The Big Freezer “Use it Up” Challenge

This is my freezer, not Dizzy’s. As you can see it’s not big enough to hold food clutter. Due to that fact the food in it is constantly being decluttered.

Last week Dizzy informed me she was totally committed to Buy Nothing New November, a self imposed challenge as she was not able to comply during October. Not being one to do it the easy way Dizzy has committed to only buying milk and bread while feeding her whole family with just the contents of her Freezer for the whole month.  If I attempted that my family would stave to death due to the minuscule size of my freezer but that is a whole other story.

This is what dizzy wrote in a comment last week…

Great post Cindy and a great post from Colleen, love your Chrissy Preparations, I have not done anything yet, haven’t even been anywhere to find a bargain, op shop or otherwise except for milk and bread. We are happily still making our way through the freezer and so far all I have bought this month is milk and bread. I have pledged to buy nothing in November and so far I haven’t, (except milk and bread) I will admit it was tough to start but it made me get creative in the Kitchen and we’ve had some rather weird dinners hahaha, my hubby loves it cos he’s getting fit and my son gets the chance to help and serve up some rather interesting concoctions! We are still alive though :)

I asked Dizzy if she would write a post for me about her freezer decluttering effort and of course in Dizzy’s true enthusiastic style the very next day I received this response.

MY CLEAR OUT THE FREEZER CHALLENGE

Four things have been at the forefront of my self appointed challenge…

  1. Sheer stupidity when shopping for food (buying the 2 for 1′s etc.)
  2.  Sheer laziness, it was, or seemed easier, to pick up a cooked chook (that’s chicken to non-Aussies) and a bag of pre-pared salad etc rather than cook what I had in the freezer!
  3. Realising that I and my family were doing too much apart rather than together! We are all busy but thankfully that is changing!
  4.  And (just thought of this now) we bought a bigger freezer back when I used to get Chrisco, my freezer habit went from there! I no longer get Chrisco so the big freezer will be finding a new home.

I always rotated the food so I haven’t had to throw anything out. However this situation gave me the kick in the pants I needed to come to the realisation that the shops are open nearly all the time so until I need something the shops can store it for me.

My storage habits are changing because I’m planning ahead better and I’m more organised when it comes to meals. My spending has changed dramatically because (apart from this month being self appointed) I am organising myself more therefore everything around me is becoming more organised. My money is happily gathering dust in my purse. 🙂

From now on shopping will become easier because I will have a list and only get what is on the list!! Since I started this ‘Buy Nothing New in November’ it has made me think twice about everything I am doing and so far it has worked. Clarity is there now, I actually find myself saying that I don’t ‘need’ it or what I have is ‘enough’. When whatever it is at the time breaks, falls apart or otherwise becomes redundant then and only then will I replace it with a new one or 2nd hand if available.

Whilst I have been whittling away at the food side of things I have also realised that I don’t need half of the storage containers I have for the freezer so they will be finding new homes too!

I will be shopping today for fresh fruit (I have used up all the frozen berries and tinned fruit) and I will buy only fresh, it’s spring/summer now so there is an abundance of great fresh produce available.

Out of this whole excercise I am learning that a full freezer is not only taking up space and wasting electricity, it is requiring constant vigilance, the thought of it breaking down sits in my brain screaming at me. Imagine having to clean that mess up, the waste and the insurance run around etc, I do not want to travel that road. Now it all matters not a jot if the freezer blew up tomorrow because there will be very little to lose.

Right now I have what I NEED and I WANT what I already have!

Today’s Declutter Item

More of the Snoopy collection sold on eBay. A little more cash in my son’s bank account and a little less clutter in the garage.

More Snoopy items sold on ebay

Something I Am Grateful For Today

After Sunday’s 39˚c I am grateful that the temperature has dropped back down the the mid 20s. It might be raining but I am perfectly OK with that.

“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.” Brother David Steindl-Rast

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow


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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.

Comments

  1. great post!! I live alone and my freezer is just half of the size of colleen’s, with usually a bottle of vodka, icecubes, 2 cooling elements and spinach or some sort of vegetables in it. In summer I have also a box of icecream in it…
    but I can remember the days, when we had a huge one at home for the 4 person household. after my mum was alone for some time, she decided to downsize and to actually get a modern and environmental friendly freezer. Since then she started to pack it up again as well. This summer we started to clear it out and sort it and use it up as well. interesting, what ends up there long term 😉

    • Hi Lena,
      I hope your mother has seen the error or ways with the freezer cluttering now. My mum is a bit of a fridge/freezer cluttering too. It is like she is still feeding a family fo seven. She has a twin upright fridge/freezer combo and the fridge alone is bigger than my combined unit. There only two of them to cater for so it is a little over the top.
      An interesting point about “modern and environmental friendly freezers” and refrigerators. About twelve months ago my fridge/freezer had a thermostat problem and I had to get the repair man out. I phone a couple and the first said it wasn’t worth repairing. The second said it only sounded like a thermostat and the repair would only cost about $100. I asked “Since it is so old is it really worth fixing or would I be better to get a new modern and environmental friendly one?” The repair man told me not to be fooled by energy ratings on these appliances, yes the modern refrigerators have more energy efficient motors but they have less insulation so they have to work harder to stay cool. So in fact they are no more efficient than the old ones.

      • I dont think she thought about this a lot. My mum is also buying stuff “for you and your brother”, including food for when we stay at home. my brother requires some amount of fast food and my mum is “stupid” enough to give it to him. Since I turned vegetarian, she is actually a bit unsure what to get me. Nice, maybe she will understand now that I dont need food in her freezer 😉

        I always thought that modern is ALWAYS better. good that you say so now, I will consider it as soon as I need to get something new. I still think that this huge freezer from the seventies is really bad compared with the new one she bought. 😉

    • Hi Lena,

      I’m well on my way to a tidier, smaller freezer and I can picture a bottle of vodka and tray of ice in it haahaa!! 🙂
      And I think I’ll have icecream as well !!

  2. Great work, Dizzy!

    • Thanks Lynn,
      I’m still going through goodies at this point, I can’t believe it but I put it in the freezer so out it must come! It has been great to do this and I know I’ll be more aware this time regardless of how busy we get.

  3. Great post! Food is one area I take good care of. I like to cook, but I live alone, and unless I invite guests, there are only a few things in my fridge and freezer. Fresh and frozen vegetables and fruits, some cheese, tomato juice, eggs, fish, sometimes tofu (I don’t eat meat unless it is 1000 % free range, which is very rare), occasionally soy milk.
    On the other hand, my mother could survive until Spring without buying anything except milk and bread. 🙂 But my guess is, this is a consequence of living in scarcity and not being sure if there will be meat at the butcher’s next week or flour or sugar in the shop (long live communism).
    I have a decent collection of different teas, though, enough to last a year, but they don’t live in the f&f, so this is another story. 😀

    • Hi Diana,
      thank you for dropping in to join the conversation and may I say, welcome to 365 Less Things. It sounds like you are a very healthy eater. I think that is what makes the difference between a cluttered and an uncluttered f & f. I think most of what is kept in the crowded freezer is probably unhealthy pre-prepared fast food and sweets. The same goes for the fridge, although my fridge isn’t cluttered there are a lot of fattening dairy products in there at any given time. Right now I have sour cream, cream, milk, five cheeses (Persian feta, mozzarella, vintage cheddar, parmigiano & a pickled onion vinage cheddar), butter and yoghurt. Then there is also apple juice (high in sugar) and condiments probably full of preservatives. The rest is just leftovers from home cooked meals, eggs, fresh fruit & veg etc.

      I agree the old problem of stocking up when times are good or even when prices are down also causes a backlog of stored food items. So long as there is a good cup of tea on offer though life is good. 😉

  4. I haven’t got as far as the freezer declutter yet. A couple things I have learned though: I dislike any frozen vegetables except peas and oven chips, and prepacked ready meals never live up to their promise.
    What I’m going to do is make a list of stuff I WANT to keep in my freezers, use up everything currently in them as far as possible and get that warm fuzzy feeling of knowing what’s for dinner.

    • That sounds like a good plan Shirls.

    • Hi Shirls,
      Very good plan indeed. Through this little adventure I have learnt a lot about storage, mainly DON’T DO IT!! hahaha.

      I really feel that I won’t need to do 3/4 of what I was doing but I will still have a few things on hand to avoid the rush when we get in. We don’t like pre-packaged dinners or the like my stocks were all fish, meat chicken and veges, the biggest boost for me is knowing that after this I can just about cook anything and still live hahaha!

  5. Great! Thumbs up for everyone opting out of the freezer frenzie!
    I think a freezer is great for freezing leftovers (of food that actually still tastes good after defrosting like soup), for the few things that need to be frozen (Icecream, Icecubes …) and for the convenience to have items at hand you only need too little of for buying them fresh (for me that’s herbs most of the time). It’s not so great for storing everything you ever might want to eat – because by the time you want to eat it you probably just buy it fresh anyway (maybe seeing it fresh somewhere made you want to eat it), you eat out or forget you have it …
    If you are so super organized to have it all planned out you probably won’t forget. But if you are so super organized you can just buy the things in your weekly shopping, can’t you?
    Of course this is just from my city-dwelling, vegetarian, hating the taste of most frozen vegetables point of view and there may be one or two truly good reasons to have a huge freezer. But on the great scale I think most of us have just been tricked into this freezer thing and would be happier and healthier with a modestly sized compartment like Colleen’s.

    Another kitchen related crazyness I am slowly but surely opting out of: matching storage containers. Tupperware, Ikea Burken jars, stainless steel spice tins, vintage tea tins for every kind of tea I have … I’ve had it all but it just never seemed right. Too many, too few, not the right sizes, worked in the old cabinet, not in the new one …By decluttering my spice tins today I have not gained any space at all (except two spices that were expired AND never used everything was transferred to little jars with screwable lids that are stacking up a bit round here since I started buying less plastic and end up with more jars). But I have gained so much peace of mind. I will never have to worry anymore that the kind of container I have chosen is discontinued, that choosing to store three different kinds of rice instead of one will lead to extra costs for extra containers, that choosing to eat no rice at all for a while will lead to storing empty containers that I’d love to declutter but can’t because I might need them again and then they could be discontinued … or pricey …
    I love the freedom of just throwing the jars in the recycling bin should I need less and eat some applesauce or pickles or jam should I need more.
    I love how decluttering – sometimes really isn’t about decluttering 😉

    • Great comment Ideealistin. I agree entirely with what you are saying here. I bought some Tupperware freezer containers once but soon learned that when they are half full in my freezer they are just wasting valuable space. With a small freezer like mine there is no room for storing air. Your point is also the reason Tupperware sells well on ebay because people are desperately trying to match up discontinued lines (God bless them, that is how I sold off my excess). And as you also point out, so often one shelf in the pantry is full of empty containers. Over the last two years of decluttering I think I am finally getting down to a good number of containers and some won’t be replaced once they wear out.

    • Hi Ideaalistin,

      I managed to declutter quite a few Tupperware storage containers and other Glad type ones as well. I must admit when I came across the odd container of pumpkin soup I jumped on it. Soup, pasta sauces always better the 2nd time around!

      I loved your comment!

  6. This is a great post and Dizzy has some great ideas. When my father was alive we planned the months menus, shopped for the month, made meals ahead and put them in the freezer and then only had to buy perishables throughout the month. We didn’t like prepackaged anything and as diabetics had to be very careful what we ate. I am trying to get my mother to do that again but it isn’t working well. We still only buy the major groceries once a month but she ends up not wanting to eat any of it. So I have been working on getting everything cleared out so we can start over.

    • Hi Deb J,
      I suppose that sometimes a system works well for one person but not so another. Also sometimes as people get older appetites change and food becomes very uninteresting. Oh well, good luck, I hope you find a system that works for both of you.

    • Hi Deb J,

      Your family obviously planned very well, having to be careful about food consumption can put you in a dilemma but you all had a handle on it. I was just too busy using the excuse I’m Busy! I know now that I will have time to organise myself a bit better (school finishing & dancing closing up) I will make everything and only buy what I need.

      I have a similar problem with my Mum, having been so used to feeding everyone she finds it hard to just do it for herself. She ends up throwing out things she thought she might like. Changing slowly so we’ll get there, good luck with your Mum.

  7. There’s another side of the whole clearing-out-the-freezer thing, and that is, preparing for emergencies.

    I wouldn’t want to be without my large freezer. I do like it neat and organized, and just went through it about a week ago, as a matter of fact, and found a few things that had “fallen through the cracks”, and been overlooked, so I took care of those.

    So far, the grocery stores HAVE been open every day–but what if there comes a day when they are NOT? How will people feed their families if they’ve cleared out all their stored food, and the stores have nothing in them for sale?

    I’m all for being decluttered, and even moving towards minimal, but when it comes to food, I like security, and having a few extra packages of something in my cupboards, or lots of stuff in the freezer, doesn’t bother me.

    This isn’t to rain on Dizzy’s parade at all. It’s great that her family is using up some stuff that she feels is truly more than she is comfortable storing.

    I just wanted to offer the idea of being prepared for emergencies too, by having stocks in our freezers and pantries, so that our families are still well-fed, even if there is a major emergency that closes the stores.

    • Hi Becky I see your point. But do you have a generator with a stored fuel supply to keep that freezer going. Because I am guessing that if something goes so desperately wrong that there will be no food in the stores then there will also be a power outage which will render that freezer full of food useless in about three days. Pantry food I understand but freezer food is a whole other situation.

    • I think, the problem with a real emergency, when even stores run out of food: there will probably also be not sufficient electric power supply to run your freezer.
      If you need to stock up for emergencies, I’d recommend tins and jars.
      But then you should also consider if it’s more likely that you stay in your home with all your supplies or if it’s rather a kind of emergency where you would have to leave your home (which would be the case in most scenarios I can think of for me, giving that I’m living on the top floor in an apartment building in the city center). In that case, a stock is just utter nonsense.

      • I am with you on this thought Sanna. The situation would be different from place to place but the theory seems sound to me that if things got that bad the freezer would be useless.

    • funny you say that. my aunt grew up in west berlin. there was always the danger that they closed the borders and then they had to live off what they had at home. more than 20 years later, she is still storing food. I always make fun of her, saying in case of an emergency she could feed the whole neighbourhood for a week at least… but I get where she was coming from and I guess such fears and habits are just too deep to change.
      if people want to store food for emergencies good for me, then I can come and live with them. 😉

      • Hi Lena,
        certainly under your mother’s circumstances storing an overabundance of food is understandable. Those kinds of remembered fears do run deep I am sure.

    • Hi Becky,

      Thanks for your comment and I do see your point too, but having a heavily stocked freezer when I live close enough to everything just seemed like a waste to me.

      If a monumental disaster happened then I will just have to take my chances, we do have extra tins etc but I keep it under control as well.

      Back in 2002 we were caught up in a Bush Fire that raged through our area, we were evacuated and on return were without proper power or water supplies for 3 days, this rendered everything useless anyway, we were insured and I lost a minimal amount because we had already past the yuletide season! Even though I had supplies I couldn’t use them, the extreme heat and the fact that we had no power sort of put paid to everything foodwise. If our house had gone up in the flames I still would of lost everything or near to it. If the stores closed in a major emergency then I’d like to think that my family and I are on our way out of town.

  8. Wow it got to 39 C your way Colleen – it was mild here in Sydney! Congrats Dizzy, you’re a woman of you word, and you wrote a great post (with some spaces, so they seem less dizzy-ing!!) Good work – you might become a permanent guest posters with that sort of enthusiasm!

    • Yes Snosie, we have had several days like that already. I hate to think what February will be like.

    • Thanks Snosie,

      Space, spaces, great words eh! I am getting a lot of THEM and IT throughout my house FINALLY and they must be rubbing off in my typing! hahaha

      Your weather sounds fab unfortunately for us here in WA it is proving to be a horror. Our beloved Margaret River is suffering terribly, we’ve a few hot days and then the Easterlies hit and man it gets bad, hopefully it will calm down soon. It’s the kind of space you don’t want created.

  9. Impressive!!
    However, when I was housebound, I was very glad of my overloaded freezer – it is now nearly empty and I am getting out and about again … but I WAS glad to have choices in there.

  10. Great challenge!
    My full freezer is a food-security thing for me. If I can’t get out, at least I have food options for a while. It all gets rotated regularly thanks to my growing boys thankfully no one in my family is a picky eater! I had a freezer challenge of sorts in October thanks to a financial drought (self employed) and was amazed at how fast I could use so much. That being said, I just stocked up on basics this week, and am full-up to the top again. Making dinners for the next little while I will be spoiled for choice!

    • Hungry boys and inconsistant income would certainly lead a person to stock up when times are good. The fact that you are constantly rotating shows that you have the situation under control and it works for you. So keep on doing what you are doing.

  11. We don’t seem to have the problem of freezer clutter. What we buy we use and I checked and we have nothing that shouldn’t be there. Maybe that is unusual?

    • Hi Low Income Lady,
      good for you! I don’t know if it is unusual but judging from the freezers of other people that I have contact with I think it might just be.

  12. Isn’t it interesting how everyone has different needs in this area. We have a mid-sized chest freezer and it is full. More than half of it is produce from our garden: tomatoes, raspberries, etc. The rest is meat which we buy in bulk when we can find a good source: a lamb, half a bison (never again – way too much meat for the two of us). I did declutter the bags of bones I had intended to make into soup stock (not going to happen) and we are having Smorgasbord Week to get rid of leftovers before we go away.

    • Hi Wendy B,
      I understand your reasoning behind your freezer habits. My parents used to get a pig from my uncle’s pig farm when we were kids, butcher it and keep it all in the freezer. With seven of us it would soon disappear but the monetary saving would have been great. You also live in an out of the way place where dashing off to the butcher shop isn’t just a half mile walk up the street. So this all makes sense. I do question however, and you would be a good person to answer this query, considering the expense both monetary and environmentally of running a freezer and the other hidden costs of gardening is it really economically viable to grow more vegetables etc than you need while they are in season. I really just wondered if anyone has ever done the math on this.

      • The Other Lynn :

        I have not done the math, but I would rather have the produce from my garden than the stuff shipped across the country. My carbon footprint is reduced and to me, that’s worth it. My goal is always to empty the freezer before the summer hits and the price of electricity rises. Goal is not always reached, but I do try!!

        • I second what The Other Lynn says here. My tomatoes are organic, watered with rain water and come from 5 steps from my door. The ones in my store come from Mexico or the southern U.S. most of the year and are genetically engineered to be reddish and tasteless. There’s local ones available in the summer but that’s all. Raspberries cost me nothing (even the plants were free) and the only way to buy them here is teeny little plastic containers from very far away. Ditto strawberries (large and taste like cardboard). We give away extra produce, or tell the neighbors to come and pick if we’re away when it’s ripe. And our season is so variable that we never know if we’ll have a killing frost in August or not til October, so the crop from half a dozen tomato plants can be enough for a year — or enough for lunch.

          A full freezer is actually more economical to run than a half-empty one because solids hold the temperature better than air. I keep large jugs which I fill with water to take up the space in the bottom as the stock diminishes over the season. I think that even with the power off, the contents of my freezer would stay frozen for about 3 days.

          First blizzard of the season a few days ago. Temp hit -32C overnight. Sure glad I didn’t have to drive to town!!

          • Wendy B, I would love to have a fresh crop of raspberries every year. You know, I don’t think I had ever had a actual fresh raspberry until I moved to the USA when I was 34 years old. We do get them in Australia but they are always expensive. I have hardly bought any since moving back either. Blueberries aren’t much cheaper so I don’t have so many of those these days either. We used to pick blackberries from the vine up the street from out house in Seattle. But then again you can’t slip out to the back yard and pick a Bowen mango in Seattle like we used to in Darwin when we lived there. Every place has its pluses and minuses I suppose.

            I stand corrected on the full freezer being expensive to run. What you say makes sense though.

            In the sort or weather you have in the winter you could build a meat safe in the back yard tree, move your frozen good out there and turn the freezer off altogether. 😆

        • Actually Lynn, now that I think about it the ones we buy in the store are probably refrigerated for quite some time anyway. Add that to the transport and chemical fertilisers and insecticides and it doesn’t bare thinking about. So my question now seems ridiculous.
          I have a neighbour who loves to garden and often ends up with a more bountiful crop than he and his wife can eat. He loves for me to come up and harvest some for myself. I don’t bother to grow too much of my own because I know his will go to waste if I don’t help him eat it.

          • Great idea, Colleen! But would you want to be the one to go out to get porkchops at -40 degrees??? Besides, it isn’t consistently cold here – we just like to brag about the extremes to make people think we’re tough (or crazy).

            On the subject of efficiency, it is my understanding that freezers are best operated full. Because warm air rises and cold air falls, a chest freezer is the most efficient, a fridge with bottom freezer is next, your fridge-top model is next and side-by side is worst. That’s because the most air is exposed when you open the door and the freezer has to work harder to cool it off again.

            If I remember correctly, though, fridges are most efficient when about 2/3 full. That’s because the contents are cooled by circulating air and if the fridge is jammed too full the air can’t circulate. I suppose the other reason an over-full fridge isn’t efficient is because you have to keep the door open so long while you try to find what you want!

            • Oh Wendy B, you know you love a brisk walk at -40 to get the heart pumping. 😆 It’s funny you brag about the extreme cold and I whine about the extreme heat. I can’t even imagine how cold that is.

              You are so right about leaving the door open on the freezer for extended periods letting all the cold air out while trying to find things among the clutter. If a person is going to store a lot in the freezer it pays to have a system in place that makes things easy to find.

              • I prefer cold to heat. That said, though, we’re heading south in a couple of days. That way we can brag about how cold it is at home WHILE WE’RE NOT THERE!!

                • Hi Wendy B,
                  I think I prefer cold over heat too. Although being out at the ballpark on a balmy summer evening in July is a lot better than being in the same place in the sleet shivering earlier in the baseball season. So I suppose both have their advantages.

    • Hi Wendy B,

      When we lived in the country we were like you are and needed to stock up, now we live closer to everything and shops are always open somewhere, I don’t need to stock as much.

      What does Bison taste like? Are they farmed like cattle for market? I can only go by what I see on tv or pictures but they look like huge beasts so I dare say they would give enough steaks for a community bar-b-que! I can always remember market times and we would end up with either a pig, 2 lambs or a half a cow in the freezer! Sometimes more. 🙂

  13. Timely post as my very large freezer is stuffed full! I realised yesterday when a loaf of bread was a challenge to house that I need to ease up on the shopping for a while! I used to have the size freezer you have & always managed, but I wanted a bigger one & now it is full and so is the fridge….I do get rewards points from all that shopping & I have cut down already…LOL
    Thanks!

    • Hi Karen,
      consider this question ~ How hard does that fridge/freezer work to keep all the food cold. And the fuller it is the harder it works. What is that costing both you and the environment. I understand the economy of buying when things are on special but is it a false economy in the end?

  14. Interesting thoughts on the freezer use it up. I have a large upright freezer that replaced my old chest freezer. I could never find anything in the chest freezer. I have a different situation though. I raise my own meat chickens so I need a place to store 30-40 frozen chickens all at once. Plus, I grow a lot of my own vegs. I just recently bartered a quilt for a quarter of a cow, so again, I need the storage. But, I didn’t buy most of what’s in there. I do worry about what would happen should it break or we lose power in an emergency though. I guess we’ll be eating a lot of meat in a short period of time if that ever happens. I plan my meals around what I have, and that works really well for us. Typically, the only groceries I buy are dairy products and baking type items.

    I love your blog. It had been such a help to me and a friend. We use it as a springboard and then encourage one another to complete tasks. It’s been such a blessing.

    • Hi Debbie,
      you should find someone you can barter chicken for dairy. Although I love chicken, they are so versatile, so 40 probably wouldn’t last that long. I used to read a blog once about a guy who lives in a little township in America somewhere. The folks of this town barter lots of different things. I could really enjoy living like that. A young couple in Australia have just started a web site called Open Shed where people advertise items they have to be rented out to other people who might need one temporarily. What a great way to have your stuff being used more often and to make a couple of dollars at the same time. Not to mention the reduction of the need for people to buy new for themselves.

      I am glad that you and your friend are enjoying my blog together. Like Sabine pointed out in this comment last week, having a friend to keep you on the straight and narrow can be a big help when decluttering. she is going to write a post for me about it so stay tuned.

      • Hi Colleen, (and Sabine)

        I LOVE the idea of bartering. I’ve bartered quilts for many items including a piano and a car for my son. Bartering for dairy items would be great.

        re: Decluttering Buddies
        Sabine and I started the whole Buddy System thing back in the summer. She was working on a tough item at home and I was working on a tough closet in my home on the same day. We just started texting one another and offering encouragement and also a little friendly challenge here and there. Mostly encouragement and support. We discuss our emotional ties to items and share our victories. It’s so great to have someone who completely understands what you’re trying to accomplish.

        She’s an awesome lady!

    • Hi, Debbie! I realized this comment was from you from the 30-40 chickens! Heehee.
      Colleen- Debbie is the friend who helped me with my memorabilia boxes! An awesome lady.
      Okay: enough with the chit chat, here’s my comment:
      I used a plug in meter to see how much it cost me to run my freezer, fridge, dryer, etc. This is a good tool to try out, to see if any appliance is worth it for your situation.
      The fridge was $6 per month, the freezer $5. Well worth it to me, as I buy meat (and girl scout cookies)in bulk. We also keep the recommended amount for our family of stored water in there to keep it full. Once we lost power for three days during a Texas summer, but didn’t lose ANYTHING from our freezer, it was so insulated.
      I’m particularly interested in the comments for this post- for some, a freezer is a necessity, for others, clutter. It shows how personal clutter can be. I love seeing all the perspectives.

      • Thanks for the reminder. Our public library now has one of those monitors that you can borrow. I’d be interested to learn just how much power my appliances use.

      • Hi Sabine,
        so Debbie is you friend. Good on you too for being declutter buddies. Perhaps you should get some input from Debbie for your post you are writing.

        I always say it is the comments that make my blog well rounded and discussions like this one on Fridge/freezers is proof of that. I have always said that clutter is relative to the person which is why I wrote a post called ~ How much is too many ~ back in March this year. Although when it comes to hoarding people don’t think any of their stuff is clutter which is a real problem. Most people who read blogs like this though are tired of clutter and are ready to make the change. At that point I think we are all capable of making the right decisions for ourselves as to what is clutter for us and what isn’t. And the best way to make a good decision is to read a variety of opinions on the subject. Some of my blog post and responses to comments, are designed to elicit opinions as much for myself as for anyone else. So I agree with you, it is great to see all the perspectives.

  15. The other way to keep a freezer cold in a power outage (other than having a generator) is to use dry ice. It might be worthwhile for those with full freezers to find a source of dry ice well before the emergency happens, as you have a lot of money invested in that food.

    Great post, Dizzy. I need to get cracking on this job!

    • Thanks Jo,

      I just had to do it and I am so glad I did, I know I won’t go back to storing like I did, unless we move back to the countryside then I’ll have to see what my options are.

      I’m still going on my freezer contents so I actually think I’ll make it through the month!

      Now get cracking on your job at hand! Have fun 🙂

  16. By the way, if the power goes out, you can throw a blanket or two over the freezer to keep the cold in for longer.

    • All valid ideas. I am thinking though that the kind of disaster that renders the shops empty of food isn’t likely to be sorted in under a week so I’ll take my chances and stick to my minimalist fridge/freezer.