Monday, February 27, 2012

A Labeled Pantry

Clearly labeled. All the same size and shape.  
We do most of our dry good shopping in bulk. This ends up in an assorted mish-mash of jars and bags that crowd the pantry shelves. It's so hard to find what I need with out dismantling an entire shelf!It gets even more exciting when I unpack and put away a bunch of grains and beans from my Lonesome Whistle CSA.

On my last deep-clean-the-kitchen-day, I started with tackling the pantry. I was in there for hours. I came up with a system for storing and sorting my bulk dry goods that I am just tickled about.

Problem: Inconsistent jars and bags make storing and finding difficult.

Solution: I have lots of canning jars, and all thing considered, canning jars are pretty darn cheap. And things look so much better when they are all standardized.

New Rule: everything in the pantry should live in a canning jar.

I think this is the best use of sheet space...
Problem: I just am not that good at remembering to label things... Now which was the rye flour? Was it this? Or is that buckwheat...

Solution: Laminated card stock inserts for my canning jar done lids. So easy.

I laminated 8 pages of white card stock and cut out lots of narrow mouth and wide mouth sized circles. One goes in the top of each jar. They get labeled with a wet-erase marker. When I wash the jar or fill it with something else, I can wipe off the label and re-use it.

New Rule: All jars must be labeled. Taking the moment to create a label when I put groceries away will save me a world of searching later.

As always, I was amazed at how much space my pantry actually has when I use standard containers and organize the heck out of the space. Already I am excited to put away my next batch of beans and grains from my CSA - they look so pretty and tidy in their labeled jars!

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