pantry-itemsIt finally occurred to me that I only have 3 out of 5 people living at home for 9 months of the year. So why do I need a stack of 12 plates, 12 bowls, 12 pasta bowls, 10 mugs, and 15 salad plates in my main cupboards?

Why do I need a selection of 4 cold cereals?

Why do I need a drawer full of plastic containers, boxes of jello that no one likes, and the list continues?

First kitchen project this week — going through each drawer and cabinet and asking myself 3 questions:

  • Do I need this/these items?
  • When was the last time I used it?
  • Are they used enough to keep them in the main cabinets and drawers?
  • Moving unused to hutch, unwanted to Goodwill, poor condition to trash.

Second kitchen project:

Examining the canned goods, boxed foods, baking and cooking spices in the cabinets —  Gathering what we will not eat and donating to a shelter. Putting odds and ends in glass canning jars — I use a sharpie permanent marker to label the jar.

Since my plan for 2009 is to purchase less pre-packaged foods and make all our bread {by machine} I need more cupboard space for ingredients. In addition, I am going to make my own ‘mixes’. Will post about this later. I have already made in bulk:

  • Muffin Mix
  • Quick Bread Mix
  • Buttermilk Pancake Mix

These take up more space than the tidy store-bought box mixes.

Third kitchen project: Making my way through the freezer items in both freezers, monthly meal planning, and moving obscure ingredients to the basement refrigerator.

Fourth kitchen project: In the hutches are stored lots of dishes that I wish to keep for my children. Those will be well packed away in a box and labeled.

The goal is to open a kitchen cabinet or drawer and not see stacks of things and dig through to the back in order to fine the item that I want to use.

I feel lighter, just thinking and making a plan of ‘attack’!