What happens to your groceries when you bring them home from the store? Do you toss what you must into the fridge and throw the rest haphazardly into cabinets? If you’re constantly in a hurry when you bring groceries in, your kitchen will reflect the chaos. The most important part of maintaining an organized kitchen is always putting things back exactly where you find them and unpacking grocery items properly. Here are a few things to consider:
Start Early. The grocery store process should really begin before you even get to the store. Go through your cabinets and look to see that what is on your list is really needed. How many times have you been to the grocery store to purchase something only to get home and realize it was hiding in a different place? That’s where good organizations and systems come in. Taking the time to create good, functional systems in your kitchen and maintaining them regularly will actually be a big time saver in the long run.
Make a list. You can keep a list in your kitchen that anyone can add to and snap a photo of it before you head to the store. There’s also some great grocery apps for your smartphone where you can keep your list and sync them with anyone else who does the shopping. A traditional paper list will also get the job done just fine. Working off of a list will help ensure that you get what you need. You can also set boundaries on your lists. If you shop when you’re hungry, your kitchen may end up overflowing with random snacks and impulse purchases.
Beware of bulk. There are benefits to bulk shopping, but you must really have the space and organization to make good use of it. Stores that sell everything giant sized can encourage you to use more, eat more, spend more and waste more. If there are items that you know you’ll be using frequently, and you’re sure you have the room to store it, go ahead and buy in bulk. If not, take a pass on bulk shopping.
Remove duplicates. One of the biggest clutter problem in a kitchen (or anywhere for that matter) is duplicate items. If you buy cereal, for example, you need to make sure you’re not putting brand new, unopened cereal in front of a box that’s already half eaten. That’s how the clutter creeps in. Instead, put your extras elsewhere. A high shelf or a pantry closet is a great place to store those extras.
Properly unpack. When you’re unpacking groceries, take the time to wipe down a shelf before adding items, tear off the tops of snack boxes so individual items are accessible, put like items together with newer expiration dates to the back, unpacking everything fully. Taking the time to unpack and organize after grocery shopping will not only leave you with an organized kitchen, it will save you time in the long run.