Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Organized Kitchen

Last week our ward had an Enrichment where we prepared our own freezer meals and went to a class taught by a Professional Organizer in our ward, Sandy Jones. I tried to take a few notes and thought I'd put them on our recipe blog. I'm not sure how often I'll refer back to them, but I wanted to keep them handy JUST IN CASE. She mentioned a lot of cool storage products she uses, so I'm sure I'll want to remember the names of them. Below are just a few notes.

The User Friendly Fridge
Rid the Rank:
- Check expiration dates.
- If you have six bottles of different types of mustard, narrow it down to one or two bottles that are used most often.
Plan the Space:
- Educate yourself on what foods belong in the fridge. For example, potatoes, onions, garlic, and squash last longer outside of the fridge.
- Plan food quadrants: keep ready-to-eat/grab foods in one quadrant.
- Never put eggs, milk, or any food that easily spoils in the door - that is the warmest place in the fridge.
Misc Tips:
- Store foods in clear containers (So you can see what's inside. Nobody will bother checking what's inside a mystery container).
- Containers should be square or rectangle to take better advantage of space. Circle containers waste space.
- Use labels on containers and date them. Leftovers should generally be used or thrown-out after 3 days.
- Invest if quality, clear airtight container. (Tupperware favorite: "Modular Mates"-stackable, consistent, "FridgeSmart" - keeps lettuce and berries fresher for up to 2 weeks).

The Practical Pantry
A Clean Slate:
- Clean out messes.
- Check expiration dates. Put items that will expire sooner near the front so they'll be used before others.
- Limit pantry space to foods and paper products.
- If you're going to put things in your pantry floor, put them on a rollable cart so you can pull it out and sweep under it.
My Own Grocery Store:
- Use tiered shelves so you can show cans in the back (but buy Expandable Jumbo Size).
- Put like-items together, like at the store. (Soups, Fruit, Tomato Sauce, etc./Pastas/Breakfast Items/Snack Items/Baking Items, etc)
Creating Extra Space:
- The "Elfa" Door System can hang on door without causing any damage to it. Creates a lot more space in your pantry.
Getting Fresh:
- Keep a list/inventory of odd/unusual products in your pantry (i.e. olives, green chiles, pumpkin).
Misc Tips:
- Label containers.
- Store products in STACKABLE items. You can't stack cute baskets, therefore you aren't taking full advantage of your space.
- "Akrobins" by Tupperware.

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