Pantry Organization

Clutter really bugs me. That's partly why I haven't finished my lesson plans for this year yet, because my library looks atrocious. I'll tackle that today, Lord willing, but yesterday I felt inspired, in that fatigue-induced fog sort of way, to clean out my pantry and get it organized.



This may not look as dramatic to you as it felt to me, but my husband said, "Wow!" when he saw it, so that made me happy. :)

I'm ashamed of how much food I end up wasting because I forget about it, or I'm just lazy and don't feel like cooking the thing I planned to cook on a particular day. Now I'm newly organized and inspired. I found a great menu-planning sheet online, and it has places for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus a shopping list at the bottom:

I like this format because I can make up a master list for one week, then photo-copy it and take the copy to the store with me. I put the shift that my husband is working (it changes daily and weekly) at the top of each day, and that helps me to better plan what to cook for dinner that evening.

Having the shopping list at the bottom with all the meals visible at the top helps me to juggle things in a pinch if something isn't fresh or available that week while I'm shopping. Plus, after I mark off the items I buy, I put the list on the fridge and everyone knows what we are eating for the week.

I have attempted to do a six-week rotating menu-plan for years now, and I've always gotten frustrated and gave up in the middle of doing it. I ended up partially filling in blanks of various forms for various weeks, but nothing was ever accomplished other than making a big mess of papers and recipes.

To combat my feelings of being overwhelmed, I've broken down my task into smaller pieces. I've decided to do one week at a time, eventually doing at least four weeks (that is my husband's rotating schedule--for four weeks his schedule changes weekly, then it repeats). Once I master that, I'll work up another four weeks of different menus, so we'll have an eight-week rotating menu. I'm doing fall/winter recipes now and I'll work up eight weeks of spring/summer recipes in February or March.

I'm praying for God's grace to get this done. I'll let you know how it goes.


  1. Great pantry! I started menu planning 1 week at a time. I saved copies of my plans and then had ideas for meals that we liked and that worked for us. I plan all three meals and snacks every 2 weeks and a master monthly plan for dinners to work off of. It really does help to cut down on wasted food and my grocery bill.
    PS. I've made seafood salad every week for lunch since I we had it at your house. So good.


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