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November 04, 2011

Get Your Home Ready for the Holidays: 28 Day Challenge – Day 9

28 days-simplify101
Day 9:  Clean and Organize Your Fridge & Freezer


I think through the planning of my holiday meals, no problem. What I never seem to take into account is where I’m going to store all the necessary food items in advance of that, or the leftovers afterward. This year I have worked with Aby to create a printable we can all use to literally take stock of our stock, as well as our stews and casseroles.  In the workshops, Aby stresses that we have to create space for what’s coming. In order to do that, we’ve got to do a thorough clean-out and inventory of the fridge and freezer. Let’s get started!


First off, clear off a designated work space, such as a tables or countertops, to hold the items from your fridge or freezer. As you pull things out, it may help to use trays and tubs to keep things together, which will make it easier to put them back. Dispose of things past their expiration date or that you know will simply not be eaten, and wipe down any sticky containers or bottles.


Once the shelves are emptied, pull them out for a good washing with dishwater in the sink, and clean the inside. I like to use a vinegar-water spray for this step. Dry the shelves. But before you return the items, make notes about what you have that could be used up. In my own fridge, condiments drive me a little crazy sometimes, so I plan to make notes to help me consume some of these before the holidays. We’ll for sure be having chicken teriyaki and BBQ meatloaf very soon! Before you place items back in the freezer, fill out the freezer inventory, and use containers to keep like items together.


28-days-freezer-inventory-list -

Now we’ve got this inventory, but it won’t do us any good if we don’t keep it updated. For me, I think the easiest thing is going to be hanging it outside my freezer with a magnet. That way I can easily strike through the things I use as I take them out. I can also grab it to refer to when I do my weekly menu planning/grocery shopping list. 


Were you surprised by how much you actually had in the freezer? Is there anything you might be eating a lot of over the next 20 days?


Happy Cleaning & Organizing!

Jens signature black

P.S. This step-by-step assignment, along with the Freezer Inventory Download, is a little taste of what Aby has cooked up in her brand new Organize Your Kitchen workshop. If you liked this process and could use Aby’s help for your whole kitchen, click here for more information and to grab your spot in this workshop!


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Sewing Stash

Some great tips here -- thanks!


Thank you for breaking all of this into small, manageable tasks. I get so daunted that I don't even start. I'll try following along with these suggestions this weekend!


I added this freebie here and also let everyone know about your challenges. Thank you for keeping us organized.


Next time I clean out the freezer I will have my husband do this so than when he says there is nothing to eat in a box crammed with goodies he will have a better clue =-)


I love the freezer list! Thanks for the great tips.


Inventory done. New F/F so no cleaning needed. Currently everything is organised by shelf but I like the idea of using a larger container to group like items together. may use this for the condiments in the fridge.

I may use the inventory method for my spices etc as this cupboard is a really hard place to keep track items.


Does anyone know of an iPhone or iPad app to create fridge/freezer/pantry lists?

The Scrapbooking Housewife

I just did this the other week with our deep freeze!! I just listed what I had on a sheet in my household binder, but now I have printed off your inventory list to use. Love how it is divided into sections and has an "Eat By" date. :)

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