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Re-organize your pantry with labels

January 12, 2012

by Sandy Coughlin
The Reluctant Entertainer

When things around me are organized, then I feel organized and motivated.

On the other hand, when I’m disorganized and surrounded by clutter, well you know the rest of the story. I agonize!

When it comes to the kitchen, the fridge, the pantry … it gets out of control really fast in my household. How about yours?

I think it’s because we’re a really busy family, I work part-time, our kids have kitchen duty every day so things don’t always get put back in “their place.”

I invited my talented friend, Sam, over with her label maker. She willingly came to help me out, pulled everything out of the pantry, looked at dates and did a lot of tossing, and put everything back in … it’s “place.”

She had a plan before she even arrived!

Unfortunately, without a plan, pantry shelves can quickly become a disorganized mess, making it difficult to find items you need, and really frustrating the kids.

How to organize a pantry with a label maker

1. Pull everything out of the pantry.

2. Check dates as you pull items out and either toss, or set aside on the bar or table.

3. Organize by groups of foods, ie., rice, pasta, beans, soups, sauces, etc.

4. Wipe out the pantry with hot soapy water.

5. As you put the items back in, decide what should be put into baskets or containers.

6. BRING THE FOOD ITEMS TO THE FRONT that you use the most.

7. Label each section to make it easier on other family members.

8. Group small things in baskets, paper items in baskets, and put lightweight items or things you rarely use on the top the shelves.

9. Put snacks and cereals at eye-level for kids.

I’d like to talk about why it’s important to bring to the “front” of the shelves the items you use the most.

We are a bean family and my children have learned creative ways to use a can of beans.

I like to bring the healthier items to the front so they are accessible and will be used.

Remember, be organized–you have to have a “plan.” And to stay organized you have to “stick to the plan.” Also, here’s a post from last year on expiration dates. Now that brings up a whole other subject, but do you fudge on expiration dates?

It’s a brilliant idea to bring an “expert” over to help with large projects that may seem overwhelming. Or even a friend with a second opinion.

And I just may be calling my friend Sam over again for a New Year’s “sprucing up.” :)

Do you have an organizational plan for your cupboards, or do you live in happy chaos?

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