Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Beginning of an Organized Kitchen: Planning!

I mentioned yesterday that I really needed to work on getting my kitchen organized.  I spend a lot of time in there, and I want it to be an efficient place.

Since I'll be getting more storage out of our kitchen remodel, I thought it'd be good to spend some time planning.  That way when it comes time to unpack all of these boxes...

See all those boxes hiding behind the table?  Those need a new home!

I'll have a spot all picked out for them.  I really don't want to unpack everything only to discover that my new system doesn't make any sense.  I'd much rather spend a couple of hours over these next few days and plan. 

I still may not like the new system.  But at least this way I'll have tried to be proactive and organized!

And I think I will like it.

So, how am I planning?

I took the grocery list that I made in Excel, I added a new column titled Storage Location.

Then I went item by item and decided if it was stored in the pantry, in the fridge, the freezer or in 5 gallon buckets.  It didn't take too long.

Once every item had a home, I resorted the list, by storage location.  Then I "saved as" so I didn't accidentally ruin my shopping list,  and deleted everything that wasn't kept in the pantry/cupboards. 

Now my list was down to about 50 items.  A much more manageable number for organizing. 

I decided to further break down this list, so I added another new column.  This one I called "Category." Here, I decided if the PRIMARY purpose of each item was baking, cooking, seasoning or snacking. Some things definitely overlap, which is why I stuck with primary. Here's a sample of what it ended up looking like.

My list is now pretty organized, and during my next work session, I'll tackle where it makes the most sense to store each group of items.  For instance, my seasonings should be by the stove since I tend to add the most seasonings to things I cook on the stove top or in the oven.

I am wondering about a couple of items though.  Potatoes and onions.  How do you store them? 

I used to keep onions in the fridge, but I read during my research this week that they should be at room temperature.  Same with potatoes.  But they shouldn't be stored next to each other.  I really think I'll just end up with a mess of dirt at the bottom of my new pantry if I just dump the potatoes in on the bottom.  We have at least 40 pounds of potatoes and 5-10 pounds of onions to keep track of.   Any ideas for me?




  1. Potatoes keep well in paper bags, so if you keep them in that, they'll collect the dirt and then you can compost the bags when they aren't usable anymore.

    1. Oh--that's a very workable (and inexpensive!) idea. Thanks Drew!


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