Ok freezers get messy, it happens, just like our closets do. Right! Well, this really is the perfect time of year for Organizing your (deep) freezer, especially with all the food storage people are doing now.
So, if your freezer has turned into an unorganized ……”plop it in and go” storage place, then I have some great tips to help you solve that unorganized frozen tundra! Whether your freezer is full or half full, these tips will help you get control of all the great food you’re storing in your freezer and help you find it, which will help you use it and prevent waste 🙂
I have 5 great tips to help you organize your freezer. These handy key tips are easy to put into action, takes just a little time initially, but you can do this and you’ll love having your freezer STAY organized!
I’ve had different deep freezers over the course of 37 years and I’m going to share with you, how easy it is to get your freezer organized and then keep it organized going forward, by using these simple but important key tips.
Once the system is in place it becomes easy to follow, for you as well as for ALL other members in the family. Let’s face it, our kids and husbands are putting things in and taking out also! That’s what makes this simple system work so well, because now everyone knows WHERE to find things and WHERE to put things back! Soooo now when you’re adding in new groceries to it or summer produce from the garden, it’s easy to SEE where it GOES!
….And that my dear friends is the key! You can make it look great and organized on cleaning day….but we want it to STAY organized!
These tips are going to help you solve the main problems, when it comes to freezer storage
✔️ You’ll have a map for finding everything (even that lil baggy of zucchini 🙂
✔️ You can easy take stock of what needs to be used up in next weeks meals.
✔️ Now Everyone in the home can easily see WHERE to put things back, when helping you put frozen groceries away. (yay!)
✔️ Its easy, and if a system isn’t easy, even I myself won’t follow it ! So try this easy system!
Ok let’s dive in!
(First – well if you want to make yourself feel happy when this task is done, then take before pictures right now before you start (you might be glad you did : )
1. Designate each shelf to certain things. So, 1 shelf is all veggies, 1 shelf all fruits, 1 shelf all meat or all pork. Keep going according to the things YOU store in your freezer.
Use your space wisely and things like cans of juice they go great on the door shelves, or extra butter on the door. Maybe ice cream treats that are gotten into more often will be handy to have on the door because it’s easier access for others.
Think this part thru as you take stock of what you keep on hand and who uses it.
I put bread items and quick breads or baked goods in one basket or on half a shelf.
All cheese, again perhaps in a basket. The Goal is to keep similar items in same basket or shelf.
This is initially what takes you a bit of thought and time as you take stock of what you store.
Most of us, we store the same things over and over. We stock up on our same old favorites, so once this is done. You’re more than halfway there.
Next is Very Important KEY tip to MAINTAINING an organized freezer!
2. Baskets! Yes, they help a lot. These are my favorite, but you can find any you like. I LOOOOOVE these steel baskets, because they are sturdy, they slide super easy on the frozen shelf, they DO NOT freeze to the shelf like boxes & crates do…which is maddening if you know what I mean and have dealt with that. They won’t RIP when ya yank them out like frozen cardboard boxes do and they won’t crack like plastic ones do. They also will work to lift in and out of a chest freezer easily, so you can get to the frozen layer below.😊
I bought mine from the Container Store (if you’re lucky enough to have one of those stores in your town, you can visit there, wish I did). I had to order mine from them online, there’s a link below so you can find them. They aren’t sold as a freezer basket but they sure work perfect for that purpose. I had my first ones for over 5 years and there good as new. I fininally broke down and got some for every shelf because they just work so well.
This medium stacking stainless steel basket is what I use, Its the 7 inch tall ones, they are 10 inches wide and 14 inches long: click here: https://www.containerstore.com/s/storage/decorative-bins-baskets/stackable-wire-storage-baskets-with-handles/12d?productId=11003109
Here’s another basket option also: https://www.containerstore.com/s/kitchen/Freezer-Safe/design-ideas-freezer-storage-baskets/1fd?productId=11008047
I’m not an affiliate (at least not at this point) but I always share what I really use, whether I am an affiliate or not. When I love something & its quality, I’m going to share it, so you can find it too.
You may find good baskets at Target or your favorite store, but just get something strong & quality so it will hold up! True FYI: I love the size and depth of these stainless baskets so much that I have even given them to daughters and sisters for birthday and Christmas gifts, to bless them with organized freezers.
Here’s yet another thing about these baskets they are the right size to fit 3 across on a shelf as well as the depth length 14 inches, fits the whole shelf depth fully, which I appreciate. I want every inch used and no space wasted! Ok enough on my favorite steel baskets.❤️
Now, I know what you might be thinking…..I don’t have my baskets right now, do I wait? No! you get things organized and moved on to their correct shelves, NOW, then you can see how many baskets you need and if its going to fit to your arrengement.
Then, and only then, you order your baskets. Then when they arrive, you’re going to just put them in place and add the frozen contents ! ……..and have a happy dance!😊
This brings me to the next Important Tip!
3. Quick Notes! Tip number 3 you want do because it’s going to save you from a headache once your baskets come.
You make notes now! YES, a quick easy note reminding you which basket goes where and exactly what is going in it….do NOT think you’re going to remember all this….it’s why our freezer got this way because we do not remember where things get put! (Trust me!!:) Again its not the taking out that gets our freezers messy ……it’s THE PUTTING BACK:)
Below like this, you write a quick note to self, that tells you which shelf gets a basket and what is going in that basket when it comes!!! Easy Peasy ….and a headache saver!
4. The Master Freezer Map!
I have been using a simple piece of black posterboard as a freezer map for the last 9 yrs. after seeing someone have something similar. I highly recommend you make a poster map even if only on 8×11 sheet of paper, then you hang it on your freezer door, with magnets!
To make mine, I used nothing more than some chalk markers I had and 1/2 a piece of black posterboard from the dollar store! Just SIMPLE! This really helps you in an instant, know where again things are and WHERE They GO! Might seem a lil redundant to some….but when that quarter cow or venison comes, you’re going to keep to your system, because it works.
Extra Tip: when or if you need to make a short-term update to your freezer poster you can simply use a sticky note for quick non-permanent change to the poster, it’s quick & easy. (You can see a note below on left poster). Another tip for permanent changes, simply use a black permanent marker to color right over your chalk words, it only takes a minute, and you can re-write in that space again with white or a color!
Here are posters I have helped with😊 …..( you can even label where your ice-cream bucket-maker goes!)
So whether you have a chest or upright, make it work for you and Have a lil fun with it.
Ok now we have your freezer shelves organized, we have your freezer map covered. You should have your notes written for each shelf and basket (again so when you come back to this, you literally just pull the frozen food off one shelf at a time, insert it cheerfully into your new basket and slide it back in place).😊
5. Inside Labels! This Might be the last tip, but it’s an important key ladies or I wouldn’t mention it. After 37 years yrs. of canning and freezing to feed my clan, I have learned that labels HELP ME and they HELP the whole family in Putting THINGS IN CORRECT PLACE (YAY!) So lastly, I’m going to share how a few labels on the INSIDE of your upright freezers, helps keep things TIDY and organized going forward. This tip is only for uprights or kitchen freezers, not for the chest freezer (but its why the chart is really important for a chest freezer)
Let me share what I’ve done in past with different style freezers and foods people store. I’ve made fold-over-labels, as I call them. You can see some in the pictures. They folder-over for on the door, they fold-over into a basket, and sometimes you can label a whole shelf if you do alot of gardening.
You can make These using 3 simple things: cardstock paper, a stapler and a black marker, that’s it! These tags or fold-over-labels don’t need to be Pinterest pretty ladies, it’s just got to work for YOU, they are to make your life easier that’s all!) You can see mine are not very neat, when I do mine or help somebody else, I do NOT waste a lot of time making these pinterest pretty, but they are helpful for finding and re-stocking things….. (then even hubby can easily find his ‘bacon’ 🙂
I confess I AM A LABEL person…..I do like things marked! But it is because I know that it makes my life easier. When they see where it goes, they can EASILY PUT STUFF AWAY!
So, use the amount of shelf or basket fold-over labels, you feel is helpful.
So why fold-over-labels……because tape will not stick in freezer of course and permanent marker WILL NOT write on frozen pkgs, and people do not put things back unless its easy! Haa! So, let’s make it EASY….. for them, and for us!!!!
You see once your freezer is organized it won’t stay that way if there’s no labels or chart, as soon as you go shopping next week it all slowly but surely becomes DIS-organized again. Because we tend to just ‘shove things in’ after all we don’t really know where its place is! Well NOW YOU DO!
So DO a HAPPY DANCE!!! Because it’s a good feeling to know you can open your freezer and find whatever you need from that big ole frozen tundra and quickly whip up a pot of soup for supper or grab cheese to add to pizza!
And no more wasting, because it got lost waaaay at bottom or waaaay in the back!
You see when we make a spot, permanent for things in our freezers, It’s Just the same as keeping like things in your pantry or silverware drawer together. I mean if you had to look in a different spot every week for spoons, you’d get frustrated and that’s exactly the same frustration you feel with your chest or deep freezer. So now items always get put in the same place, week after week!
Well, I hope your encouraged to go thru your freezer, take stock of what you have, and get it organized and make this area of your life EASY!
I know this was a long post, but hopefully you’ll find it useful and all these great tips will help you keep your frozen tundra forever organized and prevent any waste😊.
As always, it’s been a delight!
Here’s a link to my favorite steel baskets, the 7 inch high, medium stacking basket is what I use, click here: https://www.containerstore.com/s/storage/decorative-bins-baskets/stackable-wire-storage-baskets-with-handles/12d?productId=11003109 (7″h x 10″w x 14″ long)
Here’s another basket option: https://www.containerstore.com/s/kitchen/Freezer-Safe/design-ideas-freezer-storage-baskets/1fd?productId=11008047