Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Organizing -- How Food Storage Fits In My Kitchen?

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Organizing our food storage was the challenge for January.  Click HERE if you missed that post. Now it's time to move out of the storage room and into my kitchen.  Organization is still a big part of my food storage in my kitchen.  Organization, and having a method to my madness, allows me to keep up with my inventory, and it also enables me to cook and use the food before it expires.  

 In one corner of my kitchen I have a dedicated cooking area which allows me to prep meals/bake, and not have to walk around the kitchen to gather what I need.  It is where I have all the measuring spoons/cups, spices, cookbooks that I use most often, mixers, flour, sugars, etc.  I make my bread here, put together dinner here, and pretty much all other food gets made in this area of my kitchen.  

This cupboard is directly above the counter that I use for meal prep.  I keep my baking ingredients and a few spices in this cupboard.  

Next to my spice/baking cupboard I have my surplus spices (which I seal in jars using my foodsaver), vinegars, sugars/agave syrups.  I also keep my liquid measuring cups in here. I can easily reach up for the ingredients that I need and not waste time walking all over the kitchen.   

Below my prep area I keep my spices in these two drawers.  I like being able to see them all at a glance and it keeps them from getting lost in a cupboard.  I also have them organized by ethnic flavors such as Mexican spices and Italian spices. 

On the opposite side of the kitchen I have a few cupboards that were out of the way for storing everyday cooking ingredients. I would be walking around an island to grab an ingredient if I stored the food I used every day here.  I decided to make these cupboards my smaller can storage area.  

I can see at a glance what I am low on and when I shop at the case lot sales I bring the cases right into the kitchen and unload them right into the cupboard.  The extra cases go out in the storage room.  This has worked really well for me and I love seeing all of the cans neatly lined up on the shelves...yes I may be a little OCD.  

 My Pantry

The ingredients that I cook with every day and the snacks my kids live on are stored in my kitchen pantry.  I have a rotating system that works for me.  I store most of my long-term food in my storage room in bulk.  I then have smaller containers, that I fill from my bulk storage, that I store in my kitchen pantry. I usually keep on top of this because if I am out of something in the pantry I go right out to the storage room and fill up  my pantry container from my bulk buckets.  Click HERE to see a post on my bucket storage. Using Gamma lids really makes this process easy.  Opening a bucket and filling a container takes just a few minutes.

This is my pantry.  I didn't clean it or make it pretty for the picture.  I wanted you all to see it exactly as it looks everyday, with 5 kids in and out of it, all day long.  

I have a few #10 cans stored in here. They are mostly the ingredients that I use to make bread, but there are other #10 cans like onions that I use more often, so I keep the opened can in the pantry and not the storage room.  It saves time walking out to the storage room.

The kids' snacks are on the lower shelf and then a miscellaneous shelf and above that are my pastas.  My lesser used cookbooks also have a home in my pantry.  The red and blue storage bins were purchased at the Dollar Tree store.  They are great for corralling fruit snacks, pretzel bags, paper goods, etc.  I keep my bread, peanut butter and bagels in the blue bin in the lower right corner of this picture.  This way I can grab the bin when I am making lunches for the kids and it is all in one spot. 

This is how my kitchen functions and it works for me. What kinds of organizational tips do you have from your kitchens??

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