Organize the Little Things

This blog is all about the little expenses that add up.   Do you ever come home from a grocery trip and realize you bought something you already have? Have you ever forgotten about the left-overs until they were no longer edible?  I’ve done the aforementioned actions HUNDREDS of times.  After I bought my 100th bottle of crushed red pepper (okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration) I decided I needed to come up with a system.  Thus, I’ve started making lists. Here’s your quick how-to:

1) Make a Spice List

Pull every type of spice you have and write them in alphabetical order, or type the list up on your computer.  Put an “H” by all the your items.  The “H” stands for “Have.”  Tape this list on the inside of the cupboard you keep your spices in.  When you use the last of a spice, cross out the “H” and write “N” for “Need.”

2) Make a Medicine Cabinet List

Cold season is upon us.  Do you have what you need?  Mark “H” by each product you do own.  Mark “N” for “Need” on items you are running short on!  Make sure the medicine is NOT expired.  Tape the list to the inside of your medicine cabinet for quick viewing.  Here is a link to help you anticipate your medicine cabinet needs.

3) Organize the Pantry

I organize this cupboard a little differently.  I keep a list of items I don’t use frequently (baking powder, cornstarch, vanilla, etc) attached to my cupboard door.  I mark those items with an “H” or “N” just like I do with the spices.  For items that I am constantly using, (rice, pasta, beans) I mark on a whiteboard in my kitchen ONLY when I run out.  This definitely helps with meal planning, too.

4) Organize the Fridge

1) Attach a piece of paper to the fridge weekly.  Whenever you have left-overs, make a notation.  This will remind you that you have food that needs to be consumed!

2) Clean your fridge as you write your grocery list.  Not only will your fridge remain squeaky clean, you won’t have to store 3 bottles of ketchup and Italian dressing.  Keeping tabs on your food will help you eliminate buying unnecessary items.

How do you organize the little things?

*This blog reflects the opinion of the author. Please understand that all information or opinions gleaned from this blog are done so at your OWN risk*

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9 Comments on “Organize the Little Things”

  1. Kristi says:

    Great ideas! I have done things like this before, but for some reason mine were a bit too elaborate to keep up with. I think what I would do is to write my “H” and “N” in pencil, so I can keep reusing the same page. When it’s worn out, print a new one. (I’ve tried the same idea with plastic sheet protectors and dry erase pens, but can never find my pen when I need it, lol.)

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. MomMom Hill says:

    Are you in my head or what?!?! In our 2 x 2 cell… I mean, apartment… 😉 This place was built it 1953… the kitchen cabinets are laughable. I mean, you can barely fit your hand in there (I almost got stuck in there, trying to bleach and scrub that beast down when we moved in!) and the cabinet itself is very deep… Im scared to leave my stuff in the back… I feel like it will get lost and disappear or something! So I was just thinking… I need to get more organized!!! These lists will be a huge help! Thank you!!!! (I will be organized just in time to pack it up and move at the end of our year lease! LOL!)

    • ihavetriedit says:

      I know what it’s like to live in a “2 x 2 cell” 🙂 Our last house was built in the 1940’s. We couldn’t hang our clothes in our bedroom and had to run upstairs whenever we needed a change of clothes! It was a cute house, but I definitely had to learn how to organize! Thanks for stopping by again! Still lovin’ your sense of humor!

  3. For the deep cabinets, use handled, rectangular baskets. I have one for breakfast foods (oatmeal, cereal bars, granola bars), one for rices, another one for the utensils I only use once in a while (so they are not on my counter).

    The handles are great for pulling something out to see the basket behind (which is storing something I do not need everyday).

    If you like, I can post a link to some more ideas in this vein to help you keep it all straight.
    Red

  4. Ange says:

    I like your idea of a spice list…I currently have about 3 boxes of ground cumin which will probably be stale by the time I use them!

    I keep a little notepad stuck on the fridge, and as soon as I finish something from the pantry, I write it on there. Then I make sure I transfer these items to my weekly grocery list, which I write with the week’s recipes in front of me.

    There’s inevitably always something I double-up on, or miss out, though!

    (Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier 🙂 )

  5. veghotpot says:

    This is fantastic and just the sort of thing I need at the moment as I’m trying to be so careful with being wasteful and keeping to my budget! I seem to have 2 jars of everything in my fridge! thanks for the tips x

  6. lynette says:

    I actually did the same thing in all my kitchen drawers and cabinets (all on the inside) because I got tired of my kids telling me they didn’t know where anything went when they put dishes away. I found along the way that it helps when company is over and wants to help. They can just look and stickers inside the cabinet to find what they need.


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