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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Organizing the Cupboards

My newest project consists of making lists of what should be in each cupboard of the kitchen if they are 'full', so in other words a totally stocked pantry. I decided to break it down by individual cupboard to make it easier. I'm going to show you the list for my canned food cupboard, which has three shelves in it. First I opened a word document, changed the layout to horizontal, and made it three columns (one for each shelf). I listed the foods both by shelf and by row, which is why I turned it sideways so I could print it longways. After printing it, I labeled the list at the top, and then labeled the shelves with top, middle, and bottom.

Now I realize you cannot read that tiny picture's printing, so here is what it says, only upside right:

10 tuna, 2 salmon, 1 water chestnut
14 sardines, 2 oysters
3 pepperoni
2 sloppy joe, 4 vegetable soup
4 chk. Noodle, 4 tomato soup
6 cr. Mushroom
2 cr. Chicken, 2 cream celery
12 mushroom

6 hominy,
1 tamale, 4 garbanzo
2 beets, 2 cranberry,
2 bl. Bean, 2 refried bean,
2 pineapple, 2 bl. Oilve
4 coconut milk
4 kraut, 2 ravioli
8 spinach

10 chili beans
10 mixed vegetables
10 white potatoes
10 sweet potatoes
10 collard greens
10 carrots
10 green beans
8 corn, 2 creamed corn

Then I take the list and laminate it. I did buy a laminating machine from LTD Commodities, but Wal-Mart sells those self-stick laminating sheets in the office supplies section, and they are great for this sort of thing because if you trim it 1" larger than the paper, you can stick it right to the cupboard door without any further mounting supplies. I placed it on the inside of the door. This way, I can ask one of the older children to go to the canned food cupboard and make me a list for the store today. They can check what we have against the 'master list' and then write down how many cans of each item need bought.

These lists also come in handy if the cupboard somehow becomes disarrayed (1 year old) so that anyone who can read can put it back to rights. And when everything is where it should be, I could find an item blindfolded (though I wouldn't recommend blindfolded cooking). A row with two items will have one on top and one on bottom, so that it is immediately accessible. It helps make the shopping for and putting away of groceries much faster and I do not have to dig around for something when it comes time to prepare it.

I know some families that keep inventory of what they have and check one off as it is used, but that is too complicated for me. I find it much easier to spend the 5 minutes checking what I have against what I need. I am trying to make lists for every cupboard in the kitchen as well as the fridge so that it's a breeze to write down what I need if someone is going to town.


runningtothecross said...

Your cupboard looks a lot like mine, but I have the extra hinged shelf racks that hang in the center and move out of the way when getting the things at the back.

Your cupboard is a lot more organized than mine though. Oh and your cabinets still have doors (ours fell off, LOL...and I'm married to a cabinet maker)!

The shoemaker's children don't have any shoes, I guess the same goes for the cabinet maker's wife...I have cabinets but they sure do need to be replaced!


motherofmany said...

Isn't that always the way? We raise beef cows, but I have had to buy meat from the store lately because our freezers were being robbed (they were in the sugar house up the road) so until we can get them moved down here, I would have no place to put 200 lb. of beef!

I also knew so little...when I met my husband he had been milking cows for most of his life, first with his dad and then on his own after High School. He would drink the milk from the bulk tank, and I told him that unpasteurized milk would make him sick. So he gave it up. Then we sold the dairy cows, and I started researching foods like NT and back-tobasics cooking, and they all said raw milk was better for you, easier to digest, and better for kids with allergies. Now I have to go BUY a milk cow. ;) And my husband never got sick when we were first married, but after I took away his raw milk, he started having all kinds of problems. I have asked his forgiveness a lot, especially when he becomes ill.