Ever the aspiring minimalist I like to pare things down before I commit to new purchases. With Christmas just around the corner and extra food to buy and store I knew it was time to declutter the freezer and tackle the ice mountain that was beginning to build there. A long overdue job put off partly because of fear of how long the task would take and the chaos it would cause in my kitchen.
Last weekend I threw caution to the wind and began the job of defrosting our built in fridge/freezer - neither space was completely empty but I still decided to give it a go (I put the contents outside in a covered plastic tub early in the morning when it was still quite cold). I've done this job many times but nonetheless researched it a little just in case there were any new time saving tips I could try. I decided to go for the simple method of bowls/jugs of boiling water to speed the defrosting process. Any stubborn thick layers of ice were wiped over with a hot cloth - I avoided using any scraping devices or a hair dryer to speed the process (both potentially dangerous). I put several layers of newspaper down to protect the floor and a bowl to catch the water. Two hours and a lot of melted ice later I had a completely defrosted freezer. During the defrosting time I cleaned the interior, drawers and shelves and also took a stocktake of the contents of both the fridge and freezer.
The result - a clean and ice free fridge/freezer and a declutter to boot. Not much was thrown out but I did discover two jars of redcurrant jelly and two jars of mango chutney that I was unaware of. Within hours I had a sparkly clean and roomy fridge/freezer just like the ones you get when you rent a holiday home. There was room for our regular freezer favourites and also room for newly baked mince pies (frozen in pairs for hubs and me to enjoy as treats). A turkey and favourite stuffings for our Christmas meals will soon be added. With only one small three drawer freezer (I used to have two fridges and two freezers) this space has to be used well.
I can think of more ways to have fun in December but there's a simple pleasure in being able to open the door and drawers easily and in knowing exactly what's in the fridge/freezer (which will hopefully kerb any overbuying). Not a bad return for just a few hours of domestic chaos.