Over the past several months, I’ve organized several kitchens with my colleague, Lara Metz. One of the issues we’ve been seeing repeatedly is the duplication of items in the refrigerator and pantry. Here’s our advice on how to avoid this in your kitchen.
- Start by purging all of the foods that have expired in both your refrigerator and pantry. This should be done on a weekly basis prior to going to the grocery store. Then, in an accessible area, store a pad or a white board to keep a running list of what needs to be replaced. Let your family know that this is everyone’s responsibility, not just yours, so even children are in the habit of adding to the list when they take the last bag of pretzels.
- In order to maintain organization, group all similar items together. In both the kitchen and pantry, there should be zones for different food categories. In the refrigerator, take advantage of built in compartments. For example, put all fruit in the fruit drawer and produce in the produce drawer. Then, store your products in straight lines with like items one behind the other.
- Use organizing products that will make your refrigerator and pantry functional and look great. Here are some of our favorites:
- White taper bins can be used to corral individually wrapped products. For example, if you have multiple types of tea and tea bags, store these in a bin along with a jar of honey. Use another bin to store snacks like chips and pretzels. http://www.containerstore.com/s/storage/bins-baskets/plastic/white-taper-bins/123d?productId=10034939 http://www.containerstore.com/shop/storage/binsBaskets/plastic?productId=10034939&N=71223
- Pantry bins are helpful to separate items and keep them them neat. http://www.amazon.com/InterDesign-Linus-Pantry-Organizer-Regular/dp/B003WUXDJA/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1435320091&sr=8-3&keywords=pantry+binz)
- For storing dry goods like cereal, flour, and sugar, I recommend using canisters like these (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_13?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=oxo+canisters&sprefix=oxo+canisters%2Caps%2C124).
- If there’s a hard to reach corner in your pantry, consider a Lazy Susan. http://www.containerstore.com/s/kitchen/cabinet-organizers/lower-cabinets/lazy-susan/123d?productId=10000727
Studies suggest that people reach for what they see first, so to encourage wellness in your home, position fruit and healthy snacks at eye level.