The kitchen is often the hardest place clean and organize in the home. It’s so easy to accumulate lots of food, containers and junk. It becomes a catch-all area of the home. The way food is stored is important to prevent spoilage, bacteria and waste but it also can make a huge difference on how your kitchen functions and how clean and tidy it looks.
Here you will find a free guide to completely declutter and organize your pantry, refrigerator and freezer. It urges you to consider what is important and meal plan to prevent the clutter from accumulating.
I recently did a 30 day no spend challenge where I went through my pantry and used up as much as I could. I had so many jars full of food that was rarely used in my regular meal rotations. I also had packets of food that I regularly use that I wanted to store in the jars instead. By the end of this challenge, I felt it was a good start but, there was food I was storing that I knew I would never get around to using up.
For reference, I made a list of all the essentials I use on a regular basis. You can use this list for reference, but you will probably find mine are different to your essentials. Consider what you use regularly and make a list.
Declutter & Organize Your Refrigerator & Freezer
- Take everything out and put it on a clear flat space, such as a table
- Go through each item and throw away anything that has expired
- Go through each item a second time and ask yourself if you or anyone in your household will actually eat it.
- Throw away anything you will not eat or give it to someone else that will.
- Clean your refrigerator and freezer
- Decide how you want to store your food – you can label the door shelves with labels such as condiments, drinks, dairy.
- Find containers to store items:
- I love these for storing jarred and loose items.
- This container for storing eggs
- These pull-out drawers for storing dairy and cold meats
- Containers for storing leftovers
- Jars for juices and milk
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As you are going through your items, you can use this grocery shopping list to write down anything you are low on.
Declutter and Organize Your Pantry
Here is a checklist for reference to go through each item:
- Again, take everything out and put it on a flat clear space.
- Is there anything that has expired?
- Is there food you know your or someone else will not eat? Can you donate anything to a food bank?
- Don’t forget to add anything you are low on to the grocery list.
- Think about how to organize your pantry:
- These containers are great space savers to organize your pantry.
- Consider labelling containers for efficiency.
- Use wire baskets to store onions, garlic and potatoes. These should be stored separately as they produce moisture and will spoil each other.
- Use clear containers to store snacks and surplus food.
- I use a spice rack like this one for easy access. It limits me on how many I own too. I buy spices in bulk and top these up when needed.
6. Clean inside and outside your cupboards and/or pantry.
7. Fill your containers, label them and put them back in a way that is efficient. I use a Dymo label maker to label everything in my kitchen for consistency.
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Meal planning is a great way to reduce food waste, spending and decision fatigue. I plan my meals every Sunday and only order what is necessary. I tend to plan meals that use similar ingredients throughout the week too, to ensure I use fresh produce up. I save so much money by planning meals ahead of time. I also eat much healthier food.
I use Notion to store all the meals I make with a list of ingredients assigned to each meal (I’ll do a separate post about this). I allocate meals to each day and a whole list of ingredients is generated. I look through my kitchen to see what I already have and use my grocery list to write down anything I need. I’ll then go through any cleaning supplies, drinks and snacks that I might need and add it to my list. I keep the grocery list on my refrigerator so I had to make sure it was pretty!
You can download this meal planner for free here.