The Best Diet of 2009

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It's astounding how having an organized house can set the tone for many things. Living clutter-free will afford you more time to exercise and more mental space to be creative. That's why I went to my new friend Lorie Marrero, Creator of the Clutter Diet, to get tips on organizing a pantry for optimum health. Here's what she says:

See Healthy, Eat Healthy

Organizing your pantry is one of the best things you can do to eat better in the new year. You can get organized, save money, and lose weight all at the same time!

The key to almost any organizing project is visibility, because you can'??t use it if you don'??t know you have it. To gain this visibility, first sort your pantry items into categories and group them together on your shelves. Here are some of the most common categories for reviewing and sorting your pantry items: Baking Mixes, Beans & Rice, Beverages, Bread & Buns, Canned Beans, Canned Fruit, Canned Tomatoes, Canned Vegetables, Cereal, Chips, Crackers, Dried Fruit & Nuts, Flour & Sugar, Jams & Jellies, Pasta, Sauces, Snacks, Spices, Syrup & Honey.

Throw out anything that is stale or that you have not used in the last 6 months or so, such as gift basket leftovers. Discard excess packaging so you can easily grab items when you want them.

Use baskets or bins as drawers. You can get baskets that are the depth of the shelf, load them up, and then pull them out like a drawer to get things in and out. Make sure you label the baskets so you will have visibility to what'??s in there. Small items like individual oatmeal packets, snack bars and boxes of raisins are especially better stored in bins to corral them effectively (editor's note---this also makes packing school lunched easier). Turntables or '??Lazy Susans'? are a great way to gain visibility in the pantry. Turntables allow you to spin things around and make what was once behind everything now be in the front. I especially love double-decker turntables for spices.

Seeing what you have means that menu planning, grocery list making, and cooking are all easier. If you want to eat at home more to save money, lose weight, or both, your new view of the pantry will do the trick!

Thanks Lorie. And don't miss her book! For more tips on living clutter free check out Lori's blog here: The Cluttter Diet Blog.

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