Of course, food takes up a large amount of your kitchen.
Kitchen food storage breaks down into three categories: food that goes in the pantry, cold foods that require refrigeration, and frozen foods that go in the freezer.
Let's go over each of these areas in turn and look at ways to streamline and organize them.
No pantry? No problem. If you don't have a built-in food pantry, assign some cabinets to the task to create a kitchen food storage center.
Ideally, choose a few large cabinets close to your refrigerator and stove.
Most kitchens have a lot of cabinets and drawers, but they are usually a chaotic mess. You buy marinara sauce, just to find three jars hidden behind the olive oil. The solution?
Organize your storage, so you know what you have and where you have it.
Group foods by type. Don't just stuff items into the first open space you see.
Instead, stock foodstuff in the same place each time, grouping like items.
In my pantry, I put crackers, chips, and other snack foods on the highest shelf not easily in reach; cereal and other breakfast items on the second shelf.
Pasta, pasta sauces, and boxed pasta and rice mixes on the third shelf; canned vegetables and fruit on the fourth; and soups and canned beans on the bottom.
This way, I can tell at a glance what I have and what I need to buy. If there's no oatmeal on the second shelf, I know there is no oatmeal in the house.
Put rarely used items on the tallest shelves and in the back of cabinets.
Put your family's favorite foods in the middle, at eye level. Heavy items such as cans go near the bottom.
This also makes it easy for you to wipe off the dust that naturally settles there.
Store bulk purchases - you know, the 17 boxes of pasta, 40 cans of chicken noodle soup, and 100 rolls of paper towels you got for a steal at the club store - in the garage or downstairs in the basement. Call this your overflow pantry, and use it to replenish your supplies as needed.
Essentially, no food benefits from storage. You want to eat everything as fresh as you can.
But since we can't all tromp out to the garden to harvest produce for each meal, here are some guidelines for helping your fridge function at its best.
Freezing food will keep it from spoiling, but the quality will still deteriorate over time. Use frozen foods as soon as possible, and follow these guidelines: