Yesterday’s task was to tackle under the kitchen sink , and let’s just say we’re all happy that one is done with! If you’re keeping up with these challenges, join our 28 Days to De-Clutter Facebook Event page and share your excitement with the rest of us as you accomplish each task! If you’re just joining us now, you can .
Today’s task comes with a disclaimer that it *may* take more than 10 minutes to complete: today we’re cleaning out the freezer. I have only the freezer attached to my refrigerator, and although it was quite full, it didn’t take me more than 10 minutes to organize. However, if your freezer is stuffed to the gills and/or larger than mine (Got a chest freezer? You lucky ducky!), it will probably take longer. To stick to the 10-minute limit, I suggest starting with one shelf and going from there as you have time.
Take a quick glance at the contents of your freezer and determine how much of the space you can sort through in the time you have. If you can only manage the freezer door, that’s fine! That’s better than nothing.
OK, let’s get ready then: set your timer for 10 minutes. Put on some gloves, open the freezer door, and…
Remove everything from the freezer, one shelf at a time.
Dispose of the following:
Anything you cannot identify (Invest in some sharpies so you can label them next time!)
Anything your family didn’t want to eat the first time around (They won’t eat it from the freezer, that’s for sure!)
That half-empty container of ice cream with ice crystals on it
Anything with damaged packaging (The freezer burn will render it inedible.)
Return the remaining items to the shelf, grouping them by categories (vegetables, meat, leftovers, etc.).
If you have time, continue the process with another shelf. You may need to take some additional time as you go to regroup items as you discover them in order to create a unified system throughout the freezer (i.e., all leftovers together on one shelf, all frozen veggies on another, etc.).
And that’s it! No matter how much of your freezer you cleaned out, you still accomplished something! If you’re ready for more… read on.
Label everything in your freezer clearly. Be sure to include the name of the item and the date it was originally prepared or bought. Permanent markers, like Sharpie pens, work perfectly for this job. You can stick a piece of masking tape on the packaging and then write on it with the permanent marker.
Give each shelf or compartment in your freezer a job: ice cream on this shelf, bread on that one, frozen veggies on another. This will make it much easier for you to determine how much you have of each item in the freezer, and will help you cut down on food waste.
Invest in some proper packaging for the freezer so you can more effectively preserve what you store there. My preferred freezer storage is glass, so I use it whenever I can: re-usable glass jars and Pyrex bowls with lids are my personal favorites and are not super expensive. I find that cheap plastic gets brittle in the freezer, and expensive plastic still doesn’t do a fabulous job of keeping out the freezer burn. Wax or parchment paper wrapped around food items placed in zip-top plastic freezer bags also works very well.