The last week or so I’ve been spending a lot of time getting my kitchen organized in preparation for eating at home (eating out of the pantry, freezer, and refrigerator) for at least the month of February if not longer.
This has involved cleaning out 14 shelves and one long narrow cupboard (pantry) and defrosting the freezer for only the 2nd time in the 5 years I’ve owned it.
A lot of food that had gone past its best by date — especially a can of kidney beans that had a best by date in 1998!! — has gone into the garbage. Most of this food was from the pantry as I’ve just been stuffing stuff in there for literally years.
Ten of the pantry shelves now have a labeled dishpan inside (the labels match the contents of said dishpan). One shelf has cold cereal on it because the boxes won’t fit in the dishpan. The three remaining shelves are empty for the moment.
The long narrow cupboard has become the new home for a massive amount of tea (Lipton, Tazo, Safeway Select, Pukka, etcetera) and a huge amount of K-cups (not to mention a few boxes of Dunkin’ Donuts cold brew, some whole coffee beans from Sister’s Coffee, and some ground coffee from Starbucks). This cupboard also holds the Sweet Drops (stevia based sweeteners) and plastic stir sticks.
I moved all of the non-food items out of the pantry (including the cat food, treats, etcetera).
The cat supplies have a new home in the cupboard to the right of my double sink. I found 87 cans of Fancy Feast which my cat no longer likes so 24 cans went to Facebook Marketplace and 63 cans were donated to the local animal shelter.
Sandwich bags, freezer bags and the like have been moved to the storage area that is built into my kitchen table/island.
Blenders, mixers, and other small kitchen appliances plus pots, pans, dishes have all found new homes as well.
All the disposables (paper plates/bowls, plastic utensils, and a huge amount of plastic cups) have been moved to a large dishpan which sits on the office area countertop. I plan to use these up and not purchase again as they are not good for the environment.
It took about 16 hours altogether to get the pantry cleaned out and reorganized.
After I finished the pantry it was time to move on to the freezer. This freezer builds up a lot of ice and probably should be defrosted at least once a month. However, I’m very good at stuffing things in there and ignoring them for years (see pantry above LOL). I’m ashamed to say that I’ve had this freezer since late 2015/early 2016 and this was only the SECOND defrosting that’s been done.
It is hard to eat from your freezer, pantry, and refrigerator if you don’t know what you have in any or all of the aforementioned. In addition, I want to make my own cold brew coffee and iced tea, which is hard to do if you don’t have any ice.
The freezer defrosting and reorganizing was a piece of (frozen) cake compared to the pantry. 1) Unplug the freezer. 2) Get all the food out. 3) Discard out of date or badly freezer burned food. 4) Put the food that made the cut in a cooler or insulated bag. 5) Leave freezer door open, line floor in front of freezer with towels.
“Let the (bodies) hit the floor LOL *song by Drowning Pool* actually it was “let the ice hit the floor”, huge chunks of it. From beginning to end it took about about 8 hours to defrost the refrigerator and probably 5 of those hours were just waiting for “the ice to hit the floor.”
I’m letting the freezer dry overnight, and since it’s supposed to be 22 degrees (Fahrenheit) here tonight I moved the insulated bags onto the back porch. The coolers have enough ice and frozen food in them that they should be fine inside the house.