Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Works-For-Me Wednesday: Freezer Organization

Our deep freeze has proven to be a valuable tool for us. By stocking up on meats, frozen fruits and vegetables, and other foods when they are on sale, we’re able to “shop” the freezer at a moments notice, saving both time and money.

We’ve had a chest-type freezer for the last 12 years. Chest-types are arguably more efficient than uprights, and I find the flat surface of the lid very useful as a work surface from time to time.

The one drawback to chest freezers, and perhaps the biggest complaint I hear from others, is that it’s difficult to find what you need in them. No one likes to dig around to find what they’re looking for.

My solution to that problem has been to buy inexpensive clear plastic totes to sort foods into. I buy the Sterilite totes that are sometimes called sweater boxes. They are approximately 12 inches wide by 18 inches long. I use several of these in my freezer. I store bags of veggies in one, beef cuts in another, pork cuts in a third, chicken in a forth, and so on. When I can, I keep the lids on them so they stack better, but even without lids, they stack fairly well when they are full of food.

While I still have to shift the totes around to find what I’m looking for, it beats having to pile up individual items, hoping they don’t tumble like an avalanche before I find that package of chicken in the bottom of the freezer.

In my small over-the-fridge freezer, I use smaller shoebox sized clear totes. These are great for storing open bags of veggies, small packages like hot dogs, cans of juice, etc. I just pull the box out like a drawer, get what I need, and push it back in. The freezer stays nice and neat.

I don’t know much about upright freezers. I guess they stay a little more organized by design, but I suspect a few small totes in those might be useful, too.

For more helpful WFMW tips, head on over to Rocks In My Dryer.


Jess B said...

This is a great idea! I am using milk crates in mine right now, and it works pretty well, but I like the idea of the totes. We use plastic baskets in our over the fridge freezer and that seems to be a hassle when I could use totes and slide things easier. Thanks!!

(I'm hosting a giveaway if you check out my

Melissa said...

What a great idea! I don't mean to sound freaky, but what else do you store in your freezer? It is just that I had never thought to freeze hot dogs.

Anymore food storage tips would be greatly appreciated!

Cheryl said...

This is an absolutely brilliant idea. I always have little things falling out of my top of the fridge freezer and it lands on my foot. I have a few of the clear boxes at home. I am going to try it. Thanks!!

Leanne said...

I'll have to try this. I have the smaller sized chest freezer in the garage (about the size of a dishwasher) but its still a pain to find anything in it, especially after a big shop.

I've an upright freezer in the kitchen and it isn't any easier organised. Its like playing tetris trying to fit in all the different sized boxes. I usually take the food out of the box to make more room and write to cooking instructions on the plastic vacseal bags with a permanent marker.

Sherilyn -The Dominee Huisvrouw said...

What a great idea! I always end up w/ the avalanche of meat & trying to get it organized again....

Jen @ JenuineJen said...

I love this idea. I have so much sterilite stuff that I should buy stock in the company.