This year I have been focusing on being more organized. As a mom of two little kids, life can be chaotic and unorganized. I am someone who thrives off plans, lists, and organization, but since having kids I have learned to let go a little of those. Who else is with me?!
One thing I do know is that life is less stressful when I take time to organize, so I have been choosing different areas to organize throughout our home and putting aside time dedicated to organization. Last month, I started by focusing on our storage room and playroom, and it was rejuvenating. This month I am focusing on tackling the kitchen. Our pantry is relatively organized, but our refrigerator and cupboards have a ways to go. I have started the process with a good cleanout and purchasing storage bins.
If you made organization one of your goals for 2020, I have compiled some tips for organizing your pantry and refrigerator that have helped me get organized, and hopefully, keep it organized!
Start by taking everything out of your pantry and clean it (you should try to do this every few months).
- Throw out anything expired
- Take inventory of things that need to be used or things you need to purchase
- Group like products together – i.e. cereals, soups, vegetables, nuts/seeds
- Wipe down shelves of pantry with a damp towel
Next step: organize with storage containers that fit your space.
- Purchase varied sizes of storage bins – these are the storage bins I use in my pantry in multiple sizes
- Put like products in storage bins together – i.e. baking ingredients, canned items, nuts & seeds, nut butters, crackers or snacks
- Label bins and put back onto shelves in groups that make sense for you and your family – we keep things for the kids on the bottom shelf, like pouches, fruit cups, and Goldfish crackers, but keep things like snacks and canned items on higher shelves.
Refrigerator & Freezer
Just like the pantry, start by taking everything out and cleaning it (you should try to do this every few months).
- Throw away expired foods, drinks or sauces
- Put remaining food in a cooler for food safety
- Wipe down shelves and drawers of refrigerator and freezer with a damp towel
Next step: organize with clear storage bins that fit your space. These are the storage bins I use in my refrigerator.
- Purchase clear storage bins
- Group like products together – fruits, vegetables, drinks, cheese, meat, dressings, sauces, etc.
- Put foods into storage containers that can be – fruits, vegetables, eggs, drinks, etc.
- Store foods safely in the refrigerator
– Top shelves should be for prepared produce
– Middle shelves should be for things like hummus/dips, yogurt, milk, eggs, or leftovers
– Lower shelves should be for meats or thawing meats to prevent leakage onto other foods
– If you have produce drawers under the bottom shelves to prevent leakage place a plate or pan under meat when thawed
– Drinks, dressings, sauces, and other condiments can be stored in the door
- Store like foods together in the freezer
– Meats should be stored on the bottom shelves
– Frozen fruits and vegetables should be stored on the top shelves
– Toaster waffles or other prepackaged foods should be stored on the middle shelves
I am taking a very similar approach as the pantry by taking everything out and cleaning everything.
- Remove all dishes, silverware, pots, and pans, serving platers and bowls, glasses, water bottles, mixing bowls, small appliances, etc.
- Wipe down all shelves with a damp cloth
- Regroup like items
– Daily dishes, silverware, mixing bowls, serving dishes, kids dishes, glasses, etc.
– Put away grouped items in cupboards near each other
- Use the same bins as the pantry to keep smaller items organized – i.e. storage containers and lids, water bottles and lids, coffee and tea, spices, etc.
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