Last week's blog was all about setting up your kitchen in the new house. This week, I'm going to give some practical tips on moving your food from your old kitchen to your new kitchen.
What Gets Packed and When? - Whether you are moving across town or a couple of days away, packing your pantry won't be that difficult. Make sure all items are not outdated (don't want any cans exploding on a move) and all packages are sealed. Wrap glass jars in something to protect them and label accordingly so that they will be handled with care as well (extra kitchen towels are great for this). Don't pack things that critters can easily get into either. Toss little bits of chips or cookies or anything that will be easy access to them. Common sense. But, when is the best time to pack up your pantry? That needs to be planned according to when you are actually moving. You will need some pantry items for meals, however, some items you won't need for a while so those can be packed two weeks (or more depending) before the move, but constantly used items that you need can wait until about a week before. You can even label that box "essential pantry items".
How Do I Move the Cold Food? - Now the food in your refrigerator. This is a bit more tricky. If you are moving across town and can move food straight into a fridge that is there, packing most things in a cooler will get it there safely. If you are also moving your refrigerator into the house, then you need to be more particular about what you move. Remember: Murphy's Law (anything that can happen, will happen). You need to think that maybe (for some reason) the fridge might not make it quickly into the house and be ready to keep things cool, so packing a cooler might not be a good option. When refrigerators are moved, sometimes they can have "issues" if not moved correctly, so if you are moving yourself, you need to be sure you transport this item the correct way. But, even then, it might take longer than you think to unload everything when you get to your destination, so transporting cold food items that can spoil is not a good plan. Some condiments can keep, but, mostly be strategic about what's in your fridge when it is getting close to moving day. It will just save you a lot of stress and waste as well.
What About the Frozen Food? - A lot of the same actions apply to moving a freezer. I have heard of large freezers being moved FULL and keeping OKAY and frozen even on a long journey. You will need to do some research on this if you want to go that route. I usually tried to empty my freezers as much as possible before a move--which brings me to my next tip.
Other Essential Planning - Planning ahead can help with what to pack, when to pack and how to pack your food items. Let's say you know you are moving in a month. Start being careful about what you buy at the store during this time. Don't buy a side of beef for your freezer with a move coming your way! Wait until after you get settled. It's a good time to try to empty your fridge/freezer with all those items you have been meaning to cook. Approach your pantry the same way. Don't stock up on baking items if you know there is no way you will be baking a bunch because you are going to be packing up your life! This is also a good time to bless others with things. Invite friends for a special dinner or send friends home with extra canned goods that you can spare. One other thing I found handy was to put leftovers in throw away containers. Then, when it's close to moving time, you won't have a ton of dishes to wash up as well when you are cleaning out the fridge. You can just toss things away!
I hope some of these tips helped ease your mind as you prepare for your move. Sometimes just having an outline of what you want to do helps takes the stress away. I hope I am helping you do just that!