Monday, February 17, 2014

Organizing Food: Part 1

Organizing FoodI ran completely out of ranch dressing a few weeks ago. While this may not be a big deal to lots of people, for me it was almost an emergency! I love ranch dressing and I use it on a lot of different things. Like I do whenever anything runs out, I put it on my grocery list and then I bought it that next week on "grocery day".

The next day I was looking for something in my "pantry", which some of you may know is actually in the office closet when low and behold, I found a new, extra bottle of ranch. Unfortunately, I had already opened the one I bought from the store the day before, talk about a tragedy. :( This really upset me because I don't like to waste food and one way I cut down on waste is by using things in order of their expiration date.

Because of this ranch situation, I decided it was time to go through, clean out, and re-organize my food cabinet in the kitchen and the pantry in the other room. This is part 1, where I will work primarily on the food in my kitchen. I will focus part 2 on the "pantry" in the office.

I started in the kitchen with the lazy Susan in the corner where I keep the non-perishable food. This is what it looked like at the start:

It may not look that bad, but for it was hard to find things. Sometimes I'd have to turn the whole shelf multiple times before I found what I was looking for. Other times I'd turn the whole shelf twice, not see what I was looking for and then I'd turn the bottom shelf twice, not see it there either and then see it on the top shelf right where I had looked to begin with. Canned goods were not with other canned goods. Unopened and opened food and jars of peanut butter and snacks were all jumbled together. Sometimes it was hard to remember if I had an open jar already or not so I'd open a new one only to find the other one later.

I took everything out and organized it, putting open food in one area and unopened food in another:

This spread is everything from the entire cabinet. I did find 2 cans of the exact same kind of cashews open, so I combined them. Otherwise, not too many duplicates of opened food this time around.
Then I wiped out the cabinet and started putting food back. I focused first on putting back things that were already open. Everything open, except the container with instant potatoes (don't judge) went on the top shelf so it's easy to access. All the canned goods and boxed, unopened food went on the bottom shelf. A few things got moved to the "pantry" in the office. Here is the cabinet after I put stuff back:

After getting it all re-organized and putting like with like, I ended up with about 1/2 shelf on both shelves that are currently empty.
Tune in for part 2 (coming soon), where I will organize the food in my "pantry" in the office and possibly move things around again!


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