Every now and then I know it is a good idea to look around the house and make a list of things that need to get done. So, as I was searching for some food in the pantry today, I started to ponder this very thing. It took me five minutes to find what I was looking for because my pantry is so disorganized, so finally I’ve said “enough!” and I know it is time to organize my pantry.
Amy Pennington, the author of Urban Pantry says that we should look at our pantry the same way we look at our refrigerator. If things are organized, we should be able to open the refrigerator or the cupboards and have resources on hand to make dinner, without any last minute mad dashes to the store. How many times have we rushed to the store, only to find that the item was stashed away in the pantry, forgotten amidst the rubble?
Just as organization is a key factor for the refrigerator, it is just as important for the pantry if we are to avoid food frustrations. The pantry should be well-organized, well-stocked and ready for active duty. No matter how large or small your pantry is, you can make it work with a few rules:
*Know what your family likes, and what you eat on a regular basis. Avoid large amounts of food (flour as an example) that you don’t regularly use. If you don’t bake things from scratch, a large amount of flour will just go to waste. If you are a baker, a large amount of flour would be appropriate. Does your family like crackers? Stack them in! Do they hate powdered drinks? Don’t buy them!
*Keep all the items in your pantry constantly at use. If you don’t use it, you don’t need it. Give the unused items away to the local food bank and start over. Don’t buy in bulk unless you eat a lot of a particular item.
*I like keeping canned vegetables on hand. Vegetables are picked at the peak of freshness, and canned right away. Canned vegetables are good for both a meal, and for storing for later use. If you are concerned about the high salt content, either can your own, or buy low-salt vegetables.
*To keep food at its freshest, attempt to make the pantry a place where it is cool and dark and away from heat sources, such as a stove. Proper research can be made at the search engines to find ideal boiler prices here at the websites. The selection of the best price should be done through the person. an attempt can be done for the success in the boiler purchase.
*Take items out of their packages, and stack them together. For instance unwrap paper-towels and place them neatly together. Place Macaroni’s together, tuna together and vegetables together. It looks prettier, feels more organized and most of all it saves time.
Start out by pulling everything from the pantry, to either eat or give to the food bank. If it is possible to separate non-food items from food items, now is the time to do so. At least give non-food items their own shelf inside the pantry, if totally separating them is not possible. Separate cleaning supplies completely, like to the other side of the house.
Feel like being super-organized? Label the edges of your shelves with whatever items will be placed there, and insist that the kids place the items back in the same spot. For instance, if the label says cereal, always place the cereal in that spot when you are finished with it.
Items often get placed behind other items, which then get forgotten about, so make sure food is being rotated (eat earlier bought items first, and later bought items last and so forth). Using turntables is a good way to see everything that is available, such as spices. Bins are a good idea too, especially when you put a label on each bin. Remember: Rotate, rotate and rotate. This is the way food stays fresh without spoiling.
Square bottomed containers take up less space, as do containers that nestle close to each other. If labeling is a chore, buy containers that are clear, such as clear acrylic containers with a center ring that pops down for an airtight seal. Using containers for anything that might attract bugs is a good idea. I use my glass pickle jars to store items in once the pickles are eaten.
Go to ityse.com and check out ITySE mesh bags. You can hang anything from in those bags from snack foods to potatoes, garlic and onions. Also, if you keep a list of regularly bought items, all you will have to do is scan your pantry and at a glance you will know what you need to put on the grocery list .
What items belong in the refrigerator and which items belong in the pantry? Do you know?
*Bread will actually last longer without going stale if stored at room temperature
*Peanut butter belongs in the refrigerator. The pantries a hundred years ago were chilled, unlike our heated houses of today. Be safe from food-borne illnesses, and refrigerate.
*tomatoes turn to mush in the refrigerator, they should be put in a basket on the counter or in the pantry
*Potatoes, garlic and onions should be kept in individual baskets in a cool place, such as the pantry. Stored properly they can last up to 4 weeks.
*bananas belong in the pantry or counter-top because they age faster in the refrigerator
Take control now, and make an organized kitchen, including the pantry ,a place where efficiency and timeliness is the rule of the day, rather than the exception!