And now for an exercise we'll call "I totally forgot that was in here!" Grab an empty laundry basket, a trash can, a pen and a piece of paper and let's attack your food storage. (Note: If you have a large pantry or food stored in multiple spaces, you may need to repeat these basic steps more than once.)
Completely empty the cupboard or shelf where you are working. As you remove the items, check their expiration dates. Discard any items that are expired, stale, molding, or unusable (like the 2 tablespoons of bow tie pasta stuffed in the back of your cabinet.) Repeat this process until your cupboard is bare or your basket is full.
Carry your basket of food into a place where you can comfortably sit to record what food items you have stored in your cupboards. Divide your list into the groups you have in the basket such as "Soup", "Dry Goods", "Canned Veggies", etc. and record what you have. This will make your aware of what you have available for meals, what you may need to complete a meals, and what you definitely don't need to pick up at the grocery store the next time (perhaps 20 cans of tuna is good for now.)
Carry the food back to the kitchen and group like items together in the empty space to help see what you have and know where to find it. Post your list inside the cabinet door and mark off items as you use them.
Keeping track of what you have in your cupboards or pantry can save you time and money when it comes to grocery shopping. Save time by making less trips to the grocery store for items you thought you had or you had but is now expired. Save money by using the food you have already purchased and not letting it expire.
For the month of January, I am going to focus on 10 minute tricks you can perform from the comfort of your couch to help combine your hibernation with organization.