Less Noise, More Green: Kitchen Reorganization, Part 4: Dried Beans and Grains

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Kitchen Reorganization, Part 4: Dried Beans and Grains

This is the fourth part of an eight part series where I reorganize my kitchen to work more efficiently for me.

This cabinet is where I store all of my dry goods - cereals, snack foods, pastas, grains and beans. Here is what it looked like before the reorganization:

The first thing to do was pull out the items that didn't belong here. The canisters of oats went into the baking cupboard, the tea to the drinks cabinet and the water jug went into the pine hutch.  I swapped the grains and beans and the cereals so that all the boxes are on the same side and the overflow can go on the top shelf. Here is what the cupboard looks like now:

As you can see I have a lot of free space on the top shelf, now!

I am not a big fan of fancy containers. I'm too busy to remove food from the labelled box it came to put it in a clear container. Plus, if it doesn't all fit, now I have to find room for the original box, doubling my storage requirements. This makes no sense to me. When it comes to items like cereal, with a teenage boy in the house a box of shredded wheat has the life expectancy of about 24 hours, if it's lucky. When Computer Boy is hungry, this is the cabinet he comes to looking for snacks and cereal. When he is done, only the most healthiest of foods have survived. The rest is a food massacre of wrappers and empty open boxes. I don't need to prettify my cabinet for that! Love you Computer Boy, but I'm looking forward to the day you stop growing.

I do use containers for the foods I buy in bulk and bring home in bags, such as lentils and wheat germ. I use mason jars and don't feel the need to label them. I also put dried beans in jars once I have opened the packet. I reorganized this shelf by grouping the beans and grains together so I can quickly inventory what I have and grab what I need.  This exercise showed me I have a lot of different grains I need to use up soon!

Some dry goods last longer if stored in the fridge.

The grains I keep in their original bags but put the bag in a zip lock to ensure freshness. Some of the grains, flours and seeds I refrigerate once I open them. Yes, this takes up space in the fridge, but I put them in a container to keep them together and they last a lot longer stored this way.

This was an easy cupboard to reorganize, which is just as well as I have real problem areas coming up. On Thursday I'll tackle my baking cupboard which I seem to have added a lot of food to as I tackled other cabinets and it is now over flowing!

How do you organize your bulk items?

Happy organizing!


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