Ohhh, I’m loving Microsoft Excel. For years I was intimidated by its mysteries but since I’ve started messing around with it – learning tips from my boys -I’m really finding it useful.
This time around I used it for my freezer organization.
First let me begin with the cleaning of the freezer because that was the very beginning of my freezer organization and the beginning seems like a very good place to start.
Every year around this time I clean my freezers (a chest and upright) because hunting season is just around the corner and having a place to put the meat when it’s brought home is sort of important, I figure.
Now you may wonder, why would anyone need 2 freezers. Well, I didn’t always have two. I started off with just the upright but then my mom started supplying me with all kinds of bounty from her garden. She would plant, tend, harvest and the preserve the harvest by freezing and canning everything she raised. Not only did she do all of that for herself but for me and my 2 sisters. My mom is simply amazing – but that’s another story.
So my freezer started to fill up with all this wonderful bounty and then about that time, we got bugs in our grains (I buy bulk.) and I decided there was no way I was going to grind up those bugs in my grain mill and use it for cooking. So the grains were tossed and I bought a new bag. Same problem. That’s when I decided I needed a chest freezer to store my grains. Not only will my grains be kept bug free but they will remain fresh.
A chest freezer was purchased with the intent of storing grains but over the years it has also become the place where we put our elk/deer/antelope meat. The meat is starting to take up a little too much room as it now owns about 2/3 of the space.
When I started cleaning the chest it looked like this on top. Of course, that is the very worst thing about a chest freezer – you have to dig for items. I didn’t get a picture of when I took the baskets off the top so you’ll never know what it looked like underneath. Dreadful realization, I know.
2. Then I vacuumed up any spilt grains, removed the ice build-up and vacuumed up the water that had gathered in the bottom.
3. I wiped down the interior.
4. Then my son and I got down to business.
5. I used a wonderful and simple organizing sheet from Simple Productivity Blog that can be downloaded if you go to the above link. I’ve looked at different freezer organizational charts before but I think the difference here is that LJ of Simple Productivity blog explained how to use it. I never said I was a rocket scientist, folks. I need things ex–plainnnn–ed! LJ’s suggestion that really made the light bulb come on for me is to put a diagonal slash through the box for every item you have in your freezer and then complete the x when you take the item out and use it.
Crates Are Wonderful for Organizing a Chest Freezer
6. All of our meats were then separated by type and placed in crates. Something new I’m doing this year was to number the crates and then I wrote on a separate sheet of paper what type of meat was in each numbered bin.
See the 4 at the top of the crate?
7. Toss anything that is freezer burnt. My chickens loved the few packages of meat I gave them.
8. This step took me the longest because I decided to place many of my smaller bags of grains, legumes, etc. into containers. I’m hoping for no more spills from bags splitting because they can’t hold up in the freezer. The part that I’m a little unsure about is whether there will be any breakage from the glass jars or if they’re sturdy enough to withstand any jostling they might get. I did use some plastic containers I had on hand, too.
Then I went to Excel and I made the same type of form that LJ of Simple Productivity Blog had designed. The reason I made one of my own was because I couldn’t figure out how to write on hers using the computer.
Now everything is typed up and I can tweak things around if I need to without writing my whole list over again (not that I would do that anyways). It’s in alphabetical order according to its kind. For instance under Grains I have in alphabetical order: Amaranth, Hard Red Wheat, Hard White Wheat, etc.
Here’s the first page of my “What’s in the Freezer? inventory list.
Now I know exactly how many roasts I have left. Before if i didn’t see anything on top or after digging a little while, I would assume we were getting very low or were out. Now I’ll be able to look at my inventory list. It’s another step in the whole getting organized plan.
Organization happens one step at a time.
It can be a slow process sometimes but even if we take one idea and make it work for us over a long period, that’s one thing that we’ll have down pat and it will become a habit to do.
Good habits are wonderful because they require no real effort. Why? Because we now do that task unconsciouslyor without great thought. It has become a habit.
Joining up with The Homestead Barn Hop #27
Filed under: Home Organization
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