How do you organize a refrigerator freezer in a way that you can find what you want or even find what you have?
I have used an open ended box (open end facing toward open door) in the past. I put certain things inside the box, certain things on top, others to the left and right. Meat goes on the left and in the back (there's a mini shelf, bacon, frozen bananas, baking fruit go under it.) Ice cream on the right, bread in the middle, frozen veggies also in the middle, frozen juice, ice packs and herbs in the door. Then, don't let anyone else put stuff in the freezer!
I also pull everything out every few months to ensure something didn't fall too far to the back and get forgotten. (07/17/2005)
I just finished doing this with my freezer last week. I have a small chest freezer and I use small rubbermaid trunk-like containers that just fit in my freezer. Each little trunk has different foods in it, one for chicken, one for fish, one for garden beans, etc. As I defrosted the freezer with warm water, I inventoried each trunk on a sheet of paper and counted the items. I use an "X" for each item. As an example: Chicken pieces XXXXXXXX. As I take things out, I just cross out the number of "X"s so I know exactly what I have. Otherwise, you end up not using food up before it gets freezer burned and you lose all the savings from your freezer. I've been doing this for several years and it works great with very little organization. I always hated searching through a chest freezer and finding once good food that was now too far gone at the very bottom. Now I just lift out the trunks and I know exactly where to find things and exactly how much I have so when a good sale comes along, I know whether or not I should take advantage of it. (07/17/2005)
I divide my freezer into 4 parts. While looking into the freezer, there is a dividing arm that separates the bottom into 2 parts - one small and one large. There are also 2 hanging baskets. So the small part is number 1, the large part is number 2, the left basket is number 3 and the right basket is number 4. I then have a typed paper showing freezer contents that is saved into my computer. I list what I keep in each section and hang the paper with magnets on a metal cabinet next to the freezer. Magnets would probably work on the freezer side as well. This way I know I have 12 hamburger patties in section 2. If I take two out, I subtract and on the sheet handwrite 10. After a week or so I pull down the list and go to my computer saved program and retype what now shows on the paper. The used paper is then torn up into tiny wedges to use as labels for whenever I put new items into the freezer. Each item going into the freezer is labeled with the contents and date. This has saved me from finding freezer fossils.
If I add items to the freezer, the items are handwritten on the list as well. (07/20/2005)
I bought plastic totes that fit on the shelves, then labeled them, pork, beef etc.. It is so easy to look in the totes before you go to the grocery - and see what you already have, or don't have ! I do not use the lids though, they were kind of a pain to use. (07/25/2005)
I posted the following to Thrifty Fun sometime back.
We have an upright newer freezer that has several large slide out baskets. This new freezer is much more economical than our old freezer of 33 years!
We have several purchased baskets; I bought a larger wire basket from Wal-Mart and several of the plastic Square (milk carton type) containers & DH cut the top down a bit ... these will slide out easily. I also made tags and heat laminated them ... Beef, Chicken, Pork, Seafood and Miscellaneous and (punched holes) in the tags and attached to the baskets with zip ties.
Several baskets are easy to take out of the freezer and rearrange by dates ... we do have a tendency of adding new items quickly and not pay attention to the old versus new meats on top!
The top shelf is sort of a hodge podge fruits and stocks and a few tomatoes that we put into plastic containers that we have frozen. A Loaf of bread or a pizza.
The door is for vegetables, margarine/butter, juice, some meats like sausage, bacon, hot dogs, etc.
If you see signs on the baskets, this automatically organizes you. For us, this seems to work very well. Good Luck. (07/27/2005)
I also make sure that there is a list of everything in the freezer taped right to it. That way I know whats in there how many and OF COURSE where they are (08/25/2005)
A plastic crate added to the freezer is perfect for opened bags or new bags of frozen veggies, and the like. Having these bags all in one place makes it easy to find, and I can keep track of what I have on hand. (09/30/2005)
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