Organized Home:Food Storage

I got to start today with a fantastic yoga class at our Studio here in Tulsa.  Mondays aren’t so bad when you get to start them gently moving your body and slowly waking up to the sunrise.  My first week of fast 5k training last week went really well.  I managed to get all the runs in, and all the circuits.  I feel a deep soreness to the bone in my quads, which hopefully means I’m pushing it on the runs.

During some of my down time this weekend, I conquered the next area of my Organized Home project.  I’m following along with the podcast Organize 365 and each week taking some time on the weekend to clean out and organize an area of my home. Last week I cleared the kitchen counters off, and this week went deeper in the kitchen to the cabinets and fridge.

Per usual, the first step was to take everything out of these spaces.  I decided to do the cabinets first and then the fridge.  I don’t have a walk in pantry so all of my dry goods and cans get stored in the cabinets.   Once everything was on the countertops, I vacuumed out the shelves and wiped them down.  Then it was time to toss.  Like with the master closet, there were some rules:

  1. Anything that is expired
  2. Anything that’s been open longer than you can remember
  3. Duplicates of things, especially spices

Now to put things back in these freshly clean, spacious doors.  She suggests storing things in a sorted manner that makes sense to you in additional bins but I didn’t have any, and don’t want to buy any so instead I separated my shelves into nuts and baking items, and canned goods below that.  I like her idea of having an area to store necessary ingredients for specific recipes for your week.

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After!

 

Once everything was either in the trash or back in the cabinets, I moved on to the fridge.  Same rules apply for tossing here: expired and duplicates are gone.  No second thoughts.  My favorite tip for the fridge was to not actually store your fruits and veggies in a drawer because then they’re out of sight and out of mind.  So I decided to have a shelf for snacks like veggies, guacamole and hardboiled eggs and a shelf for leftover storage and ingredients for meals for the week.

This clean out worked really well with my time in the kitchen this weekend anyway.  I’m really intentionally working on a strong Sunday cooking habit, and having a cleared out pantry is already providing more calm when I do it.  For maintenance she recommends a Sunday clean out where you go through the fridge for leftovers and opened produce to try to use up as much of it as you can – an easy habit to implement with the Sunday cooking!

Next week we stay in the kitchen and tackle dish cabinets!

How do you organize food storage?

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Organized Home: Kitchen Counters

Moving right along this week into the kitchen.  I am so glad that this Organized 365 project called 40 Days: One Whole House didn’t tackle the entire kitchen at once.  Instead, we’re easing in very slowly starting with the kitchen counters.  I listened to the less-than-15-minutes podcast for this topic on a drive out for dinner with Chap and the kids, and was ready to tackle the counters the next day.

In the podcast, she talks about all horizontal surfaces in your home and how they end up becoming holding spaces for all kinds of things.  Keys, papers, bills, extra cups.  It’s so easy to just set things down and leave them there for later.  I’m working hard on making a space for everything, and then returning items to their homes when they’re not being used.

The first task for the kitchen counters was to take everything off of them.  Everything.  Appliances.  Papers.  Grocery bags.  Drying racks.  Bananas.  That part was easy (my dining room table has turned into a lovely holding space for all of my items in purgatory during this project).  Then, her rule is that you can’t return anything to the kitchen until you use it.  You’re supposed to use the whole week to figure this out but I didn’t want to so I started my meal prep for the week and only returned the things I used during that time.

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Purgatory for Stuff

In the podcast, she specifically calls out several things that most people have out on their counters and should maybe reconsider.  The first is a toaster.  I don’t have a toaster but I do have a microwave.  I don’t use it everyday, and I’m not even sure I use it every two days.  I tried to move this to the laundry room shelf but the plugs weren’t compatible so it had to stay in the kitchen.  Next were those porcelain canisters of all the kitchen utensils.  I have one, and I do use it everyday, but the look of it does clutter up the counters and I have plenty of drawer space.  The utensils are now in a drawer close to the stove for easy grabbing.  And the canister moved to the mantle to hold a new snake plant!

I decided to also tackle the fridge space while I was going at the counters.  Taking down expired Save the Dates and old holiday cards.  The only things that went back up were scenery magnets and art of my favorite cities (Memphis and Tulsa).

It was pretty simple for me to decide what to not put back on the counters.  The three big jars of protein powder I hadn’t scooped from in months.  The utensil canister.  A big bowl to hold fruit that’s usually empty.  And it was nice to rearrange a little.   This new layout worked great while I was prepping veggies and meals for the week, and I love that it feels a lot less crowded in here – from the counter space to the fridge!

Need to work on getting those doors to stay shut!  Next week: pantries and leftovers.