Food Packing Tips When Moving House
Moving house can be a real mixed bag of emotions and a test to your patience and eating habits, it is a time that usually calls for easy takeout meals and often the approach is less than healthy.
Or, if you’ve made the mistake that I have in the past and prematurely packed up the kitchen contents you will have no other option than to eat out. It goes without saying the better prepared you are with your packing the easier the move will be, however, you can be prepared in the kitchen without having packed the pantry a month too early or waiting until the last minute and throwing everything in the bin in a hurry. Packing up the kitchen and the contents of the pantry and fridge will be much easier taking into consideration these few tips.
Do an inventory:
First of all, it’s time to actually look right to the back of the pantry, fridge and freezer and take stock of what contents you have stored deep within. Use a checklist to take note of what food items you have but also taking note of things like expiration dates, items you have multiples of, what stock is running out and what has been left open for a while. This will prevent you from wasting perfectly good food and once you know what you have then you can decide how or what to do with it.
Eat the perishables:
Since you can and most probably will do a grocery shop the day you move into your new home, it is often not necessary to take all your perishables with you. Now that you have done your inventory of what you actually have in your fridge and freezer it’s time to bunker down and eat what you’ve got. Turn this into a fun challenge with the family and get creative with meals. Throwing all your refrigerator contents into a pot for a weeks’ worth of stew or soup will get boring very quickly. You can get the family involved and create a food challenge. A little game of ‘Ready Steady Cook’ (if you were around for that TV show) using a certain number of ingredients, both staple and perishable, you then have to come up with a creative meal. This is always a fun way to eat down and have a bit of fun with the family. This way you won’t be wasting the money you’ve already spent on your groceries and there will be no need to spend a fortune on takeout.
Moving house is a great time to declutter that pantry you’ve been meaning to do for a while. It gives you a chance to check over all the items hidden in the back. During this phase look at the expiration dates your food and toss anything that is old or become rancid. Check things like flour for weevils, stale cereals and open boxes of snacks. All these things will take up space on your move and are a good time to get rid of them.
If you’ve gone through your pantry and decided what you’re taking, what your tossing and there are still a few things that you think, I don’t use this, I don’t cook with it, or it is nearing the expiration date and you don’t think you’ll get around to using it before it does, you could put together a box and give it to a neighbour or family member who you think might actually use it. Alternatively, what you can look into is donating the items to a food drive. There are always charity organisations collecting items which will go a long way to people in need.
Pack what you’re bringing with you:
Ok so the time has come to start actually putting things into boxes that you want to bring with you on the move. A few things to remember when packing up your non-perishables:
- Pack items into smaller boxes, think in terms of weight. It is better to have more boxes that are smaller in size than one larger box that is too heavy to handle or has potential to break/damage what is inside. Canned items may be small, but in numbers they are heavy to carry.
- Any paper or plastic packaging that can tear easily should be sealed appropriately by either putting into zip lock bags for extra protection or better yet into air tight containers, labelled of course.
- Large Tupperware boxes with lids can be great for spice jars to stand upright in. Make sure their lids are on tight and if there is any extra space in the box, pack it down with bubble wrap or newspaper to prevent them falling over.
- Protect glass jars such as oils, sauces, jams and mustards with bubble wrap and tape.
- Label each box with “perishable” or “non-perishable” so you know which boxes need to be unpacked first in the kitchen.
- Any refrigerator or freezer items you will be bringing with you it’s best to use an esky packed with ice bricks to keep cold and ideally you want to take this in a car with you.
When moving day rolls around, don’t forget to have some bottles of water at the ready and a few easy to eat snacks to keep your energy up throughout the day. You’ll be glad that you did!
Written by Bec Wimsett from B Free Home Lifestyle Management
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