Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pantry Procrastination

I have been putting my pantry off for a while but when I found these plastic lids to the cans that I already had it seemed like the perfect opportunity to finally do something about it.

The first thing I did was give all the items in my pantry a category.

- Baking, Except for flours which I store in a separate drawer for easy reach.
- Grains, I have about 15 different kinds that I use for cooking.
- Canned goods, and this includes every type.
- Snacks for kids
- Sweet Treats for the Adults
- Boxed things that don't fall into the previous categories.
- Packages that don't stand up need to be put in square baskets.

Next, I organized all the neat things like boxes and then the packaged things, which mostly contained snacks that had to be put in plastic baskets. I determined the best places for them and put them on shelves based on use. I did the canned things and bottled things. I had a lot, and the cans worked well in the pantry but things like spices, oils and vinegars did better in a cabinet. I also had a bunch of sweet, sugary stuff that did better in a basket and further away from the children.

Now comes the reason for this post, filling those jars. Before I could never remember what I had in comparison to what I didn't. Bags that were taped and placed on top of the other was not an organization method I could work with so this was an improvement and now I know why.
I had.....

- brown and red lentils
- white and brown rice
- white and red beans
- corn meal
- Bulgar wheat
- Corn meal, or polenta
- oats and cream of wheat
- whole wheat and white spaghetti
- linguine and other dry pastas
- Chow Mien noodles
- Pearl Barley the grains and wheat section.

I had.....

- white, dark, milk and semi-sweet chocolate chips.
- Almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, peanuts and sunflower seeds
- raisins, cranberries and currants
- dark and light brown, white and powdered sugars
- cornstarch and baking powder
- cocoa powder
- unsweetened and sweetened coconut
- rapid and active yeast the baking section.

Well that does it, and as I expand my methods in the kitchen I am sure my pantry will continue to grow. What I have found is that I am able to look inside and see what areas need to be filled when I prepare my grocery list for the week.

This was simply my side of my kitchen so thank you for letting me share. If this sounds like something you want to do in your pantry I bought the lids at Fred Meyers and they were under four dollars for a box of 8.

Organizing, hope.

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