Kitchen organizing can leave you feeling Frozen. But, if you take that fear and let it go, let it go- you will find that your freezer is a very efficient tool for home organization. I can’t hold it back anymore, don’t turn away and slam the door! Watch this video, it’s time to see what you can do and make your freezer work for you.
(Click here to watch on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded player. Or watch the video at http://bit.ly/tcdfreeze.)
Hi. I’m Lorie Marrero, creator of the Clutter Diet book and on-line program, and today we’re going to talk about the cool things you can do with your freezer.
So, first of all, let’s talk about when you buy a new refrigerator. I just bought one last year, and I was really happy because I, for the first time, considered getting a freezer that’s down below instead of up high or on the side. And what I have found, and you can evaluate for yourself, is that I use much more frequently the refrigerator space and wanted to have a wide open view of everything that’s in there at eye level, and then less frequently I was using the freezer, and it was really nice to have it down below in a drawer format. So I thought that was a great strategy, given the frequency of use. So, when you buy a new fridge, think through that, don’t just automatically get the kind of fridge you had before.
So let’s talk about what to put in your fridge that makes most sense to save you time. The people that know me laugh because I hardly ever make a single batch of anything. So pancakes, for example, I cook lots of extra pancakes, and I freeze them so I can have quick breakfasts. Waffles, muffins, cookie dough, things like that are fantastic to have in your freezer for getting people out the door more quickly in the morning.
Also, when you have these yucky over-ripe bananas, instead of feeling like you have to immediately make banana bread or waste them, you can just peel them and stick them in a bag and there you go, you’ve got them for smoothies or other things that you might use bananas for, like if you do want to make banana bread later, you can still do it with these frozen bananas. But at least you have options if you put it in the freezer. Also, if you like making smoothies, I have run into this tip this year that’s really been cool for me. I like to put some greens in my smoothies or in my juices that I make in the blender. And sometimes I have a big bag of kale and I don’t want to use it all up at that exact time, and I don’t want it to go bad, so what I do is I blend up the kale and then I freeze it as ice cubes in an ice cube tray and I have these little kale cubes and I blend three or four of them in a smoothie and have some greens with my smoothie without having to worry about having the fresh produce always on-hand. Extra turkey burgers or whatever you do for your family, freeze the extra and make a note of it.
So that brings us to the next category of things to talk about with your freezer today, and that is knowing what you have. Sometimes it’s packed full. These drawers sometimes get, you know, things stacked on top of each other, and it’s hard to see what you have. So one of the things you can do is use a simple wipe-off board, or even a piece of paper on the side of the fridge that just says what’s in my freezer so that I can cross it off after I use it, but at a glance I have visibility to what is in there. So that really helps. If you do have the extra turkey burgers or something hanging out in there, they might get lost unless you write them down.
Another thing you can do is, of course, label everything. You might have noticed on the pancakes, I write on there “pancakes” and what the date was that I made them, so later it removes all the ambiguity about how old they are and no more guessing.
So you want to clean out your freezer once or twice a year and it can be a big project, but don’t be too intimidated, just kind of take everything out. And what I want to tell you, is when in doubt, throw it out. You don’t want to make your family sick, you don’t want to eat something that tastes stale and freezer burned, so if you’re not sure, you know, go ahead and toss it, because if you’re not sure, you’ve probably had it in there a long time. Also throw out any little single popsicle or lonely one chicken wing or a bag of something. Nobody’s going to eat that. Just go ahead and toss those when you’re going through your stuff.
And then you want to arrange everything that’s left into categories, and you can label the shelves, especially with an upright freezer, with binder clips, as you see in this picture. So here’s a simple binder clip. You just print a label that fits right across the back of this. This is something I developed working with clients, and it is a great solution for lots of really hard-to- label areas, but you just clip it right on the shelf and flip the tabs back over, and you’ve got a section for frozen pizza or a section for frozen breakfast items. And people can know where to put things away when they get back from the grocery store.
So if you have other cool things to share about how you use your freezer, share those in the Comments with us, and if you want help with your organizing projects in general, check us out at clutterdiet.com/learnmore.
See you next time, and may you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.
You may have been searching for how to clean and organize the freezer and fridge.