Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Food Storage Mania

It started with a small idea. A simple project that I could accomplish in only an hour. That was last week. I am still neck deep in my simple project.

We have several places to stockpile our food storage throughout the house. Our “Harry Potter Nook” under the stairs, inside our well loved kitchen bench, a wet-bar-turned-closet, and of course, the Mormon standard, under our bed. I have, in the past, kept track of everything on a computer program but had not written down where everything was. So that really didn’t do any good. I thought, foolishly, that I could quickly scribble down the items in the closet, get my bearings with our food storage, and move along.

After inventorying my closet, I realized TOO TOO TOO much was past its expiration date. Why on earth would I buy so many cans of carrots? We hate carrots. It was those insufferable #10 cans. How am I supposed to rotate those? I mean really, in a time of plenty, who is going to down a whole gallon of peas and carrots. I know I don’t want to open a #10 of them only to scrape off the top and throw the rest away. So, the alternative? I let it the WHOLE can sit and expire.

I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away so I called the food bank and thankfully they were eager to take the expired food off my hands. It was probably still good anyway, right? No bulges, no problem. Besides, they could use it up in one day and would probably find someone grateful for those nasty carrots.

All the way to the food bank, I began to formulate a new plan in my mind. I had to seriously update my system. Reboot. Reload. Move the cans that had to be used within 5 years to an easy accessible place, move the longer storing items somewhere else and stock up on regular sized can foods. I know it is not rocket science, but I felt proud of my plan.

So, with my recovering back, I pulled the food storage out from under the bed. I begged hubby for some muscle with the food under the stairs (by the way, I am pretty sure we have mice) and emptied the closet. And, of course my boys. God didn’t bless me with four strapping boys for nothing. You should have seen my kids faces when I said “Bring these 97 silver cans upstairs and take these 84 silver cans downstairs… then move those 42 silver cans from the closet to the 18 cans by the stairs… oh and on your way… bring these 23 silver cans upstairs… no they are NOT all the same.” They were pretty good sports overall. Together, we moved the wheat to all reside under the bed upstairs, the “have-to-get-to-them-often” items found their home in the closet and other grains and legumes are like Harry Potter – under the stairs. I was gimping around pretty good while hubby and the boys, eyes rolling and bodies sighing, just wished I would stop working on my project.

Then, I attacked the kitchen cupboards. Armed with my Cansolidators from Costco, and fresh canned food, I redistributed EVERY cupboard in the kitchen. Which meant I first had to empty them. Again, family is REALLY wishing I would just stop with the mania. But I pressed forward. I even canceled my help for the week, so I could really focus on organizing. So while B redistributed the food all over the floor (a new bottle of hot sauce really will explode when it hits ceramic tile at full 2 year old force) I plugged away. There was absolutely NO space on the counters or in the sink. Imagine my embarrassment when a friend needed to use my sink for water – boy did I start layering on the excuses why my house was such a wreck.

I am pretty close to being done. I still have to set up the “extra-large-no-where-to-put-them” Cansolidators – both of them – and my plan will be running in full force. Now if I can actually rotate them. Whew. But alas, I forgot ALL about the storage in the kitchen bench. Still, I should be able to squeeze everything into its new home.

Oh, and this time, I am totally keeping my inventory up to date.

*update* I couldn't bring my self to take pictures of my horrid mess... there are somethings that are even to frightening for cyberspace. However, I do promise to post the finished product when I am all done. :)


Erin said...

Wow, I thought I was doing well to just have an inventory! I guess I need to get it all arranged because thought I know I have 40 cans of flour, I would not be able to tell you where those cans are located other than the 10 places they are places around the house...sheesh

Our Crazy Family said...

This is why my dream home would have a WHOLE ROOM devoted to just food storage! Wouldn't that be AWESOME!!!

kara said...

What, no pictures? You are way more organized than me. I have let way to many food supplies expire. Maybe I need to reorganize too... thanks for adding one more thing to my to-do list :)

Trying to Stay Calm! said...

I really need to be better at my food storage!

Erin said...

Woah - I am completely impressed! All of my stuff is jumbled in the pantry. And then I wonder why I can't find anything???