I can’t even remember the last time I looked to see what’s at the bottom of my freezer. Most of the time I try to play Tetris and just fit as much as I possibly can into the freezer. I put off the nightmare of trying to organize the freezer for as long as I possibly can. But fortunately, organizing your freezer doesn’t have to difficult or time consuming. With a few tips to get you started, you won’t have to be afraid of opening your freezer door anymore. Here’s how to get started.
First Things First
Before you start to organize the freezer, you need to take everything out. Yep, when I say everything, I mean everything. When the freezer is empty, set everything on your kitchen countertop. Once everything is set out, check for any expiration dates or any other indication for things that need to be tossed. After you’re done with this, start categorizing your food into these categories:
Breakfast: Waffles, breakfast sandwiches, or pastries.
Sweets: This includes ice cream, popsicles, desserts, or anything else you have for your sweet tooth!
Cheeses or Deli Meats: We tend to freeze a lot of cheese and forget it’s there. Make sure you remember to set these aside.
Left-Overs: This category alone could fill a whole freezer for us. Make sure to include anything like pizza, pizza rolls, pasta sauces, etc.
Fruits and Veggies: Frozen veggies tend to get lost in our fridge, so we end up with tons of them.
Keep or Toss
Once you have everything categorized, take a look at your meats (chicken, ground beef, fish, etc.) and figure out what can be kept and what you need to toss. Here are the FDA guidelines for safe food storage. Frozen foods can be stored long-term but they can taste different when stored past these time limits.
Raw Beef Roast and Steaks: 6 to 12 months
Raw Veal Roast and Chops: 4 to 6 months
Cooked Meat: 2 to 3 months
Soup: 2 to 3 months
Raw Chicken Pieces: 9 months
Cooked Chicken Pieces: 4 months
Pizza: 1 to 2 months (In our house it doesn’t last more than a week!)
Luncheon Meats: 1 to 2 months
Raw Pork Roast and Chops: 4 to 6 months
Raw Lean Fish (Cod, Flounder, etc.): 6 months
Cooked Fish: 4 to 6 months
Raw Fatty Fish (Salmon, Tuna, etc.): 2 to 3 months
Cleaning and Organizing
It’s finally time to clean your freezer! All you need to do is grab a cloth and a bucket of soapy water. Wipe down the door, shelves, and anything else that food comes in contact with. Wipe off the excess and you’re good to go!
As you’re putting food back in the freezer, try your best to keep them in their categories. If possible, try to keep them on the same shelf or in the same drawer. This will keep your freezer from becoming a nightmare again!
If you’re anything like me, you might put off fridge and freezer cleaning for as long as you can. No matter how difficult or overwhelming it seems, you can be done in less than 30 minutes. What are some of your favorite methods to organize the freezer? Leave your comments below!