Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Let's Talk Pantries

 We all have some kind of pantry.  It may be cabinets, a 'real' pantry, ender the bed storage, a room turned pantry, the basement, the garage, closets..........  Then we have freezers.  Medicine cabinets.  Health and beauty supplies.  Cleaning and laundry.  Pet needs.   There are all kinds of parts to our pantries.

How do you keep inventory?  Or do you?  I think we can all use some new ideas.
As far as my pantries - I just kind of know what I have.  My organization helps me stay on top of things for the most part.  Oldest items to the front and newer to the back.  Helps to ensure that I use things up. (Not always a guarantee!).  Sure, sometimes things get shuffled around and I lose track.  I find them and 9 times out of 10 - they will still get used, regardless of the 'best by date'.


I keep a 'sort of' inventory of the freezers.  I start out gang busters when I clean and straighten the freezers - I have a pen and paper and make a great inventory list.  THEN within a short time - that goes by the wayside and I back to sticking things in where they fit!!!  Yes I do.
I try to keep freezers sorted by beef, chicken, pork and veggies.  It starts out great when first cleaned - then...............eh, sort of goes to heck!!!!!  So I dig arounnd.

In the actual pantry and dry goods over stock area - I keep like items together and make decent categories.  I keep spices together, soups, beans, tomato products, baking, fruit, dried beans and rices, you get the idea.  Like items together and then try to rotate.
Most paper products (basically TP) is stacked downstairs or in a closet upstairs.  I have a hall closet that contains medical stuff and all my extra health and beauty items.

What kind of organization do you utilize?  What is your system?

Do you find it easy to 'shop' at home?  I think that is so much fun!  When I run out of something, I know right where to go to get extras.  No need to go out and spend money.  That is one of my great satisfying moments!!!!! 
 
My goal this month, is to stay away from the stores.  The garden is starting to come on with fresh items, and heaven knows I have more than enough food and supplies on hand to take of my needs and probably yours for a long, long while.  
I tend to go shopping when bored.  I spend IF I go - so I need to stay home for a while!  We will see how that goes - sometimes I just need a 'get out of the house' fix - but then I spend.  I guess that is OK, as I do use what I have and share when I can.

Let's share ideas on keeping your inventory and knowing what you have.  Organizational ideas are always welcome as well.  We can all use some new ideas and tweaking of how we do things.
Look forward to what you all have to share!!!!

42 comments:

  1. When we lived on our acreage we had a "cave" cellar where I kept all my canning. And in the house I had my pantry upstairs on shelves in a spare bedroom. Now that we have moved to town I was fortunate to have a large amount of cabinet space in our laundry. I can keep my pantry stash there as well as my canners. This is right off the kitchen so very handy. The basement has a closet that I keep empty canning jars when I run out of space for those upstairs.

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    1. It is neat you found ways to re-establish your pantry in a new way at your home. I remember when my sister lived out and had 'root' cellar. It stayed just the right temp and was built into a hill. Pretty neat.
      I am glad you have so much storage - it sure helps.

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  2. As you know, I'm starting out from scratch again. Probably NOT the best time to do so. Sigh. In *this* house, there are plenty of cabinets, including a floor to ceiling, deep built-in cabinet in the laundry room that will serve as the main pantry. The office and guest room closets are deep enough to put shelves in "nook" areas there. Under bed storage, of course, when I get to that point. We have a side by side fridge we brought with us; right now that's the only freezer.

    I'm looking forward to any/all tips that will be shared today!
    --Elise

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    1. Sounds like you have a really great start!!! Floor to ceiling is so cool! You could also stack some milk crates in those 'nook' areas of closets. Open side out and they would act like shelves. Hope you get lots of ideas today!!

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  3. It is so nice to go to your own personal "store" to prepare a meal. Right now the garden is adding to that "store". We commandeered the garage with heavy duty shelving for canned storage. That area has been recently updated and is in good shape. Freezers are another story. We started out with certain items on certain shelves. Then it gets to the point where frozen food is put where it fits. The plastic packaging is slippery and goes flying if not tucked in securely. Smarts when it hits a toe!

    I discovered our neighbors who have a nice basement (think of all that storage!) don't have a freezer and most likely don't have a very deep pantry. I know, not my business, but I would think a 92 year old man would know better. I found this out when I gave his wife some zucchini so she could make bread. I offered her more, saying that she could shred it, bag it and freeze it. They have only the refrigerator freezer. I can understand if folks have limited space and funds. I love reading about the creative ways you and your followers store goods.

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    1. Nice that your garage can be used. Probably a good thing I can't - too hot or cold - but I do have that basement!
      Your freezer arrangement sounds like mine. Starts with good intentions! Yes, those frozen blocks of meat DO hurt when banging a toe or foot.
      You would think at their age they would be concerned about preparing. Maybe they just have decided they did enough back in the day. Interesting.

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    2. It may be that it is not safe for your elderly neighbors to go to their basement very often. My 91-yo husband cannot do steps unless he can pull himself along with grab bars on both sides. He also is not able to get to things that are down very low or up high.

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    3. Very good point!!!!!! So true.

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  4. Oh my, no tracking record whatsoever. I have a good size cupboard under my bathroom sink. Shampoo, bodywash, facewash, toothpaste and toilet paper are stocked there . When I pull the last one of something I stock up for a year. TP I buy anytime I see a good price as I can store 24 double rolls easily and more still in package in my closet if the price is super good.

    Shelving in the garage holds all the canning and I bring a few at a time each, inside to the pantry. I have a floor to ceiling pantry about 20" deep and 6f wide. I buy very few canned goods rather, mostly ingredients. I buy bulk so I fill my containers as they empty. Bulk doesn't really ever go on sale. I'm not a person to buy 20# of rice/beans/barley but my containers will last 2 months. I do buy my organic WW flour in 25# bags-my grocer will order it for me w/o shipping cost as this is a vendor they use in bulk bins.

    Our 14cf freezer holds some garden produce, my stock-up of ground beef from a local farm and salmon from our local family that goes to Alaska fishing for the summer. (I buy 10-15# at a time depending on time of year as I like to have it weekly for dinner.) I aim for 50 quarts of ratatouille each year from the garden, stewed tomatoes, pesto and any veg we can't consume.

    Do I have what would traditionally be called a Larder? Not really. We can easily live on 1/month grocery shop for dairy/fruit. I did it through winter for 4m as a trial run. If we could buy nothing at all, we certainly wouldn't go hungry, but be limited on variety. If I had to guess I would say it would take us 6m to empty everything completely? That's not bad for city dwellers ;-)

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    1. Not bad for city dwellers at all! What a nice pantry space. I don't buy in bulk much - but I do have pounds and pounds of rice and dried beans of all sorts. I buy smaller packs cheaply and then fill my gallon jars.
      Beef and fish - sounds good to me.
      I agree, I could go a long while with just what is on hand. I think I could have good variety for a long while - then more basic.
      We all do what we can and having a stash for a period of time is just wonderful. Keep up the good work!

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  5. There's a "cold" room in the basement that holds canning (beans, tomatoes, salsa, fruit, chutney) and extra canned goods, broth, coffee, etc. When there's a good sale, I stock up, i.e. coffee, 20 lb bags of flour & sugar. I usually only keep one ahead. There's an extra fridge that holds extra eggs, margarine, butter, etc. awa carrots and fresh produce if there's extra stock up. There's a chest freezer that holds meats, bread, veggies from the garden. I once vowed not to purchase any more protein until I used what was already in the freezer; it took 6 months. As mentioned above, I try to organize the freezer into sections and it starts out great then devolves. I occasionally do an assessment so items don't get forgotten and make a point of using the oldest first. There's seldom anything older than 6-12mos. It helps to date packages. I label leftover foods as well so there won't be any surprises once frozen. Leftovers are usually kept in the kitchen fridge freezer so as not to be forgotten. I keep a running grocery list and seldom run out of anything. I'm good at shopping at home rather than shopping for a specific menu. I try to keep grocery shopping down to every 2-3 weeks. It helps not to even look at grocery flyers so as not to be tempted.

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    1. How neat on the cold room! That extra storage sure comes in handy. What is it about freezers? Sounds like we all have such great intentions and then chaos!
      I keep any leftover meals or portions in the frig freezer as well. That way I don't lose them and they get used up.
      Running grocery list is very smart. I try.
      Not looking at sale ads - there is a concept!!!!! I need to do that. That is what always entices me to go shopping - "oh what a deal"!!!!!
      Sounds like a good system.

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  6. Hi Cheryl,
    I just started reading your blog. It is very enjoyable!
    Keep up the good work!
    Aimee

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    1. Hi Aimee - so nice to have you here. Hope you share and enjoy lots of goodies. We have a really good group.
      Thank you!!!!!! Have a great day!

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  7. I live in a 918 sf home with no basement, garage, or porch. So what you see is what you get. Friends are always amazed at how I use my storage (2 beroom closets, 1 hall linen closet, 1 entry closet, and a furnace/water heater/ironing board and broom closet, where I store my vacuum, a step stool, and an electric oil radiated heater for extra heat in the winter. The linen closet shares half of its shelf space with kitchen pantry items and extra cleaning supplies. Every closet is full to the top in carefully stacked out of season clothing and other stuff. One closet's entire top shelf is Christmas decorations, except for the tree box which JUST fits under the chest high bottom shelf. I live alone, so shopping for extras to stock up does not mean 24 rolls of TP when I can barely find storage for the extra 6 after I fill the bottom drawer in the bathroo vanity. Every chest, cupboard, and drawer is thought about as carefully as I can. I love to cook, so when I shopped for a new refrigerator, I was more concerned about the size of the freezer, than how big the refrigerated section was. Consequently, that area looks like I am starving myself it is so empty, but the freezer section is stuffed. Like you I start out with good intentions and an inventory list of the door, but every three months or so, I I have to redo it, because I forget to subtract and add to it as I should. I really miss having a basement or a garage, not so much for storage for the an area where I can paint or do messy chores. Refinishing a kitchen table in the kitchen and working around it can be awkward.

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    1. That is about the size of my home - but I do have a full basement as well.
      It takes some imagination and creative storing to get a lot of items in a smaller home. Sounds like you have got it figured out pretty darn good.
      Those freezers get us every time! LOL! They just never stay tidy - I say Gremlins!!!!
      I would truly miss all the extra room for projects and storage without a basement. The garage is still just an accumulation of late hubs things. Never had a car in it as long as I have lived here!
      Sounds like you have a good system going.

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  8. Most of my canned goods (store-bought) are on a lazy Susan in my kitchen - I use a list to keep track of those items taped to the inside door. I use a pencil to mark changes. There is a second lazy Suzan I use for larger items (oils, vinegars, coffee cans, etc.) When I had the kitchen redone, I had the tall pantry cabinet fitted with pull out drawers, so handy for seeing what I have. That pantry holds baking ingredients, dry pastas, cereals, crackers, soup mixes and so forth.
    I no longer have a freezer, using only the fridge freezer. This was an effort to get accustomed to living in a smaller space (having assumed the house would sell). I find it keeps enough food for us for at least a month though I tend to add to it ever two weeks or so. The benefit of being without the freezer is the lower electricity costs - about $20/month, and I don't lose things in the fridge freezer the way I did with the big one. If I were to get another freezer in the future it would have to be a stand-up as I can't reach the bottom of the chest freezers.

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    1. Lazy susans are a great idea. Oh my, pull out shelves - that is so neat. Those would sure make life easier.
      Upright freezers are nice - as no standing on your head involved! It is still easy to lose things - but hunting is a lot easier.
      I think if I just had the frig freezer only - I would have a lot more canned (home or store) meat for the shelves. That would be my worry, if I couldn't get any more for some reason.
      I bet your kitchen is nice! It sounds it.

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  9. I'm a single-person household and live in a townhome, so space for my small-ish pantry is limited. I've always maintained a pantry of staples and could probably go 3-6 months (if not more) with only purchasing fresh produce and dairy. And, if push came to shove, I could probably survive without that, as well. My problem is that I like variety in my menu.

    I have a side-by-side refrig/freezer and freeze ground meats flat, in half-pound packages, and then stand them up in a basket. I do the same for veggies I prefer frozen (peas, brussels sprouts). Those 2 baskets sit side by side on one shelf. I have chicken pieces frozen in single-serve portions in a built in shelf-basket, and then have larger cuts and containers on the lower shelves. chopped portions of peppers, onions, and fruits are on the door shelves, along with sausage links (breakfast, Italian, Polish, hot dogs). Juices and other items get fit in where I can stow them. When I plan my meals, I keep in mind what I have on hand, and only purchase other cuts when on sale or to add to the freezer for later use.

    Cereal and other larger boxes go in a cabinet in my island. I've added lots of shelving in my broom closet (and moved brooms to the "nook" in my coat closet). On the deeper side, I have a shelving unit with pull-out mesh drawers that hold canned goods (shallow drawers fit regular cans on their side; larger baskets for larger cans and an over-abundance of storage containers), shelves above with clear containers to coral like items -- pasta in one bin, rice in another, baking mixes in a separate container, chocolate chip and smaller baking items in another. Paper towels are opened and put on the top shelf--I use a meat fork to pull them down one at a time). I have adjustable shallow basket racks mounted on the shallow "nook", back wall, and door. Home-canning overflow stays in a box on the floor, and I use that for storage for empty jars, as well. My pressure and water bath canners and other canning supplies are on a shelf in the garage.

    I empty the pantry and freezer twice a year and do a thorough inventory -- once in the late Spring, in preparation of canning season and once in the Fall, as we near the holiday season.
    The Spring inventory lets me identify what do I need to can, what I have enough of; and what I'm not using much of, and I can also check seals, regroup items, etc. The Fall inventory is in anticipation of holiday gatherings and good sales for stocking up.

    When organizing, I make sure I place like items together, so I can tell at a glance how many cans of this or that I have, and where I may need to replenish -- all corn is together, sorted by whole kernel and cream style. As I grab a can of cream-style, I note that I have only 2 left and with the holidays, I'll need more for our favorite family corn casserole. That will be added to my shopping list (small spiral notebook) under a "stock up" heading, so when I see a good buy, I'll replenish. Same with my freezer. As the chicken drawer or ground beef basket start having open space, I'll watch for a good sale and stock up.

    I have 2 full bathrooms and a half-bath, as well as 2 walk-in closets in the master, one of which includes my stash of TP and extra paper towels. Both full baths have a double vanity / single sink, and back-up cleaning and bathroom supplies are stored in those areas. As I use up the excess, I can see at a glance where I need to stock up. I know how much I use and then calculate how much I need. For example, I tend to go thru one roll of TP a week + extra for guest bathroom and powder room. My favorite grocery store used to put their store-brand TP (which I like) on loss-leader every month / 6 weeks. At the start of COVID, I had 8 @ 12-packs and seriously thought about selling off a 12-pk or 2 to the highest bidder.

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    1. Girl you got it going on!!!!!! My goodness you sound organized. I love the flat packages for freezer. I do that with ground beef. It sounds like you could give lessons on organizing. I love to see a neat freezer.
      You sure have a nice system and make good use of all your room.
      Hey, you could have made a small fortune on TP at one point in time! LOL. I try to stay ready on that front - even more now. BUT, if I did run out, well I can think of many other options that don't cost a cent.
      You have a great system!

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  10. Our house is @850sqft, no basement or attic, and it's just the two of us. The 10ft chest freezer is on the unheated/uncooled mud porch and is full. It is organized by type and date in plastic bins, cardboard boxes, and the hanging wire baskets that came with it. I use a whiteboard to try to keep track of the contents and defrost and inventory every 6 mos. Bird seed is in metal trash cans and dry cat food bags are in a plastic bin also on the mud porch. The refrigerator freezer is for open packages, Husband's bread, leftovers and quick breads. Fridge is full of produce, dairy and condiments.
    I have a small floor-to-ceiling coat closet in the kitchen that has added shelves and is the ready-use pantry and pots & pans storage. I also added three 4-ft long shelves on the wall for more food storage. I couldn't use regular cabinets due to plumbing lines, so I build a large frame for the countertop and sink. It is open underneath with curtains instead of doors. Cleaning and laundry materials are under the double sink. Paint, caulk, and other items that can't stay out in the heat/cold are under the rest of the kitchen counter. Three bins of baking supplies wrapped in plastic are in my closet. Canned food is in open case boxes by type under my and Husband's beds. A very small (6x8ft) bedroom was converted to an entry from the carport and is full of storage. Plastic shelving holds paper products, bottled water, toiletries and first aid items in bins, a large box of plastic grocery bags, foil, ziploc bags, vegetable oil, batteries, light bulbs, filters (vacuum, water, etc.), and water in old kitty litter jugs for emergency flushing. Wood shelves in the closet hold canned and packaged food, soap, detergent and more toiletries. These three shelves are covered by old sheets since this is our main entrance. The closet shelf has paper plates and other items. A fourth bookself (roadside find) has more TP and Husband's magazines. I estimate that other than fresh produce, bread, and dairy/eggs, we could eat for at least a year, if variety is not considered.

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    1. forgot to add: Frances in the Trailer Park

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    2. Wow, you have it going on as well. Talk about organization. I love how everyone is using every inch of space they have to be prepared for 'whatever'. This is so neat. It is neat that you can use the porch for storing various things. Your freezer sounds like it is uber organized.
      Under the bed storage is very much needed when you have limited space. Those open flats of cans fit perfectly.
      You are doing fantastic at using all your available space. I really like the bookshelves turned into pantries!
      I just love that we all live in different locations and in very different spaces - yet we all still have preparing and being ready for anything on our minds. Great minds think alike!
      Thanks - have a good one!

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  11. Well, I am late to the party today because I have been in the kitchen canning dry beans. I am finishing up 14 jars for today of pinto and black beans and black eyed peas. Jars of canned foods are my hardest to store because you cannot stack them. Most everything else has it's place. I have an entire wall of floor to ceiling cabinets that are food storage plus a 5 food wide closet in my kitchen. We have shelves in the garage for canned foods and also store food safe buckets upstairs in our bonus room that hold flour and rice. We did do quite a bit of stocking up because of inflation and we have some huge storage tubs in the corner of our bedroom right now. We have two refrigerators and a 21 CF upright freezer. The freezer is relatively new because we needed a bigger one and needed to move to frost free. I was so happy that when we made the freezer move we did not have a single item that needed to be thrown out. Several years ago we moved to everything in the freezer being stored in plastic baskets. When we bought the new freezer we had to buy more and different size baskets which were an investment but our system is working so we did not want to just put everything in on the shelves because we knew we would go back to lost and freezer burnt foods. The new freezer also has some drawers which we have assigned to bacon in one, sausage in another and the third one has hotdogs, smoked sausage and other link type sausages. Then we have baskets assigned to different types of meat and one for things like frozen potatoes. It is easy to take out a large basket of say, chicken, and srt through it out of the freezer to find what we need and then just slide the basket back into it's place. It is much easier to use foods in date order this way as well since we do not have to empty shelves to look for things. We can also see what we are running low on quite easily. Our bacon drawer is stuffed because we had a chance to get pound packages for 2.50 last week and we bought al that we thought we could store. At this point we are only buying what are super deals or items that we really need to replace. This week we know that we need to restock chicken thighs because we used a bunch over the weekend with company here and they are on sale and I can buy Town House crackers for 75 cents a box so I will get those. Another store has peanut butter for $1 a jar so I will add some to my pantry. Those stores are a quarter mile apart so no extra gas. I feel like we are in a good place with our pantry and storage except still trying to manage the canning jars and it feels good.

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    1. I think all that canning makes you early to the pantry post!!!! How enterprising. That is a lot of work. I often leave my jars in their boxes and then I place my home canned goods back in them and then I can stack. That leaves 2 layers of cardboard between jars.
      i think I have freezer envy!!!! Yours sounds superb! I have almost a whole lower shelf of freezer with bacon as well. I got a deal that couldn't be passed up. I don't eat it often, but have it at the ready and all vacuum sealed.
      I like your system. Get it while it is cheap and stock up. That is a good time to get items for many months or even a year - if you have the room.
      Entire wall of floor to ceiling cabinets - dream on Cheryl. That sounds wonderful.
      Get some rest this evening. Enjoy all your wonderful goodies.

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    2. I have a few of those wonderful old canning jar boxes but the new ones are like the flat boxes for canned goods at the grocery store and that is mostly what I have here

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  12. My girls laugh and say I have a shop out in our garage! I have two large upright freezers and an old under worktop freezer out there that are all full and some old kitchen base units which are full of dry goods. However, I have no inventories so am completely unorganised in that respect. Every now and again I go out to the freezers and have a sort out putting mince, chicken, veggie meals all together and then gradually stuff just gets shoved in wherever there is a space and it all goes to pot!

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    1. Tell those girls - there is not a thing wrong with having a shop in your garage!!!! We love it.
      It is so nice to just be able to put a meal together with any number of things and not have to leave home. You are doing it right. Hope they are taking notes!!!!!!
      Well, if you have read comments - you will see you aren't alone. It seems many of us have freezer gremlins that just go in and mess things up!! LOL
      Glad to have you post. Please continue to do what you are doing now! You are doing great.

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  13. I have to be creative with storage because Tommy has been so recalcitrant about my use of his space. But, he has finally come around. All the cabinets are cleaned out and new shelf paper is slowly being applied by a helper. I have commandeered an extra bedroom for food storage. I bought shelving unit and upright freezer.

    One thing I do that is essential is labelling all foods with year date on top and front. This way, I can see the date without picking up or pulling out.

    All food stops at my recliner in the living room for dating. Tommy will go through food I have just put in a box to help with organization. Things get stored with like items, like green beans. He is good at making sure we are using up things by date. I cannot stand to do this. So, he does it.

    In the linen closet, I store store-canned meats. I have half-gallon jars for storage of flour and such. But, I cannot lift the weight safely, so I just use quart jars for storing flour and such. And, I keep the daily use things on the counter (flour, sugar, powdered sugar, etc) so I won't drop them as I get them from a cabinet.

    I keep small things like tiny jars of pimiento in a tiny bin from Dollar Tree. I started using bins in the refrigerator for my cheeses and another for his cheeses so they are not roaming around the shelves.
    I also have bins in the freezer for single portions of proteins. But, these have gone to hell in a handbasket. The cleaner we had to hire will one day set up my six-foot, folding table in the kitchen and go through the upright freezer and get it all sorted.

    Only loss leaders and bogo are bought most weeks. So, dates are spread out, making storage without too many of a certain date possible.

    So far, I have not used closets except for the linen closet for the canned meat. One closet is too hot all the time! The other bedroom is being cleaned out this week. The washer and dryer are in an outdoor utility room that is nasty, so no storing anything out there. I keep extra washing and cleaning supplies in the bottom of the linen closet.

    In a dresser in the extra bedroom are toothpaste, foil, plastic wrap. There is a method to my madness...lol.

    There is no inventory which I hope to accomplish. I cannot stand for long, so all this is hard for me. He cannot walk or stand without his walker. Even a walker does not help me to stand. He is better at standing, even for a long time. But, I can walk without a walker. It gets complicated.

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    1. Any type of mobility issue can complicate things. You are doing good in spite of all the issues you both have.
      I have never dated things - except things I can - then I put the year canned on the jar lids. Dates have never been an issue with me. It is nice you take the time to do that.
      Sounds like things are moving in a positive direction for you. That is great.

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    2. Forgot to mention - I like the idea of little bins in the frig. Neat idea.

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    3. Is this the blogger whose house was is disrepair and collapsed a few years ago? I recall the name Tommy. So I’m seeing if the same? I don’t know or easily remember your blog. Have you rebuilt or moved to a new place all together. And tommy has moved into your house? That sounds new and fun.

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    4. Don't forget you are a GUEST is his home. So calling him names like recalcitrant, are just not kind and are cruel. Think about how you can be gracious to a host and bring a grateful heart. (hugs) - Tina

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  14. Debby in Kansas USAJuly 6, 2022 at 7:05 PM

    I wish we had video of everything here! Wouldn't it be great to actually see?

    My kitchen has a pantry. Shelves only, no walk in. I keep things separated by items. Cereal shelf, can shelf, condiment and pasta shelf, baking shelf. I had the great idea to have my husband add mini shelves to the perimeter of each. 4" wide. They hold smaller things like jello, mixes, tea, and shorter jars. That added tons of room in otherwise wasted space and I can easily see everything. Aside from that, I store things all over. Under the bed, a living room hutch, the basement, and in an upright freezer.

    As for freezer organization, I only do good at one thing. I make menus so I need certain freezer items from the garage. On Sunday evening, I give the list to husband and he puts everything in a bin that has a space in the inside freezer. So, when I go to make dinner, we've already gathered everything. Admittedly, it would be easier to keep an inventory but I never keep it up so I quit.

    In other news, we got our first cherry tomato of the year!!

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    1. Videos and pictures would be fun! Sounds like many of us keep items by category.
      I admire that you make a planned menu. I have never had that motivation. I plan the day before - but that is as far as it goes. That way I get out freezer items - but one day is basically my limit. Yours sounds like a good system.

      I got my first cherry tomato as well. YAY us!!!!!!!

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  15. Garage has shelving...all home canned goods and empty jars are stored there.also some boughten canned goods, gallons of vinegar and extra laundry detergent.
    In utility room there a pantry...just shelving, not walk in.
    In our bedroom is a plastic tote holding extra paper good and hygiene items that I have decided I wanted more of after the TP debaucle!
    In our linen closet I keep an extra of each item we need in the bathrooms, etc. so we can replenish easily.
    Now my freezers..oh my! I will say I try but they seem to keep getting stirred and stirred. I did buy a few plastic bins from $ Tree that I keep a supply of chicken in one, beef in one and pork in one. When they empty, I refill.
    I also have quite a few kitchen cabinets and have some things stored there. Way to many spices...guilty as charged!

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    1. I got a Container Store brand rack for the back of a door and put all my spices there in alphabetical order and wowsa it was a game changer!

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    2. Gal, it seems we all have a problem with those freezers! Yep, we all start with great intentions and BOOM. It is nice that so many have a nice sized pantry.
      I have a rack on the inside of the pantry door for all my extra spices as well. A relative made it for me. They are game changers. Nice to be able to have things in order.
      I think the last couple years has given a lot of people the idea to stay more stocked on certain items!
      Great job.

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  16. What a fun topic! I like reading all the methods.

    I have a kitchen pantry cabinet. It's about 3'w x 4'h x 2'deep with pull out shelves. I was thrilled to have it when we moved here years ago because before that I had to use a linen closet for storage. But alas it's not enough for someone who buys in bulk and on clearance! The shelves are so laden I can't risk pulling them out. They would break. I'm slowing rededicating it to current use items and finding other places to store in the house especially as I have begun to stock up regularly.

    I have a high cabinet in the kitchen I have to use a step stool to reach. I keep my bulk spices up there since I only need to replenish my spice jars infrequently. I cleared another cabinet in the kitchen to hold my dehydrated food (this is recent as I only started that in earnest) and pastas. I have a lot of pastas! They've moved around as I've added to my stock.

    What was to be the cute guest bedroom when my daughter moved out has now become a walk in pantry of sorts! Yes there's a bed and dresser (full of stored items). At first, I was just using the closet. But now I have a short, freestanding bookshelf to hold TP and paper towels (I don't use paper towels much but other folks seem to require them). I also have another freestanding shelf for grocery items that won't fit in the closet (everything in repurposed boxes like all bbq sauce is together, sparkling water got on clearance) and I have several 5-gal buckets to hold soft type items like flour, oatmeal, boxes of cereal (I take out of box), cookies mixes, etc. I taped paper to the buckets and write what I put in there when I put it in there and then I make sure to keep the paper facing out so I can find the correct one.

    The closet shelves are divided by year. One shelf is expired items so I always check there first. Then one shelf for 2022 and another is 2023 & 2024 (& beyond). On the floor of the closet I have a basket of many, many bottles of mustard.

    That closet also holds my 3 tier shoe rack I got free. My daughter gave me all her shoes when she discovered after having her baby that her feet did not go back to her old size. She loves shoes. I am not a shoe person so I anticipate I won't have to buy shoes for many years! I currently wear and have worn for the last year a comfy pair, slippers and nicer shoes for church (2 pairs--one if it's nice out and another if it's yucky). Last time I bought shoes was 3 years ago for my daughter's wedding.

    I also have a box of empty baby food jars in that bedroom my daughter saves for me. They hold about 1/3 cup and are perfect for saving sauces that are enough for 1 person. I tested them out and they freeze well and I'm careful with thawing them.

    I used to keep all the extra personal hygiene, soaps, lotions, etc in that bedroom closet but since I really needed it for grocery items I cleared out a drawer in the bathroom and put it all in there. I am getting low on those things since that all came from a stocking up about 3 years ago. About time to start stocking up again though I haven't seen much on sale, preferably clearance for those lately.

    I have a new upright freezer in the garage. Because we live in a wooded area I don't keep food anywhere in the garage but the freezer. The top shelf is breads.
    The next 2 shelves are fruits and vegetables. The last shelf and basket at the bottom are meats/ seafood. The doors are dairy and everything else. So far it's working. It's stuffed so I'm avoiding going to the stores with good meat discounts as I have no room right now. I don't really need a list as I can see everything pretty much. I might need to pull out the meat basket to see inside but that's it. I've never been able to buy a cheap deal Thanksgiving turkey but I plan to this year as I will make sure that freezer has the space!
    ~~margaret

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    1. Goodness, what organization. I love the idea of shelves sorted by date - that is pretty neat. No one else has mentioned that.
      It sounds like your system is really working for you. I have never used 5 gal. buckets. I do have a couple - just never put them to use. I do keep extra sugar in old popcorn tins (still in bags).
      I like the sounds of your sorting in freezer. I sure hope you can get a cheap turkey this year! Make that space.
      I am with you - I can't get anything else in freezer - so it is time to stay home!!!
      Keep up the good work.

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  17. I do the same with the freezer/pantry lists! I'm always sure I'm going to stay on top of it THIS TIME but I never do ;) I do periodically look through both freezer and pantry and if something seems to be languishing I google recipes for (insert item or multiples) and try to use them up.

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  18. I never owned a freezer before quarantining and the Pandemic. I was out and about often and passed several grocery stores so no need to stock-up. Toilet paper shortage changed my behavior. We are prone to hurricanes and power outages, so I didn't want to waste a lot of inventory in case of spoilage I bought a small chest freezer which I have a love/hate relationship with. I plan my meals around the meat and got so tired of digging for the hamburger (really hard on the back). So I bought the jumbo 2.5 gallon Hefty slider bags, labelled them by type of meat, and find them easier to pick-up and move around. A small table beside the freezer helps to place items so I can get to the bottom. Believe me, if I had it to do over again, I'd buy an upright freezer.

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