, and the vacuum cleaner. Instead, store these under the sink, in the laundry room, or in a separate closet that you set up for only cleaning products and supplies. And be sure you avoid storing the trash or cat liter in the pantry.
Next, remove everything from your pantry, wipe the shelves, and get rid of anything that is expired or anything that has been around too long. Replace old spices, nuts, and oils, and refill your canisters with new flour, sugar, rice, and coffee. Here are some general guidelines for how long you should keep things in your pantry.
Ground Spices – 6 months
Grinding spices exposes them to oxygen, which causes the flavor to fade and the nutrients to be reduced. If you hate the idea of throwing away unused spices, consider replacing them with whole spices that you can grind yourself in a spice mill or coffee grinder whenever you need them. Whole spices can stay on your shelves up to two years.
Flour – 3 months to 1 year
Whole wheat flour may be healthier than white flour, but keep in mind it spoils much faster, so don’t buy more than you can use in three months. To extend the life of flour remove it from the pantry and instead store it in a sealed canister in the fridge for up to six months, or freeze it for about a year.
Nuts – 3-6 months
Nuts and nut oils can turn rancid quickly, so be sure to check the expiration date carefully. It's safest to get rid of partially used bottles of oil before they expire.
Olive Oil – 6 months
Olive oil is especially healthful, but it can degrade quickly so only buy what you can use in 6 months or less.
While you are giving your pantry a good spring cleaning, don’t forget the other place where you store your food, the refrigerator. And don't just clean out the interior of the fridge, also be sure to pay attention to the exterior by updating old photos and children’s drawings, removing forgotten shopping lists, and replacing the old take-out menus you have on the fridge door.
Treat yourself to a new pair of oven mitts or potholders to replace the burnt ones.
And finally, get out a broom and thoroughly sweep the pantry and kitchen floor to make room for good energy. Be sure to sweep out toward the door to the room instead of into the room to symbolically move any old energy out of your pantry and your kitchen.
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