When you’re in the hustle and bustle of moving preparations, you probably spend a lot of time decluttering. You hold a garage sale to get rid of the heavy old bookshelf and treadmill you never use. You strategize the best way to pack your craft collection.
But have you thought much about your pantry?
If you’re like most Americans, you probably have a decent store of canned goods and other non perishables hanging around your kitchen. And that doesn’t even approach all the food you have in your refrigerator and freezer.
You don’t like the idea of throwing food away, but you don’t want to pack stacks of canned goods in the moving van either.
Moving day isn’t far off-so you need a manageable strategy right now.
While you may keep a careful inventory of our furniture, books, and electronic devices, you probably forget about your food storage. If you don’t really buy a lot of excess food, congratulations. But if you believe in emergency supplies, you’ll need to do some counting and sorting.
To stay organized, divide your list into the following categories:
- Frozen foods (meat, vegetables, ice cream, frozen entrées, etc.)
- Perishable, refrigerated items (dairy products, eggs, vegetables and fruits, and condiments)
- Foods in glass bottles (bottled fruit, drinks, olive oil, spaghetti sauce, and similar items)
- Canned items (vegetables, fruits, soup, and so forth)
- Boxed items (grains, cereals, and the like)
- Plastic containers (containers for bulk foods like nuts, pasta or rice; and bottled water)
- Food supplies in fragile containers (flour in paper sacks, bread loaves in plastic bags, etc.)
Plan for Your New Space
The best way to decide what to keep, eat, or throw away is to look ahead at your new home. Will you have more or less cupboard space there? Do you want to build up a new food supply once you arrive, or would you rather have a month’s supply of food already in place?
By asking yourself these questions now, you can better envision a food plan between now and then. Here are a few possible scenarios that could happen once you move into your new home:
- If your new home has a pantry closet in addition to your kitchen cupboards, you may want to take more food with you.
- If you need to downsize for your new place, consider a better division between food supplies and dishes. If you have too much of one or the other, you should probably give some things away before you move.
- If you have a large family that goes through food quickly, you may want to move more food items with you. But pay attention to food costs vs. the cost of shipping. This can help you decide if moving all those cases of soup is really the best strategy.
How much of your food supply can you use in your current menus? Be creative. Enlist the help of family members to decide what foods you can eat in advance.
In particular, try to use up items in glass jars. Glass is harder to protect during a move, so the fewer glass containers you have on moving day, the better. Do you really need all those glass jars of freezer jam? Consider donating any items you can’t eat before you move to neighbors and friends.
Of course, you have to be realistic when eating from your pantry. You may still have to stop by the store for a couple fresh ingredients. But you may surprise yourself when you see how many meals you can make completely from pantry foods. Don’t forget to use foods from your freezer as well.
Finally, get rid of expired goods before moving day. If you do your part ahead of time, you’ll still have what you need when you arrive at your new home-but without the hassle and expense of moving food items you didn’t have to.
Donate Your Leftovers
The cost of your move is based on weight plus distance of the move. Ways to cut back on your weight would be to get rid of food. Rather than throwing away non-perishable food, Bekins along with Move For Hunger make it easier than ever to donate your food.
Bekins Van Lines is a founding member of Move For Hunger. Participating local agents will pick up the unwanted, non-perishable food items and deliver it to their local food banks in the area. Your donation of food will not only save you money on your move, but will help feed a person or family in need.
Need more fresh moving tips? Browse our blog for other smart, low stress strategies before the big day.