Thursday, October 2, 2014

Refrigerator + Pantry

I've been overwhelmed with almost all of life lately so I'm working on organizing one little area at a time in our home.  This week was the refrigerator, pantry, and meal planning. (Oh and my friend and I will have a special meal plan available soon too!)

Since May, our little family had pretty much lived on the go until the middle of September. Between softball tournament, family vacations, Scentsy trips and trainings, and trips back to South Dakota to see family, we weren't home more than a handful of days at a time. 

Driving home from our last trip to Boise, I used those road hours to make a master list of everything I needed to work on or get done. 

One of those things was to meal plan and have an organized system in the kitchen. We don't have a huge kitchen but it's an okay size. I know we don't capitalize on the space that we do have available so it was time to get to work on making it function better for us. 

Because of our constant comings and goings, it had been months since I wrote down meals and actually went grocery shopping with a long term purpose. 

Don't get me wrong, we were buying food, but it was multiple trips to our little neighborhood store each week. I knew we were spending way too much money on food but I thought it was just easier. 

Ha! Not! 

It really is easier to have a plan and be prepared for the dining details of your day. 

On Wednesday during Alyn's horseback lessons, I sat in the car and wrote out a two week meal plan (modified a bit from a post I found on Pinterest... Which I'll share as soon as I know it's good enough to share.) This plan included breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for our family for two whole weeks. 

That night, after community group, I had grand plans of cleaning out the refrigerator so it was sparkly clean for our next days shopping trip. 

Friends.... It was disgusting! Anyone else have mystery plastic ware and jars that you have no idea what food was in them? Anyone? I even threw away food that expired at the beginning of this year. Ew. 
(Here is the after... Wish I would have taken a before photo)

Also, does anyone else have so many condiments that they take up the whole space on the door? Like nothing else can fit there?! Like five kinds of mustard? Seven varieties of hot sauce? Three opened Worcestershire sauce?! D
Now here's where my little 'let's make the whole refrigerator perfect' dream ended. With a loud BOOSH! The main shelf shattered in the sink and broke into countless pieces all throughout the whole kitchen! 
I'm so thankful that no one was hurt. Alyn was drying dishes next to me and felt glass hit her face but no cuts for anyone! Praise! Joel was quick to get the shop-vac and clean it all up while I was still trying to pick my mouth up off the floor. 

The funny thing was that it was 10:30 at night, the whole family was still awake, and that crash and clean up motivated us to keep going. 

Next stop, the pantry. 

I should've taken a BEFORE photo because this looks dreamy compared to what it was. 
Alyn thought of a fun way to try to help keep it organized. Washi tape! She put a little strip of washi tape on the edges of the shelves and we labeled each section with a sharpie marker. 
I've tried to keep this space somewhat orderly for the past few years but somehow it all gets bunched together and food gets lost... For a long time. I'm not even going to tell you the date on the jello I pulled out of here. 

I'm praying this little bit of cute organization will help all of us remember to put things back where they belong. 

Oh and back to the refrigerator shelf. A $20 bill and 5-7 business days and we'll have a new shelf! Hooray! 

Do you have any meal planning secrets? Any refrigerator or pantry storage tips? I'd love to hear them! 

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