Choose one freezer at a time, and if needed, work on only one shelf or drawer at a time, or one freezer box at a time, if you've got a chest freezer for example, and begin looking at each item to get rid of any old or questionable food.
If you haven't been labeling your food with a date and what it is this may be a bit frustrating for you, but hopefully from now on you'll begin to label things so you can know with more certainty how long it has been in there.
Assuming there have been no power outages which caused your food to unfreeze and then refreeze (which would make the food unsafe to eat) frozen food doesn't go "bad" typically. However, after a certain amount of time frozen food can taste "freezer burnt" and not taste very good.
Go ahead and print out your cheat sheet (which you can then place either in your household notebook, or close to your freezer for later reference) and familiarize yourself with it before you begin this mission, because you don't want any food you have frozen, but want to keep, to get too warm and reach an unsafe temperature while you work.
If you feel like during this mission you'd also like to clean and/or defrost your freezer that is perfectly fine, although again, that will take more than 15 minutes. But if you want to do that also make sure you've got coolers or other freezers ready to hold any food you want to stay frozen so that it doesn't reach an unsafe temperature.
The final tip for doing this mission is that, depending on the amount of food you decide to toss from your freezer, it may make sense to do this mission the day before or the day of your trash pick up for your home. That way this food does not sit in your trash too long and start to get gross.
To get you inspired to tackle this mission in your own home below I've shown before and after photos from readers who've already done this mission. It really does make a big difference in your kitchen, or wherever else you keep your freezers.
It will also help you know what you actually have available to eat so you end up eating the food you've bough before it goes bad in the future, which is a great use of resources and saves you money!
She was smart and waited to throw out her food on trash day. Good idea Crystal, because then the old food doesn't sit there getting yucky before it gets taken away!
Here's another reader, Brandy's, before and after photos. She explained that before this mission that her freezer was a place where she'd shove food in "and hope nothing falls out later!" Now she has "a bin for meats on the bottom, with room for more and then ice tray and packs next to it on the top. I have room for fries and extra boxes/bags of food, with a bin to hold the kids ice pops and small ice packs for lunches, and then a bin for frozen veggies. Hopefully the next shopping trip will result in everything having a spot, but would really love to have a deep freezer though."
She stated, "Armed with a bucket of soapy water and a bunch of towels I dug right in... I took everything out. Anything that was past its use by date... TRASH! Reorganized. It looks so nice now! I felt instantly better."
As you can see from the picture of the trash bag of freezer food she got rid of quite a bit of old food.
That's completely awesome because it really made everything left in the freezer much easier to find.
Here's another before and after photo, this one from another reader, Cathy, who also got rid of a lot of older food.
She explained: I took everything out, threw out anything out of date . . . cleaned out the shelves and then put everything back in.
Whilst I put it back in I wrote an inventory. I wrote in in pencil and put it in a plastic sleeve and stuck it on the fridge around the side (so it's out of sight).
I'm not sure if it looks any neater but it has organisation!"
If you don't want to start an inventory form scratch I've created a free printable freezer inventory form you can use for this organizational task. It's actually the declutter mission for tomorrow anyway! ;)
Once you've decluttered this area of your home make sure to check out these ideas for how to organize your freezer to bring some order to what's left, so you can find everything easily and know what you've got to eat before it gets too old.
Finally, just a bit more inspiration for you. Here's another set of before and after photo from a reader, Barbara who also did this mission.
Are You Ready To Declutter Your Home?
I hope seeing these pictures has inspired you to clean out and remove old food from your freezer.
When you begin to declutter the feeling you get is contagious, so if you're loving the results you're getting I would encourage you to keep going.
Just pick and choose the ones you want to do, that will make a big impact in your home. But if you want someone else to tell you the order you can also grab the 15 minute daily decluttering mission calendars and follow along as we all get our homes clutter free together!