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Last weekend, as I was packing for a 3-day trip away from my family, I realized how seriously unorganized our freezer is. There is a ton of food in there-everything from ham hocks to sandwich bread to casseroles to fruit for smoothies. But everything’s all jumbled together in a heap of icy randomness.
When I went out to the freezer to pull out some of the meals I thought I’d frozen a while ago, I realized 3 problems:
- I had no idea what was actually in that great, frozen cavern. I dug around for a looooong time trying to find anything edible.
- Some of the stuff was labeled, but there was no date on the package so there’s no knowing if it is ok to eat.
- I forgot that we had already eaten some of the things I thought should be in there.
Clearly, it was time to organize this madness. For one, I got some of these cool freezer-safe storage containers. No more clumpy plastic bags rolling around and sliding off of one another. These clear plastic containers are easily stackable, which means I’m less likely to have to hunt around in the freezer.
Printable Freezer Inventory
The next thing I did was create a system of organization for the outside of the freezer. These printable freezer inventory sheets let me know what’s in there, as well as how much of it I’ve got. When I go to make my weekly meal plan, I can check the freezer inventory to see if I need to buy more chicken breasts, and if so how much.
I made 2 different versions of these freezer inventory sheets. The only difference is that one has a space to write in the quantity of each item in the freezer, and the other doesn’t. At first I left out the “quantity” section. But then as I was adding pork chops to my list, I realized that sometimes I freeze a single chop and other times I have a whole package that needs to be stored. It would make meal planning much easier if I could simply glance at the freezer instead of having to find the pork chops to decide if I need more than I already have on hand.
My freezer inventory is best printed on regular 8.5” x 11” paper. You can print them in color or, in your printer preferences, select the file to print in black and white. There is already a margin set on the page so you can also select the “fit to page” option when you go to print it.
If you have a freezer that is in a covered area (ours is outside but sheltered from rain), you can slide the freezer inventory page into a sheet protector and stick it to the outside of the freezer with sticky tack. Then, as you add or remove items, you can easily access the paper to write in or cross things off.
There are .pdf files that you can access by clicking here for the one with the “Qty.” section or here for the file without a quantity section. Or you can right-click the images below and save them to your computer.
I hope this helps you (and me!) get a little more organized when it comes to freezer storage. Next hurdle: actually going through and throwing out the old food! Got any tips on a system for remembering to do that?