Spring Fling- Kitchen continued

Spring has arrived and it’s feels great! Hopefully you are feeling good about the organizing progress you have already made with our Spring Fling. If you missed out last month, it’s not too late to be a part of this fun way to simplify and organize.

Each month this spring, we will identify 4 household items and provide a brief tip about how to declutter that particular item. Each task will take you 10 minutes or less as you sort, evaluate and fling. You can do all the tasks for the month in under an hour, or you can spread them out and do one each week.

Join with us, and by the end of the season, you’ll be able to take a deep breath and enjoy a decluttered home. Want a weekly task reminder? Click here

This month we continue in the kitchen.

Spices and herbs-

It’s great to have just the right spice or condiment on hand when you need it, but sometimes those spices sit there for a long, long time without being noticed or used.

To do:

Pull out all your spices and herbs. Examine each and ask yourself if they are still ones that fit into your current menu choices. Check the expiration dates. If they are past their prime, fling them but make sure to note which you will need to buy so you don’t get stuck without it the next time your recipes call for that particular spice. If you have duplicates that are unopened and you don’t think you’ll use them before they go bad, consider sharing them with a local food pantry or friend. Next choose a good storage space and return your spices, making sure they are visible and easy to access. They don’t have to be set up alphabetically, but they should be set up in a way that works for you. This could be by how often you use them or by taste; warm, sweet, pungent, etc.

Whether you choose to store your spices in a drawer or a cabinet, knowing that they are fresh and easy to find will make meal preparation more enjoyable.

Freezer-

The freezer is wonderful storage but also a bit of a mystery. We put food in and somehow it manages to get lost and is often discovered a bit too late.

To do: Empty your freezer contents onto a table or countertop, examining each item as you remove it. If the food is freezer burnt, passed its expiration or unidentifiable, fling it in the trash. Start making piles by categories; meat, vegetables, sweets, prepared food, etc. Next, look at your empty freezer and designate an area for each category. Use freezer compatible bins to keep items grouped together in categories, like all bags of frozen veggies grouped together in a bin. These bins can act like drawers so you can pull them out and see all the related items. Label your categories so if others are using the freezer they know exactly where items belong. Create a list of items you need to use up in the near future and work them into your menu planning this next week.

Finding the frozen item you want to use or simply seeing that you need to buy more of it will be well worth this freezer spring fling.

Recipes-

Whether you have a few recipes or a multitude of them, now is a good time to get them organized and ready to be used.

To do: Pull out the recipes you have on hand. (Not the ones you have tucked away in files and boxes to look at later.) Begin to sort through them, removing the ones you don’t really like, ones you probably won’t try, or ones that just don’t fit your lifestyle. Decide how you want to contain them; electronically (many options available), in a binder, or in a file box. Choose the easiest way for you, not the necessarily “coolest” way. You need to be able to make it work for you, not follow what someone else thinks is the best. Set up categories like you would see in a recipe book so you will be able to find

Once you have established a good way to store and view your recipes, you can begin to sort through your recipe backlog, evaluating them realistically and only adding the ones that you truly want. Happy cooking!

Food wraps and bags-

Whether you are a master chef or simply like to reheat food, you are bound to have foil, kitchen wrap and baggies around.

 

To do: Gather them from whatever locations you have stored them. Look at each item and evaluate size and purpose, condensing half empty boxes with similar sized items. If you recycle bags or foil keep them in a separate group, flinging those that are a bit worn out or messy. Wraps and baggies are generally best stored together and close to where the cooking happens.  Be creative where you choose to store them. This can be using a rack inside a cabinet door, lined up in shallow drawer, stacked in a bin in the pantry or placed on an undershelf wire basket. Just make sure there is enough room to pull them out and then return them to their spot without having to move anything else.

No matter what delicious food you choose to cover, you’ll be ready to take action when you have your baggies and food wraps organized.

These are 4 short and easy tasks that can make a big difference in your kitchen.  You can choose to do all 4 tasks at once or one each week; the most important thing is to get your spring fling started.

© 2018 Beth Giles

 

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