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How do you organize your chest freezer?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I swear not a day goes by that I don't wish I'd gotten a stand up freezer instead of the chest kind.

How do you organize your chest freezer? Mine is full of food, but a lot of it gets really old because it sifts down to the bottom and we forget about it. It's so hard to find things in there, and nearly impossible to dig to the bottom while holding a baby!

I've tried making a list of the contents, but that didn't work because it was too difficult to keep up with. DH would get something out and not say anything or I would think I'd come back and mark off the list later then forget.

I've tried organizing things in stacks, like meats in a stack with the newest on the bottom, etc. That didn't work because it all kept falling over and getting jumbled up and it was also a lot of work. With a 3 year old and a newborn I often only have 1 second and 1 hand to work with. The freezer is out in our unattached garage, so usually someone is crying for me or alone in the house.

I can't think of a good way to organize my freezer and it's driving me crazy. Any tips?
post #2 of 9
I keep a big turkey on the bottom and a turkey breast next to it. That's on the deeper side. Then I put frozen veggies on top of that. On the other side, I put frozen meals or I put them in the basket. I don't tend to freeze a lot of meat because I am really bad about defrosting, so I just buy that weekly. In your case, I think I would get some rubbermaid bins or baskets to put meats in. and then one for veggies or whatever.
post #3 of 9
I have a 6' chest freezer that I actaully love... it came with these big divider things in it, so its into 5 different sections with two baskets that slide along the top. I know (more-or-less ), where stuffs at - chicken/turkeky in one section, deer in another, fruit in yet another, fish in another, etc. It actually works out pretty well... If you don't have built in sections, I really highly suggest finding some (metal or plastic) baskets or buckets or something and deviding it up that way. Big undivided chests SUCK!!
post #4 of 9
Pepper- I posted a similar thread a while back and someone suggested milk crates for organization. I think ours may be a bit small to really fit milk crates, but maybe yours is bigger.

We have the two small bins that came with the freezer (the type the slide along the top), and then we have one medium bin that we pulled out of our old fridge when it died.

I've been trying to be really good about marking food before I put it in there. Like, "2 cups tomato sauce, 5/8/10" or whatever.
post #5 of 9
My way is not that glamorous, but I just bag stuff up according to category in Target bags. Ground beef in one, stew beef in another, shredded cheese in one, frozen veggies in another. My chest freezer is small, so this works nicely. If it were bigger, I'd do baskets of some sort, but that would take up too much space in my freezer.
post #6 of 9
I fixed my organization problem by getting an upright freezer. :-p
post #7 of 9

Reviving this thread because I am going crazy with my inability to find the things on the bottom... I'd like to try sorting like items in plastic boxes with lids (clear ideally) that stack, but I can't find any that advertise they won't crack from the cold. I recently noticed a very large plastic lidded storage bin in my shed that says it's rated to some cold degree, so theoretically it should be possible.

 

I think stackable is going to be key - I'm open to all ideas not previously mentioned. 

 

I might just start with paper bags if I can't find anything else sustainable... but I already know how that's likely to end....

 

 

Another question - what do you put in your kitchen freezer vs your chest freezer? How often do you go to your chest freezer to get something? I feel I haven't organized it well enough and am in there almost every other day. No wonder there's chaos.

post #8 of 9
Am the queen of baggies when it come to my chest freezer. I wrap up single use portions in Saran wrap (like four pieces of chicken) then I put ALL the chicken in a gigantic ziplock freezer bag and plop it into the freezer. Veggies get similar treatment but using smaller bags in a big bag. It does make it easier to both find what I need and get it out with baby on hip. Our indoor freezer is small, and has only juice, ice-cream, coffee, and a few frozen lunch meals in it. So I, too, dig in my chest freezer on a daily basis. I feel your pain. My mom put metal baskets in the bottom of hers to separate it out. That may be an option for you if your freezer is big enough.
post #9 of 9

How bout just cardboard boxes maybe? It won't be see through but they shouldn't crack.. It might help in the short term while looking for plastic containers. When I had one the thing that worked was having a set way it was set up.. Then I had tuper ware containers that I used for freezing (they didn't crack in the freezer) or if it was a larger meal I made it in a toss away container (like a foil dish) and then labeled it (date, cooking instructions, what it was). The whole meals were put on one side of the freezer, frozen meats were in the middle and veggies on the other side. Smaller things (like burritos, sandwiches, cooked meat I had pre-made, onions/peppers I had chopped and froze while they were on sale etc went in the two small plastic containers that the freezer came with. I then made a diagram and put it up so my husband knew how to put things away if he was doing it. Also, every 3 months or so my husband would take the kids to the park for a couple of hours and I would clean out the freezer and put any older meals to the top so we used them up.

 

ETA: If you are looking for smaller containers to put your food/organize it, a few of these might work http://www.organizeworld.com/deep-freezer-pantry-storage-basket.html.. They aren't to expensive and they are open so you can see whats inside.

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