Monday, November 7, 2011

Cleaning House

I know that spring is the traditional time for cleaning your house, and in the days of heating with fireplaces and coal, it made a lot of sense.  The amount of dust made by our wood stove is enough to drive me nuts, and it's not running all the time.  By the time spring arrived, I'll bet the interior of the house was in need of a major wash.

These days, with central heating and vacuum cleaners, I find that our house rather needs a cleaning in the fall.  During the spring and summer, I'm too busy outside in the garden to bother much with keeping the house super clean.  With the kids back in school, and the hectic end-of-summer racing around over, it's time to clean up and clear out.  Friends are more likely to want to be inside, rather than out on the patio, so it's time to get the dustcloths out!

The other day I cleaned out our big freezer.  Boy did it need it.  I tried to do a minor cleaning out of old food a few months earlier when my in-laws freezer died, and they brought some stuff to keep in my freezer.  But this time I really got down the the bottom of the shelves, finding really old blueberries, and beef stew meat with freezer burn.  I used to try to use an inventory list, but inevitably I couldn't find that last package of hamburger. 

I'm doing better, I think, to simply keep things in designated spots.  The top shelf, for instance has blueberries, bread and cheese.  I will not put these items on any other shelf, and since they stack nicely, it's easy to see how much I have left.  Other things don't stack nicely, like big bags of chicken breasts, but I find that they will stand up on their side on the bottom shelf.  Then it's more like books on a library shelf.

I'm also not stocking too much of anything anymore.  If it's more than a couple of months' worth, it'll either get lost, or have yukky freezer burn (if it's meat).  DH swears the taste of chicken is off fairly quickly, so I'm not buying too much of that at a time. 

How do you keep your frozen food in rotation?  Do you prefer spring or fall cleaning?  Or somewhere in between?

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