Let's Make Room in Your Cupboards!

I know that the kitchen usually belongs to us women and we think we know what works best - not always. I stock the kitchen with the food I know my husband likes to eat and I leave him to it. My biggest problem was that he kept spilling cereal in his breakfast and snack cupboard and messing up my systems.

The problem - his cupboard. It should be his system. He wanted another cupboard and chose one that he felt would work for him. It took me 15 minutes to make the switch and I have not vacuumed inside this cupboard or re-organized anything in the past 2 months.

I didn't like the change but I decided to let it go. I have one less job to do frequently in the kitchen.

The point - make the kitchen work for your family.

Remember, your job is easier when everyone in the home is more independent.

1. Toss all canned goods, jars and packages that have passed their expiration dates.

2. Place pasta, cereal, rice, and other dried foods in labelled storage containers.

3. Group canned goods together and stack so that labels can easily be seen.

4. Store gravy, seasoning packets, etc. in a small plastic container for easy access.

5. Line up boxes with their 'spines' facing front like library books.

6. Store frequently used items at eye level or on lower shelves and in easy reach for younger children.

7. Purchase space saving products such as stacking containers and sturdy baskets for onions, garlic and potatoes.

8. Place heavy items, like boxes of soda and juice, on the floor or on a lower shelf.

9. Organize spices in a spice rack and place the ones used most often in the front row.

If you have an extra kitchen drawer, I recommend a Spice Drawer Insert. It can be trimmed with a utility knife to fit most cabinet drawers. Measure the drawer before shopping and buying.

10. Most dried spices lose their flavour in six months. Toss those older than six months or that you no longer use. Write the purchase or throw away date on the bottle with a black marker to keep track.

Short on kitchen storage. Set up pantry or shelving unit in a storage room or corner of your basement to hold extras like household supplies, canned goods, boxed items, etc.