We came back from BJ's. I needed to put away some of our purchases, so I decided to make some space. One hour later, I filled nearly two trash bags full of food products that had been shoved so far back into the corners of my pantry that they had long since expired. Wasted money is NOT cool. So, how do I prevent this predicament from happening again?
I'll tell you: develop a more effective system of organization.
Step 1: Put all similar products together (on the counter...wait to put them into the pantry).
Step 2: Determine which items that are either used enough not to be forgotten or cannot expire (ex: plastic cups and silverware). These items will move to the corners of the pantry.
Step 3: Find baskets. Lots of baskets. Confession: I also used cardboard trays/box lids from BJ's. (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. DUH.)
Step 4: Organize like items into their respective baskets and box lids.
Here's how I organized the shelves:
Top shelf: Items I don't mind reaching for or do not use much. I chose cleaning products (could also go on the floor). Hey now, I know what you're thinking. Stop it. I do use these a lot, but I don't mind reaching for them.
NOTE: Make sure you put anything that could leak in a basket with a solid bottom. You don't want anything dripping to the shelves below and ruining food!
Shelf below: I placed baking items. I know that I'll use them, so they won't go to waste.
Shelf below that: Snacks (I'm a grazer. I need snacks. Always. These are the ones I threw away a lot of, so I made sure to put them all on the same shelf; that way, I wouldn't forget about them!)
With the snacks, I put ziploc bags, aluminum foil, paper bags, and saran wrap. It made sense to put the snacks with what I'd put them in. Right?
Shelf below that (lunch and dinner ingredients): Salad stuff (croutons, almonds, craisins), sauces and condiments for meals (BBQ sauce, salsa, marinades, ketchup, etc.), chicken/beef broth, canned goods
Shelf below that (starches): pasta/quinoa on the left and potatoes/garlic on the right
Floor: It used to have potatoes. Terrible idea. They can rot if neglected. Ew. So, I put extra dish soap, Tupperware, juices (before refrigeration), extra cereal, and rice
What food organization tips/systems work for you?