Maximizing Grocery Space During These Crazy Times!
During this crazy time (as recommended by the CDC) many of us are trying to limit trips to the grocery store, therefore buying extra food items a little at a time. The challenging part is making room for everything in your refrigerator, freezer and pantry!
When bringing in the groceries, be sure to disinfect what you can by using wipes on hard surfaces. It has been reported from the New England Journal of Medicine that the Coronavirus can last on cardboard for up to 24 hours, steel and plastic for up to 72 hours, and glass for up to 96 hours.
Here are some quick tips to help you maximize space:
Step 1: Decant
Remove snacks , cereal, rice and other pantry products from the cardboard packaging and decant into jars, bins or baskets. This will maximize space and it also adds a little style and personalization. Don’t have containers? Get creative and use what you already have at home. (Jars, food containers, baskets, etc..)
Step 2: Organize
Sort and store likes with likes. For instance, keep all your canned food together stacked in order by type. Separate and store snacks, rice, pastas, dried beans, etc. together in their own bins or baskets.
Step 3: Face ‘Em Forward
Have all labels facing forward. This alone will ad an instant, “cohesive” look to your pantry and allows for all items to be seen and recognized.
Step 1: Organizing
Again, store likes with likes. Place all yogurts together, (in order by flavor) beverages, cheeses, jams, condiments, leftovers, or what ever you might have in your fridge.
Step 2: Condense and Rotate
Remove old produce weekly, or as you shop, and rotate so that you use the older produce first.
Tip: If possible, designate one drawer for veggies and the other one for fruit.
Step 3: Face ‘Em Forward
Just like in the pantry, make sure all labels are facing forward. It makes it easier to find what you are looking for.
Step 1: Remove and Sort Items
Remove all items from freezer and sort them by type, likes with likes. Toss everything that is outdated. The USDA recommends tossing uncooked roasts, steaks, and chops after a year in the freezer, and uncooked ground meat after just 4 months. Meanwhile, frozen cooked meat should be tossed after 3 months.
Step 2: Wipe Down
Once all items are removed, give the freezer a good wipe down.
Step 3: Organizing
Organizing the freezer, just like the pantry, really comes down to personal style, and sometimes cost. Using bins in the freezer helps to keep items from flowing in to each other and creates a much more organized look. Get creative with these, you can use anything from cardboard boxes, food containers, baskets, etc..
Take It To The Next Level: Labels
Labels are helpful for the whole family and help keep everything in it’s place! Just like with your bins, you can get creative and use your own style when it comes to labels. You can purchase them or make your own. One of our favs is to use a black or white Sharpie paint pen to write labels right on the bins, or jars. Just remember to make sure that the freezer bins are room temperature before you write. You can also label using masking tape. We recommend cutting the ends with scissors rather than tearing, because it looks nicer and also prevents the edges from lifting.