Monday, December 15, 2008

So now where do I put it?

Now you have your food - you have deepened your pantry so that you have several weeks of food on hand. It is sitting on your kitchen island, your kitchen table, in the dining room, on the counters...It cant stay there - its driving you nuts....

The most important rule to food storage is that you do not have 2 pantries - your "regular" one and the "food storage" pantry. You have 1 pantry - ONLY ONE PANTRY. This does not mean that you keep everything together - if you have the room, fabulous, but most of us do not.

Personally, I have a pantry in my kitchen. Its a good size, but does not hold everything. This is the one I cook out of - the one I go to daily. The rest of our food storage is in our laundry room. This is where I stock my kitchen pantry from - my personal grocery stash.

When I buy groceries, I DO NOT TAKE THEM TO THE KITCHEN....the items would end up in my pantry that is in my kitchen. I put the items in my laundry room. When my kitchen pantry runs out or low, I stock from my Laundry room. This way, all items are rotated - first in, first out - in order to keep items from going bad - food spoilage is a waste - a waste of your time, your money, your efforts.

This was a long story to illustrate that you will need to work out your own system. If there are places in your home that are packed full, you may have to clean something out. Linen closets, laundry room shelves, hall closets, fill suitcases under beds, under bathroom sinks, top shelves of kids closets, trunk used as a coffee table....You can get creative. You can also have shelves installed, adjusted, added to....

Before you just put things someplace, think about your system. Walk through it in your head - unloading groceries, grabbing a can quickly, restocking your cooking stash, does the temperature stay pretty constant, kids messing with it....think about how you would walk through cooking a meal. If it flows in your head, you have a plan. If you think you can "work through it" or "get over" something, keep working on your system. If its a pain, you could be in danger of letting food just sit and ignoring the rule of "First in, first out."

This step requires a little effort - ok, it may require a lot of effort. But your satisfaction of seeing space filled with items you will feed your family, knowing you have provided a safe place will more than be worth it.

Warning....Once you have one month of food, you will want to strive for three months.....then six months....and then a year. Imagine the peace of being able to feed your family for one year and NEVER step foot inside a grocery store.... Dont worry - just use the above steps to rationally go through your needs of food and space. Research this subject online as well as check books out of the library or buy online. You can do this, look how much you have done already.

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