Not many people get kicks out of tidying up, but sometimes the benefits you get from being better organized are good enough motivation. The simple truth is that a lot of people who keep their refrigerators, freezers and pantries messy spend up to 25% more on food, than people who keep their kitchens organized. If you’re not indifferent to the possibility of cutting your monthly expenses, check out these really easy tips on organizing.
Five Easy Steps to a Tidy Freezer
- Take out everything in your freezer that’s expired or that you definitely won’t be using. Reorder remaining items according to their type. For example, group all meat products in one part of the freezer, all vegetables in another, deserts in a separate section… That way you won’t be searching for food for too long.
- Make sure all your bought and prepared food items are properly packaged and labeled. Food packaging should be air-proof, so that your food wouldn’t get spoiled by air burns. Your food tags should contain info about what type of food is inside, and what is its expiration date.
- Every time you buy new frozen food, put it in the back, and put older food closer to the freezer door. That way no food item will have time to go bad.
- When preparing meals for freezing, blanche veggies to stop the enzymes processing the food. Also, pack food in one-serving-size freezer bags, so that you wouldn’t have to defrost large quantities of food, but only as much as needed for one meal. We’re all about not throwing away food.
- Defrost food in your refrigerator the night before you want to use it, or under cold water, still securely wrapped in food packaging. Avoid thawing at room temperature. Also, when you want to freeze a cooked meal, wait until it’s completely cold.
Five Even Easier Steps to Pantry Organization
- Repeat the same thing you did in your freezer: take out everything that’s expired or that you won’t be using. Clean all the shelves nicely.
- Then reorganize all your food items according to likeness (of food, not of the food packaging shape and size).
- Put lighter boxes and containers on top shelves, and heavy items on the bottom.
- If there’s not enough space in your pantry, you can buy additional bins, or hanging/slide-out racks, creating extra room for your food.
- Make sure that your food packaging labels are visible, so that you can always easily find what you are looking for and check expiration dates.
Once you have everything tidied up in your kitchen, make sure you keep it that way, because maintaining an organized freezer/pantry is much easier than doing the whole process of organizing from scratch. Very soon you’ll notice that you’re not throwing away food anymore, and that you’re using your freezer and your pantry with more enthusiasm. Definitely worth a try.
Ana Brady is a working mother who blogs about healthy ways of living, saving money, cooking, family time, etc. She works in a small designers’ group on a project on food packaging labels.