Organizing your Stockpile
Confession: The most organized thing in my house is my pantry. It’s the one thing that is always organized. My friends will vouch for me on that, I’m sure 😉
So, being the mostly unorganized individual that I am, what do I know about stockpile organization? I used to work in a grocery store or two and a couple of drug stores. Applying some basic stocking rules to home was pretty easy and they are something that will help all of you get a better grip on your stockpile.
Grocery Store Rule #1 – FIFO (first in, first out) – what comes into the stock room or goes on to the shelf first, leaves the stock room or shelf first.
At Home Adjustment #1 – FEFO (first expires, first out) – Now if you only shop one store, FIFO works. But, if you shop multiple stores that have different supply lines and turn over stock at different rates, you will want to read the expiration dates on the items you put in your pantry and make sure that the items that expire first are in front of items that expire later.
Grocery Store Rule #2 – Keep like items together. Stock rooms that have things just tossed in them with food between household items not only make it harder to find things, but can cause major problems if there is any breakage.
At Home Adjustment #2 – Because your home stockpile is on a much smaller scale, it’s not a hard and fast rule to separate items as much as a store would. However, by keeping like items together, you make it a lot easier on yourself. If all of your breakfast items are together, then you don’t have to look in 3 or 4 different places to take a quick inventory.
Grocery Store Rule #3 – Remove it from the shelf by the date on the package. By law, stores are supposed to do this at first line stores. The rules are different for salvage and other after market locations.
At Home Adjustment #3 – Just because the store has to remove it by the “Sell by” date, doesn’t mean that it item in no longer good. See what expiration dates mean and know what is safe and what might not be the highest quality.
Items in boxes are best stored on a high shelf. They are more easily damaged. However, whenever possible, all items should be on a shelf and not directly on the floor.
Ideally having everything in one room is best, but if you are not able to store items that way, take a moment to create a master list on your computer or by hand for your fridge so you know where to find things at a glance.
HBA storage goes well in a bathroom or closet if you need to make the space in your pantry for food.
No matter how you end up organizing, it’s important to keep it organized. Find a method that works for you and stick to it.