It’s that time of year to do a bit of spring cleaning. I’m sharing my tips on how you can Spring Clean Your Freezer in 10 easy steps. It’s not the most glamorous job but it does have to get done. Having a well organized freezer comes with many benefits which include making weekly meal planning so much easier.
Every spring I give my freezer a good cleaning. I like to purchase an order of meat from my local butcher at the beginning of BBQ season and I need to organize my freezer to find room to put everything. I also need to find a place for my summer slushie. It may not feel like summer yet but I’ll be ready when the warm weather finally does arrive.
Many years ago I traded in my deep freezer for an upright Frigidaire freezer and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. While I can still “lose” food in my freezer, as a vertically challenged individual, it’s much easier for me to keep my upright freezer organized when I don’t have to climb “inside” my freezer to reach the bottom and find any food that may have gone missing down there.
Every 6 months I completely defrost and clean out my freezer. I’ll toss any food that is expired or freezer burnt and reorganize everything. I also like to take an inventory of what I have on hand so I can use it up before I buy any more meat for the freezer.
Here some tips to help Spring Clean Your Freezer
- Place all the food in coolers or cooler bags to keep frozen while you are cleaning your freezer. If you live in a colder climate, place the food in containers and store outside while you clean your freezer.
- Throw out any food that is expired, is freezer burnt or appears questionable. Better safe than sorry. You can use these Freezer Food Safety Guidelines as reference for how long you should store food in the freezer.
- Once your food is removed, unplug the freezer and allow it to defrost. Depending on the amount of ice build up this could take some time. Most of the time I like to help make it go more quickly.Tip: Place a bin in the bottom of the freezer to catch the melting ice and water. Lay a towel in front of your freezer to catch any water run off.
- To help melt the ice faster, heat baking sheets in the oven and/or bring a pot of water to a boil. Place the hot baking sheets onto the metal racks. You can also place a pot of boiling water onto a metal shelf and close the freezer door. As the ice melts you’ll have to empty the bin and baking sheets.
- Using a plastic spatula, gently chip off the chunks of ice as it melts. Don’t use anything metal as the shelves have a plastic coating on them and if you chip the coating your shelves will start to rust. A long bristled brush can also help remove the ice. Have a bucket or sink close by to put any ice chunks in.
- Take out any removable plastic shelves and wash in the sink with hot soapy water.
- Once the ice is completely gone, spray the inside of your freezer and wipe down with a cloth or paper towels until completely dry.
- Plug the freezer back and allow to get cold again.
- Return the food back to the freezer. Take an inventory of what you are putting back into your freezer. A Freezer Inventory sheet comes with my Meal Planning E-book. I love using this inventory sheet to help with weekly meal plans.
- Use bins to group similar items, particularly items that do not stack well. When freezing items, lay them flat so you can later stack them in the bins.
Congratulations! You now have a nicely organized and clean freezer. Now you can join our Virtual Freezer Meal Parties and we’ll help you stock your freezer.
Do you have any tips that help with meal planning besides to spring clean your freezer?
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