If you feel as though you are the only one who can find anything in your house, that you alone are the Master of locations for all things domestic, and that your assistance is required every time your partner or children want to find something in your house, then this article is just for you.
Installment One- The Mystery of the Pantry
Finding the Tuna Fish
The key to this culinary quandary is to make things as simple as possible for anyone in your house to find things without needing you to actually go and find it for them. The first step is to remove all the food items from your cabinets or pantry. Take stock of these items and put them together into groups that make sense. For instance, make a group of coffees, teas, cocoa, and drink mixes. Make another for canned goods, another for pastas.
Once you have organized all the items into groups, the second step is to realize the frequency that your family needs to access these different groups to decide how they should be arranged inside the cabinets. If you make coffee every morning, cocoa for the kids a few times a week, and use the drink mix fairly frequently, then these items should be placed into the cabinet in a way that is easily accessible and visibly seen. Place this grouping up front in a cabinet and mid level (about eye level average for those in your home). Keep organizing each group this way, making sure that all the boxes, jars, etc. face outward so they can be read without being picked up.
After everything is neatly in its place in the cabinets, make labels for the inside of the cabinet doors that correspond with the location of the food items. For instance, you would make a label that reads “Coffees, teas, cocoas, and drink mixes” and place the label on the door where those items are kept. Now, for the fun part! Bring each member of your family into the kitchen for a pantry orientation. Show them how you organized the cabinets, where each group of items is located, and how to read the labels for quick reference. Emphasize that this is for THEIR benefit so they can find things easily without having to ask you.
The nice by-product of this project is that it makes it possible for anyone in your house to also know where to put things back, how to put groceries away,and easily notice when items are running low. If you want to be extra organized, you can get a small dry erase board and marker, attach it to the inside of one of the cabinet doors, and when something runs low or out, your family can write it down on the board. Voila! Instant grocery list!
Stay tuned for Installment Two – The Frustrating Fridge