A friend of mine suggested tackling it slowly and just focusing on one part at a time and I knew that would be my best bet. So last week, I decided I would start by cleaning out the pantry.
Here is how it looked when I started. It was just a jumbled mess of items and nothing was all that organized, especially gluten and gluten-free items.
To start, I emptied everything out onto the table and counter. I sorted as I went, making a pile of gluten and dairy free items, items containing gluten or dairy and then a pile of items I wasn't sure about.
Once the pantry was completely empty, I got a bucket of hot soapy water and washed out all the shelves.
Then I went back to my piles and double checked most of the items, just to be sure I wasn't missing anything.
|Foods I can eat|
|My "maybe" pile|
|Foods that I can't eat|
At this point, I took a break for supper. I just whipped myself up a stir-fry type meal, with rice, veggies and honey garlic sausage. It was good!
The other nice thing about my supper break is that it gave me more energy to finish off what I had started. Once I finished eating, I got right back to work on my pantry.
Once I had all my foods back on the shelves, I made some room for some of Dan's foods that wouldn't leave any crumbs or gluten residue. For example, cereal, granola bars, peanut butter, pasta, etc. I knew that he would still want his regular foods to be easily accessible and not buried in some bottom cupboard somewhere.
Here are the two shelves that we now share.
As for the rest of the gluten and dairy containing foods, I put the flours, spices, powdered milk, extra pasta, etc into a corner cupboard. That way they are still accessible but since they aren't used regularly, they are more out of the way. And they're far away from all my foods.
I'm pretty proud of all that I accomplished in that one evening. Plus, I only had to throw away two things since I could give the rest of my opened-but-still-good items to a friend.
|My give away pile|