Kitchen Organising – Storing Food Items (Part 3)

Now that you had time to organise all your Dinnerware (Part 1) and Cooking Tools (Part 2), we can move on to storing food items. I usually start with dry food first and then follow with fresh and frozen foods.

Dry foodPantry cupboard

  • Remove all food items from your cupboard or pantry and discard any expired foods. Two months over is fine for most dry food.
  • Clean out your storage space with soapy water before packing anything back.
  • Items that you use often should be easy to reach.
  • Group food by category, e.g. cereals, sweets, tinned food, etc.
  • Use spare boxes and containers to store the food groups inside your cupboard or drawer, especially for groups that consist of lots of smaller and different shaped packaging like sweets. 
  • Stack tinned food on top of each other and keep all bottle items upright.
  • Store onions and potatoes inside a basket. Potatoes should be stored in a cool, dry place.
  • Although glass containers filled with food look nice, I prefer to keep foods in their original packaging, so I can see the product description and expiry date.
    • Close packaging with a wooden peg. You can paint these to increase the happiness factor.
    • When storing food in glass jars make a note of the expiry date on the label.
  • Spices and condiments:
    • Store spices near the stove and keep items that you use often in the front.
    • Place different smaller packets inside a glass jar to save space.
    • Keep oils and vinegar close to your spices
    • Store sauces and certain condiments in the fridge after opening. Some products like tomato sauces can last for many weeks, but others such as Thai sauces need to be consumed within 1 or 2 weeks.
  • Beverages:
    • Store coffee and tea items near the coffee machine or stove.
    • Keep hard liquor at room temperature, either on a trolley or in the liquor cabinet.

Fresh foodFridge

  • Remove everything from the fridge and discard anything that has expired by a day, especially meat and seafood.
  • Clean out your fridge with soapy water before packing anything back.
  • Group foods by category.
  • Make use of plastic containers to store groups of smaller items such as cheeses, deli meats and fruits, which will make your fridge more organised.
  • I prefer to store fruits in the fridge as they last longer, especially in warm weather. Fruits also tend to attract fruit flies, which can transfer to your plants.
  • The correct way to store food in your fridge is:
    • Door shelves and top-shelf: condiments
    • Middle door shelf: opened beverages
    • Top shelf: food that doesn’t need cooking, e.g. deli meats and cheeses
    • Middle and lower shelves: dairy, food leftovers and wine bottles
    • Bottom shelf: raw meat and fish
    • Bottom drawer: vegetables, fruit and herbs
  • The fridge door is the warmest part; therefore milk should be stored on the middle shelves, especially if you don’t consume an opened bottle within 2 days.

Frozen foodFreezer

  • Remove everything from the freezer and discard items that have been in the freezer for too long.
  • The guideline for storing frozen food is:
    • 1 year: whole chicken
    • 9 months: chicken pieces and steak
    • 6 months: chops, chicken fillet and bacon
    • 3 months: fish, minced meat, meat cubes and sausages
    • 2 months: food leftovers and soups
    • 1 month: bread
  • Defrost and clean out your freezer with soapy water before packing everything back.
  • Group foods by category.
  • Place flat packaging on top of each other.
  • All food leftovers should be labelled before you freeze them.
  • Tip: Keep kitchen food scraps in a bag and place in the freezer until you discard it.

” You are what you eat.”

Follow my 52 Week Organise your Life Programme

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