Monday, March 4, 2013

Inventoring my Pantry

Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans. ~Peter F. Drucker

My dear readers, I finally got around to uploading pictures to reveal what I had been doing in February when my blog was so silent and my husband was gone, so he did not have to deal with the mess in the kitchen as I moved things around. I have been meaning to do this project for so long—far too long—but just never had the time, energy, or maybe I just was not committed enough. Now that I have more time and energy, I seem to be far more committed to reorganizing my home, but in a no-hurry-worry way, just one area at a time, because I am still homeschooling, which is a higher priority.

I did not take before pictures of my pantry because what was on the shelves was pretty well organized. The problem was that I had left bags upon bags of things all over the floor because it is close to dinner time and I am usually too tired after unpacking the van on my errand day to put on the shelves in the order of expiration dates. I buy things in bulk when they go on sale. The problem has been that many things do not get used up by their expiration dates, but I have not had anything go bad with the exception of ginger cookies--regardless of the brand, there must be something about ginger without preservatives in baked goods. (If you are wondering what I do with all that canola oil so wonderfully rich in healthy Omega 3, I make my own mayonnaise and ranch dressing with it.)

Now the really cool thing is that this time I did not just arrange the panty but I inventoried it. I was excited about using the bar code feature with the Out of Milk app for android devices, however I soon learned that while Kindle Fire HD has a built-in camera, it does not have a bar code reading capabilities. I could enter the UPC number, but then I was ending up changing the names so that they were categorized by flavor first and brand name last. In the end it was just faster to input the inventory using my laptop, but I can access it with my Kindle (or my phone, I later found out) wherever there is free WiFi (which is not in the stores I shop at this time but I can also print out my inventory or save it in a PDF format loaded it on my Kindle). I also put in the expiration months and years in the notes so that I can keep track of them. I am hoping this will help me make better decisions when I bulk buy, so that I have less out of date items.

Now the downside of this is if anyone brings something up from the pantry other than lemonade or tea which gets used up quickly, I have to know so that I take it off the inventory and this is a new house rule so it may not go over easily, but I am hoping to head off most of that by weekly replenishing the kitchen cupboards with the oldest items. Once something is brought up to the kitchen cupboards, I take it off the list whether it is stored in the cupboard or used. This way my inventory is solely for the pantry as I can easily see what is in the least I can now, but I am saving that for another post.

~ My Lord, when I think of the earth with fresh water in its place and salt water in its place, the mountains and plains in their places, the sky and the ground in their places, the atmosphere and outer space in theirs, and so on, I am amazed by how orderly your creation is. May my family be motivated by how Your order benefits us in keeping our home organized and enjoying its benefits as well. ~

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.