Welcome back for the second part of the Cook More Real Food event!

It’s so great to see so many people joining in, through the Facebook event page and also just through the comments. I’ve noticed a number of people blogging about the event and the progress that they are making as well, which is fantastic!

Today we’re going to take inventory of what’s in our freezers. Join me as I tackle my own freezers…

I realized as I watched the video afterwords that my deep freeze really isn’t too full, which is perfect. We’re about to move and it’s time to get ready for filling it with fresh summer produce from the garden and produce market.

Cleaning out your freezer before summer is ideal for those of you who are trying to preserve as much food in season as you can. I stock mine with garden produce (peas, zucchini, turnips, tomatoes, pumpkin, etc.) and with tons of fresh, local fruit like berries, peaches and more!

Here’s how to take inventory of your freezer:

1. Set aside about an hour or hour and a half for this project.

This one actually took me even less time than the Pantry challenge did (about 40 minutes compared to 60-70 minutes). However, I wasn’t digging through a big chest freezer like some of you may be, so I would still allot over an hour in case you need it.

2. Print off or create an inventory sheet.

Just like last time, I printed one off from my ListPlanIt membership. Once again, you can also just make one by taking a blank sheet of paper and separating it into categories of the types of food that are in your freezer (meat, fruit, veggies, meals, breads, etc.). There was also a great tip in the comments section of the Pantry challenge for some printable inventories available from Organized Home.

3. Open up your freezer and empty it out.

Honestly, you have to take it all out. This is simply the most effective way to do it, unless it is like my garage stand-up freezer and isn’t very full or is very well organized. Floor, counters, table, etc. You can do it anywhere you like.

4. Use your inventory page and write down what you find.

Write down absolutely everything in your freezer. Unless it needs to chucked (due to extreme freezer burn or complete lack of indentifiability- I confess to having a few items that fit into those categories), it should be written down. No matter how random or how little there is.

5. Spray it down and wipe it out.

Having an empty freezer is a perfect opportunity to clean it out!

6. Consolidate what’s in there.

I found a box of sausages that only had a few left, so I ditched the box and put them in a smaller bag. I also found 3 partially filled bags of bananas, so I put them all in 1 bag. If you can cut down on packaging or unnecessary bulk, do it.

7. Take some time to re-organize.

Particularly if you have a deep chest freezer, careful organization is crucial. My fridge freezer has no shelving at all, but it helps to have a small plastic shelf in there, as well as large basket. Check out this post for a few more tips for freezer organization.

8. Store your inventory somewhere useful.

I’m keeping  my inventories in my homemaking binder for now, but after next week’s meal planning, I will be putting my pantry inventory on the inside of my pantry door. Your freezer inventory could be taped onto the top of your deep freeze.

9. Take the weekend off and come back next week!

Congrats! You’ve done inventories (and perhaps some cleaning/organizing) of both your pantry and freezer in one week, and it really wasn’t that painful.

Next Tuesday, June 1st we will do a really quick fridge inventory and then do some meal planning. We’ll also do a bit of planning for some food prep/freezing cooking days on Mon/Tues June 7 & 8th.

If you haven’t already, make sure you join the Facebook event page to stay up to date with everything that’s happening!

How is it going for you so far? Did anyone else find mystery meat in their freezer? I’d love to hear about your progress!