Tackling the food areas this week

happyintexasSeptember 30, 2008

I'm tackling the foodie areas of my home this week. Anywhere that food is stored, prepped, prepared, served, or consumed is fair game.

Lots of great memories are made in the kitchen and dining areas of a home. I'd like to quit fighting with what's wrong with our areas and FIX them as much as possible. Then we can fulfill our desire to be more open and hospitable to those around us because we don't have to *clean* and declutter before every visit.

Sigh. This is a hard area for me. I could use tips, encouragement, and a good kick in the rear to keep me going this week.

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GL on you project. I find that I keep like things together. Canned stuff I try to make lines of tomato sauce etc. and put the newer stuff towards the back. I have an upright freezer and put processed thing on one shelf. One shelf I have for beef, chicken and then another one for misc meat like shrimp, port roast, etc. I also have a pantry so I keep other things in there that aren't open like ketcup, mayo, etc. Every one is suppose to put the info on my list if they take the last one. Mine doesn't seem to stay as neat as I would like because my kids are always in there.

I go through my cabinets about once a year and get rid of mugs, plastic cups etc. when it starts filling up.

Another tip for you is that it never seems to take as long as I think it will. I have been doing things in 15 minute intervals and seems to work great for me because once I start I keep going but can stop if I choose.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 7:03PM
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When I buy jarred foods that will require refrigerating when opened, I put them directly into the fridge. I find it saves space in my pantry and when I'm checking to see if I have a certain condiment for a recipe, I only have to look in one place. Of course this doesn't exactly work if you tend to stock up on certain items when on sale.

This might work for you as you clean out your fridge and pantry.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 9:02PM
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Depending on your storage situation (how much space, if o have a pantry, etc.)- I find baskets useful in many ways, especially to hold open containers (boxes and bags). In our pantry, I have a basket - labeled - just for already-open snack foods, crackers, etc. (look there first, kids!), and another for open bags of nuts and dried fruits. I labeled another basket for UNOPENED boxes only, and a small bin for "foods saved for planned meals" (mainly for tempting foods, not cans etc.). In my cabinet with cooking ingredients, a small basket holds those unwieldy packets of dried mushrooms, stock cubes, etc. that otherwise end up all over the place. I do try to store things that I use together together, and preferably close to where they are used, especially for frequently used items. For example, one over-counter cabinet has flours, sugars and sweeteners, baking powder, etc., and also the mixing bowls and measuring cups. Unlike some folks, I keep pasta and tea next to the stove, not in the pantry. And cold cereal near the cereal bowls. Containers of dried beans and rice are in a lower cabinet next to the pot cabinet, and near my prep sink (with water filter), since I'll be adding water whenever I cook them. Likewise, strainers, colanders, etc. are under that prep sink, since that is where they will be used (I know you are talking about food this time, but really, everything in the kitchen is related, so you might think about a general storage strategy before you arrange).

And I agree - take it in small doses. have fun!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2008 at 1:53AM
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DD50 said "Once I start, I can stop if I choose." Twenty five years ago, I started walking/jogging in my neighborhood. I had a "course" of two miles lined out. I told myself each day, just start, if you get tired, you can turn around and go home. I never did. Every time I started a walk, I completed it. I got so strong, healthy and thin, I was beautiful, and all the exercise toned my legs and butt. And I could eat anything I wanted, my metabolism was revved up so high! Once I start, I could have quit, but I never did. Unfortunately, childbearing and job streess eventually threw me off course, but I know it did work then!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2008 at 9:30AM
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Ug...my kitchen counters are unbearable at the moment. I'd been doing so well at keeping them clean, and then the Halloween season hit. To make matters worse, there's a photographer supposedly visiting tomorrow night or sometime this week to take pictures of our party "construction". So I have no choice now - they must be cleaned!

Anyways, just thought I'd let you know I'll be thinking of you while I'm cleaning my counters off tomorrow afternoon (taking time off work)...if you aren't already, consider this a "kick" to get moving! :-)

    Bookmark   October 1, 2008 at 4:18PM
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LOL! Thanks, Jamie mt for the kick. I find these areas to be the hard. Do I get rid of that thing or store it? I'm making progress, but it is slow. Things are in such disarray right now that I'm grumpy. Need to tidy up and see what else needs to be done.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 3:49PM
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I second the lines in the pantry if you can. Mine were a jumble and I organized by line one day to see what the heck I had and it works wonderfully. You can see what you are running out of in a glance. My family teases me when they see it that I'm compulsive, but it is actually alot easier and takes less room than jamming it all over the shelves.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 8:24AM
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I'm with you. I'm going to clean out my refrigerator today. I'm just sitting around waiting for the Sears repairman to show up.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 8:52AM
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Hi Happyintexas, I am in texas as well.
My food areas are organized in the food lines as mentioned in other posts. I try and keep 3 of can items stocked. I make myself wipe out refrig end of week before hubby brings in the grocerys. I am unable to do my own shopping.

I try and organize my cabinets at least every 6 months. I have made myself a plan: if I have not used items in that amount of time I toss it. This has helped me to keep plastics down to a minimum etc. Also when I work I do one shelf at a time starting at the top. Only what belongs gets put back on that shelf and the rest put away where it should go, toss, etc. and work my way down that one cabinet before moving to the next I find that just one organized area motivates me on to the next etc. I also use the flylady 15min timer and that also motivates me to keep going knowing i can stop at any time. Also if I buy a new pan etc, then an old one has to go out of my space. Good luck keep us posted of your progress. I think I will go clean my kitchen now

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 11:21AM
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Great tips.

One tip I would like to share gives you more space in the freezer. When I opened a box of convenience food, I think it was french toast sticks, I noticed that the box was unnecessarily large for the content. I just can't waste space on packaging. So I have started repackaging a lot of the frozen foods or at least taking the inner bag out of the box and double wrapping it a freezer Ziploc bag. I cut any cooking directions off the box and tape or rubber band it to the package.

I use a lot of plastic canisters-mostly inexpensive dollar store but as long as they have screw on tops as we are prone to pantry bug. They are large enough so when I do bring home oatmeal, flour, sugar, etc., there is enough room to dump it in the almost empty container. Like items on turn tables, bins, or shelves. And, of course, label!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 4:09AM
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