IMPROVED CASPULE WARDROBE MASTERCLASS LAUNCHING SEP 2022 – SIGN UP TO GET NOTIFIED

How to organize your pantry (and minimize food waste)

For some time, I’ve been wanting to give our pantry a proper declutter; both because it had just become too messy, but also because I believe that being organized in your kitchen generally mean less food waste. There is no need to buy another 2 packs of rice if you already have two half-empty bags that have just “disappeared” in the mess. The result is that you time and time again have to throw out food because they reach their expiration date. So in this post, I wanted to give you some tips on decluttering your kitchen cabinets, drawers, refrigerator or pantry, which was my case, and most importantly, also give you some practical tips on how to maintain this structure in the future and reduce your waste of food.

Jeg har i noget tid gerne ville give vores spisekammer en ordentlig overhaling; både fordi det simpelthen bare var blevet så uoverskueligt og rodet, men også fordi jeg tror på, at orden i køkkenet generelt betyder mindre madspild. Der er ingen grund til at købe endnu 2 pakker ris med hjem, hvis man i forvejen har to halvtomme poser liggende, som bare er “forsvundet” i rodet. Resultatet er at man gang på gang er nødt til, at smide madvarer ud fordi de når sidste salgsdato. Så i dette indlæg ville jeg give jer nogle tips til, at få styr på skabe, skuffer, køleskab eller spisekammer som i mit tilfælde og ikke mindst også komme med nogle konkrete tips til, hvordan du fremadrettet opretholder denne struktur og også på den måde mindsker dit madspild.

Empty the compartments completely.

Whether it’s your fridge, your spice drawer, or your pantry you want to declutter, start emptying it completely. Then it’s not only easier to clean before putting the things back into place, but also to discover and discard expired food and put the rest into system.

 Go through your food.

If you have a lot of half-emptied bags of the same product, you may want to collect these in one big glass jar or similar (we bought different sizes of THESE from Ikea). At the same time, go through everything and discard expired food. This is kind of a good lesson; If you have a lot of “special” foods you have used for maybe one recipe once it may have expired by now. If this is a habit for you then try to look for alternatives the next time you make a special dish. Instead, choose a form of ingredient you know you will be using up completely or often that you often use in your daily life. For example, I would like to mention very special/expensive spices or the like – instead, use your imagination by adding something you might already have that taste just as well. I’m sure any cooks reading this are guaranteed to cringe, haha! But it makes sense in a daily life, especially for people like us, who make pretty ordinary food.

Come up with a system that makes sense to you.

There are several guides and checklists on the internet on how to step-by-step clean up for example your pantry (including this one), but I think it’s important to adjust these steps so they suit your way of living, what you eat in a day, etc. For example we have gathered together all our glass jars with of rice, pasta, flour etc., and on the shelf above it is all our canned goods. We have also collected all our baking supplies, spices etc. in one box. So make product groups like these based upon what makes most sense to you.

Tøm dine skabe/skuffer osv. fuldstændig.

Uanset om det er dit køleskab, din krydderiskuffe eller dit spisekammer du gerne vil sætte i system, så start med at tømme det fuldstændig. Det gør det selvfølgelig både nemmere at rengøre inden du sætter tingene tilbage på plads, men også at opdage for gamle madvarer og sætte dem du nu engang har i system.

Gennemgå dine madvarer.

Hvis du har flere halvtomme poser af samme produkt liggende kan du med fordel samle disse i opbevaringsglas eller bøtter (vi købe forskellige størrelser af DISSE fra Ikea). Samtidig bør du tjekke alle dine madvarer for sidste salgsdato, og smide dem ud der er blevet for gamle. Det er en god lærestreg; hvis du ligger inde med specielle madvarer du har brugt til én opskrift én gang der måske er blevet for gamle, så se om ikke du kan finde et alternativ næste gang du skal lave en speciel ret. Vælg i stedet en form for ingrediens du ved du vil få brugt op eller ofte bruger i det daglige. Som eksempel nævner jeg gerne fx meget specielle/dyre krydderier eller lignende – brug i stedet din fantasi ved, at tilføje noget du måske allerede har i forvejen der sikkert smager ligeså godt. Er sikker på at kokke og madsjæle garanteret græmmer sig ved denne tanke, haha! Men det giver god mening i det daglige, især for os der for det meste “bare” laver ganske almindeligt hverdagsmad.

Find et system der giver mening for dig.

Der findes adskillige guides og checklister på nettet til, hvordan du trin for trin kan rydde op i fx dit spisekammer (bl.a. denne) men jeg tror det er vigtigt, man justerer disse trin, så de passer til den måde du lever dit liv på, hvad du spiser til dagligt osv. Vi har fx alle vores opbevaringsglas med ris, pasta, mel osv. stående samlet, og på hylden ovenover står alt vores konserves. Vi har også samlet alt vores bagegrej i én kasse. Så gruppér de produktgrupper der nu engang giver mening for dig i det daglige.

Use transparent containers.

This is probably one of the most important tips for avoiding food waste in the future: if you empty your food into transparent containers (rice, nuts, popcorn, pasta, etc.), it not only gives you a better overview of what you have and how much you have left of a given product, it’s also a bit more enjoyable for you to use these products. I’d like to mention that annoying bag of flour that always sprinkles all over the kitchen table as an example! Besides that, you avoid the very first mentioned scenario in this post; coming home with a bag of some product you already have two half-empty bags left of, but that may have disappeared into the depths of a kitchen drawer or cabinet.

Make a weekly foodplan.

I have mentioned this several times here on my blog – you can watch my video about how we maintain our weekly focus, including making a food plan every Sunday right HERE. This makes it easier both to avoid the daily temptations in the supermarket, to eat healthy and not least, it’s good for your wallet too. We eat as plant-based as possible most of the time, but sometimes we still est fish and also a little meat at times. Creating a food plan is a good way to avoid food waste – at least if you practise a little self-discipline and stick to what you have in the fridge. If you are a fan of evenings where you don’t have to cook, you can do just like us: we make a double portion on Mondays and eat the same thing on Tuesdays, which means the foodonly needs to be reheated on the second day. Then there is time for other things like an hour of working out instead. We continue like this until Thursday, and then we usually keep the weekends “open” as we often have plans, friends coming over, our maybe we go out to eat.

Last but not least, it may be an idea to buy as much as you can package-free. In some places you can bring your own jars and fill them with flour, rice and pasta for example, but it is unfortunately not normal in Denmark (I only know the LØS concept store and it’s only located in Copenhagen). But do it as much as it still makes sense for you. For example, I prefer organic products, and paradoxically enough, these often come in plastic packaging whereas the conventional products (especially fruit and vegetables) can often be purchased without packaging. So right there I think it might be a bit of a dilemma. I hope these tips were helpful – please do share more tips with me down below!

Brug gennemsigtige beholdere.

Dette er nok ét af de vigtigste tips i forhold til, at undgå madspild fremadrettet: hvis du tømmer dine madvarer ned i gennemsigtige beholdere (fx ris, nødder, popcorn, pasta osv.) skaber det ikke blot et bedre overblik over hvad du har at gøre med, og hvor meget du har tilbage af et givent produkt, det er også lidt mere fornøjeligt for dig at hive frem og tage i brug fra gang til gang. Nævner gerne der irriterende pose med mel der altid drysser ud over hele køkkenbordet som eksempel! Udover det undgår du det førstnævnte scenarie; at komme hjem med en pose af et eller andet produkt, som du allerede har to halvtomme poser liggende af i forvejen, men som måske er forsvundet ned i dybet af en eller anden skuffe.

 Lav en ugentlig madplan.

Dette har jeg nævnt flere gange efterhånden – du kan se min video om, hvordan vi bevarer vores ugentlige fokus bl.a. ved at lave madplan hver søndag lige HER. Det gør det både nemmere at undgå de daglige fristelser i supermarkedet, spise sundt og ikke mindst er det godt for økonomien. Vi spiser så plantebaseret som muligt det meste af tiden, men får indimellem dog stadig fisk og også kød til tider. At lave en madplan er altså også en god måde, at undgå madspild på – ihvertfald hvis du indøver dig lidt selvdiciplin og holder dig til det du har i køleskabet. Hvis du er fan af aftner hvor du ikke behøver stå i køkkenet og lave mad, så kan du gøre ligesom os – vi laver dobbeltportion om mandagen og spiser så det samme om tirsdagen, hvilket betyder maden kun lige skal varmes. Så er der tid til andre ting som fx en times træning i stedet. Sådan fortsætter vi så til og med torsdag, og så holder vi som regel weekenderne “fri”, da vi jo ofte har planer, får venner på besøg, tager ud og spiser eller lignende.

Sidst men ikke mindst, så kan det være en idé at købe så emballage frit som muligt. Nogle steder har man mulighed for, at medbringe egne krukker og fylde dem med fx mel, ris og pasta men det er desværre ikke normalen i Danmark (kender kun til LØS der kun ligger i København). Men gør det der hvor du kan overkomme det, og så det stadig giver mening for dig. Jeg foretrækker fx økologiske varer, og paradoksalt nok er disse ofte i emballage hvor de konventionelle varer (især frugt og grønt) ofte kan købes uden emballage. Så lige dér synes jeg det kan være lidt af et dilemma. Jeg håber I kunne bruge disse tips til noget. Kom gerne med flere!

5

Leave a Comment

The Comments

  • Oana Maries
    28. March 2018

    Hi! Great article.
    I do the same more or less.
    Just a tip that worked really well for me – I bought a white chalk pen and I use that to write on the glass of the jar. I had to become creative since I don’t have a label maker. Plus it’s a bit more friendly to the environment.
    I have had a chalk pen for more than a year and it’s still going strong. Plan to get a black one to write on the lighter colored bulk foods.

    Oana.

    • signeh24
      > Oana Maries
      28. March 2018

      That’s a great tip, thanks! 🙂

  • salishseer
    21. June 2018

    I love that you mentioned substituting instead of buying something you will never use up. I started doing this when I lived in the country, too far to pop into town to pick an ingredient up for a recipe. If you are unsure try googling substitutes for whatever the recipe needs that you don’t have. There are surprisingly few ingredients that cannot be replaced by something else.