No, not panties. God. What is wrong with you? PANTRY. (I have typed panty instead of pantry way too many times).
I know I promised to focus on organization this month, and while there isn’t that much left of October 2014, I’d still like to share my favorite tips for organizational success.
Today I’m letting you peeping toms take a peek at how I organize my kitchen with kids in mind. I’m a nosy girl and love checking out how other people organize their lives, hopefully some of you are the same way.
A quick note on Stoner Mom’s kids and eating philosophy (or lack thereof)
In the Stoner Mom’s house we are all about letting kids “do it myself”. A great tip for parenting a determined toddler is to prepare the environment for the child’s success. This is a mindset I have been using from when I homeschooled my oldest with Maria Montessori methods. Rather than controlling the child, we control the environment. This frees the child to explore at length, and frees the parent (teacher) from correcting all the time.
Our kids follow basic rules and do not snack on stuff without asking (other than fruit). I am sort of an “anything goes” shopper. Since all our kids are a healthy weight, with decent eating habits, well behaved, and do above and beyond in school, I put less importance in the limitation of processed foods as I used to. That probably sounds terrible, but it is what it is. They don’t drink soda, they eat organic vegetables and yes, they can have Doritos. Stoner Mom truly doesn’t care.
My pantry is quite shallow, but reaches the ceiling of my kitchen, so I have a pretty sweet spot for keeping the troops fed. The right cabinet is all mom stuff- the pantry essentials that I need to make dinners. Because I follow a menu plan for each month I am able to keep my pantry stocked with the necessary ingredients for upcoming meals easily.
I also store the kids lunch containers here, assuring that they won’t use the ones I bought specifically for their school lunches to like, play in the sandbox or something.
In the top right cabinets I store my baking essentials and decorating items all together. It’s a breeze to pull out one bin with everything you need when it’s time to bake. Because baking is not something I do very often, I have these items up high. I do have a cute ikea stool that I use daily in the kitchen. At 5’3 it’s a requirement.
I keep a copy of the school lunch menu in the pantry for quick decisions in the morning. I also have my most used recipes on a clipboard in the pantry. When it’s time to cook I put the recipe on the top and prop it up where I can see. Easy Peasy. I keep them in sleeves because I’m a messy girl in the kitchen.
The left cabinet is for kid life. Breakfast essentials are grouped together at the top of the cabinet, making it a no brainer to pull out what I need in the rushed mornings before the coffee is done.
The kids snack shelves are a free for all, but they must ask before having anything. Like any children I do find them blatantly breaking that rule sometimes. Nobodies perfect says The Stoner Mom.
In the top left cabinet I keep our different teas and hot cocoa mixes. Everything else is for storage of extras. Oh look, Doritos.
I follow the same philosophy of keeping related items in groups in the fridge. Stuff needed for breakfasts all in one bin, and lunch packing essentials in another. Yogurt (it’s the official food of women) is kept prominently to encourage people to consume it. The very bottom drawer holds produce needed for cooking and juicing. The drawer above that is for all the produce that children are allowed to access. I keep berries, grapes, apples, oranges, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots and sometimes celery and bell peppers for the kids to snack on. If they don’t ask specifically it’s still easily accessible for me to grab when whipping up a quick snack for kids. I keep caramel dip and yogurt dip for apples. Peanut butter for celery. I often make sugar strawberries the way my mom did when I was a child. At bedtime my youngest eats blueberries and grapes in a bowl while I read her stories.
The freezer usually just holds red meat on the bottom drawer, white meat on the shelf above, frozen vegetables above that- many are bags of produce I have chopped and prepared for specific meals, and then froze after labeling. Above that a bin of breakfast items are grouped together.
The Kid Cabinet
The kids use the family dinnerware for meals, but when they get their own snacks they have their own dishes to use. They can be self sufficient, and my good dishes don’t get wasted on the above mentioned Doritos.