An epic task, or organization part 1

We’ve struggled with keeping things organized around here (I’m not even going to try to use the kid as an excuse – I was the same way before he was here). I’ve slowly added tools to help with this, like cabinets and shelves in the garage and basement, or shelves and hooks inside. My bane has been our food storage. For years, I’ve had grandiose plans for organizing everything in the freezers and pantry, because food can and will get lost in there. A while back, Susy from Chiot’s Run posted something similar to what I’m trying to do. Of course, for all my good intentions, ideas are as far as I’ve gotten. I’ve had several small dry-erase boards for this purpose almost since we moved in, but they’ve never been touched. Until now. One of them, anyway.

We have two chest freezers, in addition to the fridge/freezer. One of them has been used exclusively for the local meats that we buy in bulk (anybody need bacon? Not seriously – you can’t have it.), and the other, for… everything else. When we recently purchase a half-hog, I decided enough was enough. So before we added all the new meat to the freezer, I took everything else out (mostly the cow from last year), and recruited S to help me write everything down. She has nicer handwriting than I do, but not by much. Mostly, I just wanted her to feel important.

Several nearly-frostbitten fingers later, we had accounted for every piece of meat in the freezer.

It was quite euphoric, but the feeling was short-lived, as I remembered the other (larger) freezer still left, and if I can muster the motivation, all my canned stuff and the entire pantry. It sounds intimidating, but really, doesn’t take much time to do. And, I can say with certainty, it will save us headaches (no more wondering if we have everything for a recipe) and money too. I once bought a bag of frozen corn, and upon putting it in the freezer, discovered I already had three unopened bags of corn. I’m proud to say that we did use it all. Eventually.

When it comes down to it, the easy part is the first categorization. The hard part is keeping up with it, meaning every time we add something, taking the few seconds required and putting it on the list. I’ll keep you updated.

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