I know you don’t want to do this, but when was the last time you looked to see what was at the bottom of your freezer? I bet some of us could give that “unexplained meat” to our children’s science teacher for an experiment! Why not organize your freezer today? Here are some easy tips to get you started.
The first step I suggest is taking everything out of your freezer and putting it on your kitchen counter top. As you are doing this, I would like you to check expiration dates and start to put the food into categories.
Desserts, ice cream and popsicles (BTW the creamy, rubbery stuff on top of the ice cream is not a topping. It is old!)
Cheeses or Deli Meats
Pizza, pizza rolls, left over Mazzio’s, Papa Johns and Hideaway Pizza (Do you see a theme here…we love pizza at our house!)
Fruits and so on.
Here is a guideline by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration for safe storage. Frozen foods can be stored indefinitely, but the flavor can change when food is stored past the time limits below.
Raw Beef Roast and Steaks: 6 to 12 months
Raw Pork Roast and Chops: 4 to 6 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 Fatty Fish (Salmon, Tuna, etc.): 2 to 3 months
Raw Lean Fish (Cod, Flounder, etc.): 6 months
Cooked Fish: 4 to 6 months
Now that we have everything categorized and checked for expiration dates, let’s go ahead and clean your freezer with warm soapy water and a cloth. As you are putting your food back into your freezer, keep your like items categorized together on the same shelf or in the same drawer. I like to put my frequently used frozen items within easy reach inside the freezer door, such as breakfast items and my coffee.
Remember to record the date of purchase or write the expiration date on the outside of the freezer bag before putting the new food into the freezer. This will help you stay organized in your freezer.
Author Michelle Lehman of Organizing Solutions “Clear the Clutter”Michelle is a Professional Organizer in the Tulsa area. Her articles have been featured in the Tulsa World, The Oklahoman, and The Chicago Post-Tribune. Michelle appears on Fox23 News DayBreak giving organizing tips and recommendations. image via © Petarneychev