By Ann Martin
If you’re anything like me, every time I reach for the garlic powder in my spice cabinet, I find every other spice but that. As I started going through my spice cabinet in search of my garlic powder, I realized how disorganized and down right messy that cabinet really is. So then I start checking out my pantry and other kitchen cabinets and realize that the chaos has spread! There is absolutely no rhyme or reason why I have eight boxes of the same cereal. But it could be due to the fact that they were dispersed in multiple cabinets and not all in one place. Are you laughing with me now? So, I decided that enough was enough and that it was time to have some order back in my kitchen. But where do I even begin?
First, it is easy to see what you have if you take everything out! I never realized that I had two containers of ground mustard. Why do I even need two? Well, I don’t. But obviously I didn’t know that I already had one – main reason being, it got lost in the mess of my spice cabinet. So, take everything out of your cabinets and pantry. While everything is out, give a quick wipe down of the shelves themselves.
Now, before you even start to organize what you have, check for expired goods and toss them. If some canned goods are on the verge of expiring, put together a few meal ideas that incorporate those so they won’t go to waste. Next, try grouping similar items together. For example, breakfast foods and fixings, like pancake mix, syrup, cereals and oatmeal can be grouped together. Snacks like popcorn, chips, granola bars, etc. can also be together in one place. If you bake, group baking powder, sugar, sprinkles, and birthday candles together. Sometimes, I even put my baking items on square dinnerware, to make sure all the baking goods can be easily pulled out from the cabinet and all at once as well. These are just recommendations, but I found that grouping related items together makes for finding them later much easier. And once you grocery shop, always put the newest items in the back, that way you use the older products first.
Here are just a few tips to organize your spice cabinet. Again, take everything out so that it is easy to see what you have. Now, remember spices never really go bad, but the potency of the spice is drastically reduced after 6 moths. So really think to yourself, “How long have I had this ground ginger for?” If you think it has been longer than 6 months, go ahead and pitch it. If are fortunate to have shelves in your spice cabinet, I recommend keeping the most frequently used spices on the bottom shelf and the other spices which are hardly used on the top shelf. Essentially, you are keeping what you need at eye level and therefore it is easy to find and easily accessible.
Now that order is finally back in place throughout my kitchen, I can actually see what have in my cabinets and pantry. By having everything in its place, my food bills have actually gone down as well! A huge bonus! Now maybe I can start to organize my dinnerware!
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