Since I can, dry and freeze my own food, and have for years, I have lots of home organization tips.
Because I do so much food preservation, I have had help from my father-in-law and gone to country auctions to get shelving and cupboards for storing my preserved foods. We have three chest freezers in our basement that are full by December every year, so I have a lot experience in freezer organization as well as dried food storage and canning jars.
Home Organization Tips: Dried Foods
I will start with what for me is the most straight forward: organizing dried foods. I freeze dried pizza sauce leathers and jerky in zippered freezer bags.
I divide up my dried foods into either vacuum sealed bags or vacuum sealed packets left on long strips for things I will be storing for a longer time.
I also put dried food into zippered storage bags based upon whether they are fruits, vegetables or herbs for shorter-term use.
I label everything with what it is and its born on date. I then put the little storage bags in larger clear zippered storage bags and put them in a dark place. I actually buy the ones that are available around Halloween for trick or treating after the holiday for not a lot of money. I store all of my dried foods in a cupboard.
Home Organization Tips: Canned Foods
Organizing my canned goods is easy. I purchased someone’s vintage bright yellow painted canning cupboard at a country auction. We brought it home in the truck and I painted it white and refinished the doors.
The cabinet has six doors and thick shelves to support the weight of the canned goods. I also have a wooden shelf my wonderful father-in-law built for my basement to hold the weight of my canned goods.
The main point being that canned jars of food are very heavy when grouped together. You have to make sure to have strong shelving to stack them. I organize them by their contents with the foods I will use most frequently located upstairs and the foods I use less often downstairs. Canned food must be stored in a cool, dark environment. Make sure to label all foods with the year and its content.
Home Organization Tips: Frozen Foods
We have three chest freezers and designate each one for a specific kind of frozen food.
One is for meat, one is for veggies and fruits and one is for everything else. I use the huge zippered clear trick or treat bags to group the smaller serving-sized bags by fruits and veggies. This gives them an extra layer of protection in the freezer and it makes things easy to find.
General Home Organization Tips
Some overall home organization advice is to label everything with the date and content, keep the things you use most closest at hand and keep things in serving-sized portions.
If you make a chart when you preserve your food of how much of each type of food you need to preserve you can use that chart to keep an active inventory of what you have altogether.
I have dried food, canned food and frozen food and I intermingle them in my recipes and meal plans. I may open a quart of canned venison and put it in a large sauté pan, add some herbs, a jar of canned carrots, some frozen peas and 1/4-cup flour blended with some water to thicken it and serve it over egg noodles.
How easy is that? A hot meal made in 15-20 minutes during a work week makes my night better. With a little home organization and planning you can enjoy the same healthy convenience.