Organizing for Efficiency

To help make my time in the kitchen as efficient and easy as possible – I keep things where I’ll use them, put them into containers that are easy to use, and label everything in ways that I can easily choose what I need.

My tea collection – like many who like variety in our GGMS sippers – I have a wide variety of herbal teas that I use to help build flavors.  I keep the ones I’m using right now in a shoebox on the shelf above my stove—I transfer the bags from the bulky boxes to baggies and cut out the label from the box.  I can easily fit about 15-20 different kinds of teas in my box at any time.

Extracts & Flavorings – I use a ton of vanilla – so that one I have transferred into a 12 oz squirt bottle—and it’s stored with all the other ingredients for smoothies and baked goods.

All of my other flavors and extracts are kept in a little box – with 1/2 inch round labels on their lids–so I can easily choose the one I want.

The spray bottle on the right has coconut oil in it.  I bought the set of 2 (1 light colored bottle and one darker) and LOVE them–it’s so easy to quickly spray just a bit of coconut or olive oil into a pan or onto some food–I liked these ones because of the 2 colors and they haven’t gotten clogged once in the year that I’ve used them.

For a closer picture of my small Stevia container–I saw someone from the THM FB group do this–and it was life changing–no more having to worry about stevia powder on my fingers from trying to grab that little doonk spoon from inside the bag of stevia powder. I just use a rubber band and a piece of straw–it holds the doonk in place and no more wasted stevia powder 🙂

Other things to make me efficient–are shown here.  I reuse the old Parmesan cheese containers–or at least their lids–the fit perfectly on mason jars.  I have one here for baking soda – and the mason jar with Parmesan/Romano cheese that I buy in bulk and keep only this amount out on the counter to quickly add to salads or meals.

I buy my ‘Real Salt’ (from Utah) in bulk as well and cut out the top of an iodized salt container–to fit onto a mason jar–makes it easy to pour out for recipes.  And you can see the measuring spoon inside my bottle of Gluccie–very handy to store the most common measurer for that ingredient in the container.  (I found most of mine at thrift stores for very little money)

On this shelf, close to my stove – you can see how I keep my most commonly used cooking flavors there–Bragg’s Aminos, coconut oil, my spray oils, parm cheese, and the other parm cheese containers there contain bulk dried parsley, italian herbs, and ‘pizza herbs’ that I can quickly shake over foods.  I also have a smaller shaker for my tumeric powder so it can be easily added to my scrambled eggs.

For my recipes – I like to use cards–that way I can make my notes on them as I modify them–and not mess up my cookbook or have it fall apart on me.  I color code them (Green = FP, Pink = S, and Yellow = E) and then I have a little fridge magnet that nicely sticks to the outside of my recipe box to hold my recipes at eye level.

This last pic is one of my favorite organizational purchases of this last year–metal shelves that pull out like drawers.  I saw them at Lowes – and saved up for them–I have them in 3 of my cupboards so far.  I installed them and now I don’t get smaller bottles or bags being lost at the back of the cupboards.  I LOVE them!  They were relatively easy for me to install and have been really sturdy.  I have the taller 1/2 gallon jars on the bottom shelf and the quart or shorter ones on the top shelf.  This one is right next to the counter where my blender and food processor live–so it makes for easy fixing of smoothies or other THM treats.

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