Countdown to an Organized Christmas: Freezer Inventory


countdown christmas

{If you’ve missed the previous posts in this series you can find them here.}

If you already keep a working inventory of your freezer then you’re off the hook for today.  🙂  I usually know what’s in my fridge (I try to clean it out at least once a week) but I sometimes really fall off track on knowing exactly what are in my freezers.  Which really stinks when I think I have something in there and then when I figure out it’s not I have to scramble to figure out what else to cook for supper that night!

Ideally, a freezer inventory should be kept year round.  There are so many benefits:

  • You always know what items you have on hand.
  • You are less likely to forget about something and have to throw it away because it grew moldy or got freezer burned.
  • It’s easier to buy extras when you find a good deal on something (say, beef) if you know how much space you have and that you don’t already have several packages hiding in the freezer.

Setting up an inventory not probably not a fun task.  It takes time, patience, and a hot drink to help keep your hands warm.  (Any excuse for coffee!)  But once you get it set up you hopefully will be able to keep it up with just a bit of maintenance here and there.  And if you go ahead and accomplish this task now, it should help keep you more organized when you’re trying to figure out what you need to buy to do all of your holiday cooking and baking.

A few tips I’ve found useful since keeping a freezer inventory:

  • I keep my freezer inventory on the side of my fridge instead of in my CCJ.  It’s easier to make changes to it if it’s right there so I’m more likely to do it then (instead of doing it “later” — which we all know never tends to actually happen).
  • Write (in permanent marker) on all of your freezer plastic zippy baggies.  Write what’s in there and include the date as well (I also include the amount/weight).  Because no matter how good you think your memory is, in six month’s time that hunk of meat will not be identifiable and will probably never be eaten.
  • After I wrote down a list of things I normally keep in my freezer, I laminated the paper.  Now I can just use a wet erase marker to add/subtract amounts.  It’s more durable and very convenient for me.
  • I also made sure that my marker had a magnet in it so it sticks to the fridge right beside my list.  No more hunting for a writing utensil.  And I made sure that my family know that marker is off limits.

What if you have two (or more) freezers?  How do you make that work?  In my home I have my regular fridge/freezer.  Out in the garage is a separate upright freezer.  When I began my Freezer Inventory List I tried to keep them separate and made separate lists.  That didn’t work well for me because I regularly move things from one freezer to the other.  It just became more of a hassle than it was worth to try and remember to erase from one list and write it on the other.  It wasn’t long before I gave up completely.

Now I just keep one list.  Since it’s all written down it really doesn’t take that long to find something, even if I have to search through both freezers to find it.  (And that normally doesn’t happen because I tend to know what’s in my fridge/freezer since I’m in it so often.)

Another suggestion that may work if you have multiple freezers is to assign numbers to your freezers.  When you write down an item on your Freezer Inventory List just jot down the number of the freezer beside it.  Just find a method that works for you!

{Tomorrow we’re going to tackle the food pantry!}

And now, the homework:

Today’s Assignment:  Bite the bullet and make your freezer inventory check list.  (You might find it handy to have one person to write down the items and someone else to call out all of the items in the freezer.)  While you’re in there you might as well go ahead and throw out all of the mystery meat and other stuff that has been in there since 2005.  It’s time.  Just let it go.  🙂  It’ll be easier to organize what’s left — and much easier to locate things later.   And don’t forget the upright and chest freezers!

Today’s Printable:  CCJ freezer inventory list.  Make multiples as needed.  I’ve also included an inventory list for your fridge if you need one:  CCJ fridge inventory list.


3 responses »

  1. Pingback: Countdown to an Organized Christmas: Welcome | Happily A Homemaker

  2. Pingback: Countdown to an Organized Christmas: Pantry Inventory | Happily A Homemaker

  3. Pingback: Countdown to an Organized Christmas: Binder Prep and Organizing | Happily A Homemaker

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