Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bulk Food Series - Part 3, some more thoughts on organization

So now you’ve got all these bags and boxes and it all seemed like such a great idea as you were clicking things into the online shopping cart. Pickup was even kind of fun- a little like Christmas but without any toys to assemble or sugared up kids melting down in the line to see Santa. But you get it home and into the kitchen and you wonder what on earth you were thinking.

The good news is that once you get it broken out into containers and put away, it gets better. The bad news is that you may find yourself pulling everything out of your pantry and reworking the whole thing to accommodate these new foods. That isn’t as bad as it may sound because it gives you the opportunity to take a close look at the things you have in there. I just threw away my 3 year old cans of escargot last week. I wish I could claim an organizational frenzy but the truth is that one of them fell off a high shelf onto my toe and I slam dunked them in a haze of pain. I should have thrown them away two years ago! What is sitting in your pantry that you’re probably never going to eat? Make space and get rid of it before it attacks you!

Hints:

1. Before purchasing storage containers, measure your space. How tall are your shelves? How wide? How deep?

2. Think about having primary and secondary storage. For instance, I’ll be ordering a 50# bag of polenta but only about 5 lbs at a time will be up in the pantry. The rest will be on the gorilla shelves in the garage in a large Rubbermaid tub.

3. Plan for a day of pantry scrubbing and cleaning the day prior to pickup. Maybe it’s just my house but it seems that ick accumulates in my pantry. As long as you know you need to sort through and pull stuff out, you might as well factor in time to clean it.

You might also want to consider declaring an 'eat from the pantry' week where your meals are planned around what you have instead of what you might want since that will save money and create space.

2 comments:

AKmamaOf6 said...

I just bought a book you would like. Don't remember the name...remind me. One of the chapters is on longer term food storage. My sis said they just had an article in one of the Backwoods Home mags. I love those.

Steph said...

I'm doing a preserving challenge this month for methods other than canning. Should be interesting! I would love a root cellar.