Five for Friday: Five Steps to Prep Your Freezer for a Pantry Clean Out

Five for Friday

Before this pantry challenge kicked off, it was time to clean out and inventory my freezer. I’ve mentioned the inventory list I keep on the fridge before, and every few weeks, it needs to be rewritten due to the scribbles and cross-outs that result from using up items. It really helps me remember what I have and what I need to use up. Here is my five step process for getting ready for a pantry clean out:

Five Steps to Prep Your Freezer for a Pantry Clean Out

1. Remove everything from the freezer, sorting the items as you remove them. I make piles of fruits and vegetables, sauces and stocks, meats, nuts, and herbs.

Five Steps to Prep Your Freezer for a Pantry Clean Out

2. Give the freezer a good wipe down. There’s a lot of grossness that winds up in there.

Five Steps to Prep Your Freezer for a Pantry Clean Out

3. Working from your sorted piles, write each item down on your inventory list. Indicate the quantity, both in weight and in number. I find it’s easiest to do this with tick marks so you can cross one tick off when you use one item. For example, my list tells me I have two 1/2# packages of ground chicken, I have one six pound pork shoulder.

Five Steps to Prep Your Freezer for a Pantry Clean Out

4. After you’ve written down the item, return it to the freezer. Stack like items so that you don’t have to dig around. I know if I’m looking for my edamame, it’s going to be with the berries and spinach. No need to tear everything out of the freezer to find it, I just look in that general area.

Five Steps to Prep Your Freezer for a Pantry Clean Out

5. Hang your inventory list on the outside of the fridge for easy reference.

Five Steps to Prep Your Freezer for a Pantry Clean Out

6. Bonus: Enjoy a clean and organized freezer.

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5 Responses to Five for Friday: Five Steps to Prep Your Freezer for a Pantry Clean Out

  1. Kat Clayton says:

    Hello Jacki! I’ve nom­i­nated you for a Lieb­ster Award. It’s an award that blog­gers pass on to each other so we can get to know each other and so our read­ers can get to know us a lit­tle bet­ter too! You can check it out on my blog.
    http://www.claytonfamilykitchen.com/?p=435

    What a great idea for the freezer! I’m so bad about having mystery meat and veggies from years ago, but this would help me remember what I have and need to use. Love it!
    Kat

  2. I use the same type of racks in my freezer. Do you ever buy salad mix or spinach in the plastic containers? If you do, you can use them in the freezer to hold bags of smaller items. I usually keep small bags of frozen veggies or beans in them. Thanks for the post!

    • jacki jacki says:

      That’s a great idea! I have a “box” of greens in my fridge now, and I’ll definitely try that once we’ve used it up!

  3. Leslie says:

    I’d like to hear more about the herbs in your freezer. How do you prep them for freezing? How do you use them? Do they change in texture after being frozen?

    • jacki jacki says:

      For the herbs I store in the freezer, I wash and dry them really well. I give them a good chop and store them in ziptop freezer bags. Then I just grab a handful out when I need them for a recipe. I don’t use the frozen fresh herbs in raw form as they do become a little more water logged and don’t have that fresh crunch, but they are great to use in baked dishes, such as stuffed shells. I will also throw some in the pot when I make stock and they are fine to use in soups and sauces.

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