In the freezer and in the cupboard, a war is waged with stuff. Finding items in the freezer, spice cabinet, pantry, or dry-good storage does not have to be a chore, however, and organizing it does not have to be expensive. My favorite storage solution is a cheap recycle. It works in the kitchen, bathroom, and even office. Ready?
Reusing clear plastic salad boxes that once housed organic spinach or baby greens solves organizing issues and reduces waste. Get creative by finding uses for other plastic food containers that have not been used for meat or fish and that can be washed regularly. If the container is too long or wide for a cabinet, simply trim off the edges with scissors.
- Clear Plastic Salad containers
- Freezer proof labels
- Freezer proof permanent marker
- A few minutes a day while the food is cooking
Being a college student is hard. Fast and easy meals from the freezer are not so fast and easy when time is spent digging for necessary ingredients. Four to eight containers will do most freezers. Label as follows: Fruit, vegetables, meats, fish, breads, leftover’s, meals, miscellaneous. It is easy to find items in the freezer in labeled pull out “drawers.” Making a meal is a snap and its easy to keep organized, simple replace items as used or purchased after shopping trips.
Spices and Condiments
The spice cabinet is a disaster area in most kitchens. Most spices come in mismatched bottles or canisters. Label these according to personal taste or common ingredients. Generally, there are four to six categories. Think meat rubs, desserts, herbs, spicy, specialty blends, and salt and pepper. Use one or two more for bottled condiments such as oils, vinegars, and sauces.
Depending on the personal contents of the dry goods cabinet, organizing can go in many directions. If baby and toddler foods are common places, start with one or two clear plastic bins for these items. Next, cereal bars and cereals should have their own homes. Finally, left over items such as partially used mixes, larger spice items, or ethnic foods should each have labeled bins.
Coffee, Tea, Sugar, and Creamer
Some homes may keep this area simple with one or two labeled bins, one for coffee and filters and another for sugar, cocoa, and creamer. Households where tea is popular might have additional bins for black teas, greens teas, and herbal teas.
Every house seems to have a clutter drawer and a messy cabinet where the containers for leftovers are kept. Organize these by type, using one or two bins to house the lids and containers that batch them and another bin for items such as baby bottles and nipples, sippy-cups and lids, and miscellaneous small items. Don’t forget the medicine and supplement cabinet. Keep it spiffy with a few bins and perhaps divide the medicines and supplements by type or user.
Reusing clear plastic salad containers started back in college for me. The problem was a messy spice cabinet, a disorganized freezer, and a messy desk. I needed something simple, clear, and cheap. I needed it fast. Every week I purchased one carton of salad and soon realized I was onto something. These clear containers were wasted after one single use. So, I began rinsing them out. As soon as one was empty, clean, and dry I went to work organizing a section of the freezer or spice cabinet. Within a few months, the freezer and many cabinets were organized. The bins were clear, allowing me to easily spot items contained within. So simple and so effective!