Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Pantry Organization for Food Storage

Part of the second Preparedness Challenge in January was to clean out the food in your kitchen cupboards. So, welcome to my organized kitchen pantry. This room actually used to be the laundry room of the first home owners. When we remodeled our home in 2017, I had my builder add lots of shelves and cabinets. I kept telling him it was important for food storage.

You can find more kitchen and pantry organization ideas on my Pinterest page Home: Pantry Organization.


It's not the pantry most people have, but it's very helpful when all 25 members of our family are in town. I'm the mom of seven children and twelve grandchildren if you didn't know.

These large cupboards used to be a doorway leading into our dining room. We had it sealed off to provide more kitchen privacy and a large pantry cupboard built.


THREE-MONTH FOOD STORAGE
I love this pantry! I try to keep all or our everyday food storage in here so I can see what I have. It's definitely more than a 3-month supply for some items. Don't worry if you can't store all of your 3-month food storage in your kitchen. You don't have to. Find other places in your home.

Broom closet, appliances, snacks, etc.

I keep most of my unopened long-term food storage cans and bags in our food storage room in the basement. If I were to buy another home, a high priority for me would be to have lots space for food storage. Are you surprised a prepper like me would say that?




SNACKS
Okay. Now we're getting into the personal stuff. The snack cupboard. You can't even see the food bars above in this pic, but they are there in a plastic bin. I like to take them out of the boxes so they can quickly be grabbed for lunches.

 I really cleaned this cupboard out. Threw the really bad-for-us-stuff away. I know microwave popcorn isn't the best thing for you, but there is one box there next to the good popcorn. 


SMALL CAN ROTATION BOXES
This picture shows the CanOrganizer boxes that hold my small canned foods like tomato sauces, fruits, vegetables, beans, canned chicken and tuna and honey. The company is no longer in business, but this is a great product. I love how I can put a can in the top of the box and it rolls down to the bottom. Perfect for rotating your food so you use the oldest item first. Someday I want to add labels to those boxes.

Crates from JoAnn's hold beverages on the bottom left and my pressure cooker and crock-pot above, as well as my cookbooks and several highchairs. Oh. I forgot to mention there is a candy shelf really high up that my husband loves. He's the candy man.


PANCAKE MIX
Before I straightened this shelf, it was a mess. Sorry no messy pictures. Items I need often, go on this shelf such as pancake mix, pancake syrup, my pressure cooker and crockpot. I have two kinds of pancake mixes sitting there. A 5 lb. bag of Krusteaz and four bags of LDS pancake mix. Krusteaz is used if I don't have much time and the other if I have more time and eggs. My husband makes us waffles every Sunday out of the LDS pancake mix.

While my family was in town for Christmas, we ran out of milk to make waffles. So we mixed up some LDS Nonfat Dry Milk and added it to the LDS pancake mix. It was perfect! No one knew.

You can purchase the LDS Pancake Mix in a 4 lb. bag and the LDS Nonfat Dry Milk in a 28 oz. bag for about $4.00 each at the LDS Home Storage Center stores. You can also order the milk online here, but it can only be ordered in boxes of 12 online.


COOKBOOKS AND PREPAREDNESS BOOKS
I moved my cookbooks to the left side of the pantry and I like them better here. Since I'm short, I like seeing my cookbooks at chest level. You can see on the stack of preparedness books I recommend. I created website tab called Buy Books which you can find here, but I have yet to tell you what I love about each one. Coming soon!


SUGAR BUCKETS
On the floor to the right are my sugar buckets. The bucket with the yellow lid is filled with white sugar, the one with a blue lid has 2 lb. bags of brown sugar and the one with the black lid has powdered sugar bags. I also have more sugar in my basement, but I like having access to these in the pantry. On the buckets are Gamma lids that are easy to turn and open. I bought them at a Utah case lot sale for about $6.00. They are very expensive on Amazon. 

You can see more small cans of food and more appliances such as a bread machine (I rarely use it), the Bosch, my Nutrimill wheat mill, a food processor and the ice cream maker I never use. 

Yes, I have a window in this pantry since it was a laundry room. I love daylight in my pantry! I know dark is best, but this has worked well for us. Those flowers make my pantry look pretty, but eventually they will go to other parts of the house.


Here's a closeup of the right side of the pantry. I don't like to put heavy items up high in my pantry because someone would get hurt in an earthquake. :-)

Above the appliance shelf is my baking supplies minus oils and shortening. I use these items often. I think I bought those canisters from Walmart and they are the perfect size. Sorry you can't see it all, but I have flour, sugar, powdered sugar, rice (only the LDS rice will do for me), LDS Spaghetti Bites that should have a lid, a few boxes of mac and cheese, and my pasta bins. What you can't see is the stacked 2x4's I had Home Depot cut that help me see what is behind the first row of items: cocoa, brown sugar and LDS Potato Pearls.


Here are the open cabinets on the right side.


BAKING BASICS
This is a cupboard with mixes, extra baking ingredients, cake decorating supplies and those bags you put candy in that tend to slip all over the place. I love seeing it all! Notice how I stacked the cake mix boxes with the name and expiration date right there for me to see?

I tossed plenty of items in this cupboard. I'm notorious for having expired foods in my cupboard. Shhhhh!


This cupboard has broths, soups and pasta sauce on top. Not sure I like this arrangement, but I did group like items. And I have lots of peanut butter, huh! I did toss a few. You can read more about peanut butter shelf life on StillTasty here. I use this website a lot! I highly recommend it. You really want to know how to store peanut butter.

Someday I'll stick the Contact Paper to the shelves. :-)


Last, but not least is all the trash. It felt soooo good to clean out the food in my pantry so what's left is edible. I hope you'll dig into your cupboards if you haven't already done so. Isn't that what January is all about? Getting organized?

I hope some of my ideas helped. One step at a time. You CAN do it!

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

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