Over the course of the last two weeks, I have canned about 50 jars of items which left my long kitchen counter cover with jars and no place to put them. Today I was on a mission to find more space to house the jars. With that in mind, My Knight and I tackled the pantry closet and wall.
We took nearly everything out of the pantry. Made sure all jars had labels (food item & year canned). Moved newer jars to the back and older jars to the front. We organized by type of food (i.e. Vegetables, Fruits, Meat, Soups, Juices, Tomato products, Jelly's and Jam's, etc.).
After organizing the Pantry Closet, we (I) moved over to the Pantry Wall. My Knight puttered out and moved on to other things. I took everything off the shelves and dusty them and the jars. Then as I put back the items I put them together with like items, making sure that all jars were labeled. This can be time consuming, but in the end it looks great. Anybody can find what they need. And I get a feeling of satisfaction of a job well done.
While we were putting items into place in both the Pantry Closet and Wall, I would write down how many quarts, pints, half-pints or quarter-pints I had of each item. From that list I updated a spreadsheet that I have created for each pantry area. Listing all items in each area with the appropriate amounts for each jars by size using a right slash mark. Then as I use an item, I make a left slash mark making an X in the box. There are also extra boxes for me to add items.
This is a very simple type of inventory control, but it works for me. Plus, the kids & my Knight can follow it well. I do print out the inventory sheets and attach them to the fridge for easy access and up keep. By organizing and setting up an inventory sheet, I am able to count how many jars that I still had available for use of any item listed. This makes life so much easier than searching through a ton of jars each time I need to know it I have something left or not.
Here is the Giveaway part. To the person who guesses the "closest" to the number of home canned items I have in my pantry, I will give them a jar of Banana Split Preserves. This stuff is delish!
You have from now until Friday, December 17, 2010 at mid-night to make a guess by leaving your entry in the comments section of this post. Good Luck!