How do you organize your freezer
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  1. #1
    Registered User Josephhgoins's Avatar
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    Default How do you organize your freezer

    So I broke down and bought a small (5.0 CUFT) chest freezer yesterday. It's plugged up and running and before I start loading things in it, I wanted to see how you guys loaded yours.

    My fear is that I will end up with a deep pit of things that never return once they are put in.

    Thanks for everyones help.

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    Registered User mama2James's Avatar
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    Good question! We are planning to buy a freezer soon too, so I can't wait to see the answers

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    Registered User MaryCarney's Avatar
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    I think the best thing to do is invest in some of those GIANT Ziplock bags (the XL and XXL sizes) and sort my stuff into them. That way, you can pick up the entire bag, look through it, and place it back, without having to (and I've done this) lowering your toddler in by the ankles to fish around for you!
    This doesn't have anything to do with organizing, but in the winter when you are emptying your freezer out gradually (assuming it's garden produce mainly) I would put gallon recycled milk jugs outside overnight to freeze, and then fill up the empty freezer space with them so it would run more efficiently.
    I eventually bought an upright, and would never trade it, but some people just prefer the chest type!

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    Moderator Ceashels's Avatar
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    We have a small upright with shelves that I use square plastic bins to hold the smaller packages. I don't know if you would be able to find stackable bins or not that would fit and hold the things you wish.

    You might also consider stackable bins that are open on one side so you can reach into without having to remove the bins on top. You could place them on the side and keep the open area facing in so you can reach down and grab something. It works great for smaller packages like 1lb sausage or meat products.

    Ultra Stack and Hang Bins

    I found some at the dollar store that were about 8x8x12 ins and have repurposed them many times in my kitchen and fridge.

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    Registered User Libby's Avatar
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    I'm not sure of the size of our chest freezer however ours came with a wire rack divider so its 1/4 sectioned off from the other 3/4 and also 2 wire baskets that rest on the top that are almost 1/4 to half as deep as the freezer.

    In the 1/4 size side - we put more delicate items - breads & other squishables.

    We flash freeze all our meat and make balls out of ground meat with approx weight of 1 lb. My dad is old school and uses grocery bags tied in a knot to hold things in there but slowly I've been using the zipper seal freezer bags. Easier to see whats in them and also easy to open/close the bag when taking out a portion for cooking.

    We layer along the bottom: frozen meats, boxed items - frozen pizza, pastries for entertaining and other misc big items and seafood. Ideally, meat on one side and boxes on another. Sometimes frozen portions of batch cooked items - sauces & soups. They're stored in 2lb margarine tubs.

    In the hanging baskets...smaller items - frozen dinners for lunch, lunch meat, margarine, boxes of chocolate given as gifts to be consumed later...asian style meatballs (fish balls, beef balls) fried tofu & other misc small things.

    There have been times where we've removed the baskets b/c we've had a deal on meats & seafood.

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    Registered User IntlMom's Avatar
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    what????? it's supposed to be organized??

    lol

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    Registered User beks37's Avatar
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    I don't keep a ton of stuff in my freezer. But, mine has two hanging baskets that slide across the top and two shelfs. I try to keep bigger items in the bottom and smaller items on the shelfs and hanging baskets.

    Bigger items=boxes of meat (we have around 10 boxes of assorted steaks, large bags of frozen foods (biscuits, eggrolls, popcicles, etc)
    Smaller items=lbs of hamburger, individual steaks, just stuff that might get lost!

    We keep all the stuff we use regularly in the fridge/freezer combo in the house.

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    I no longer have a chest freezer, but I have wire baskets in my freezer anyway. Meat goes in one and veggies in another. That's what I did with the chest freezer too. Then you just pull the basket up, take what you want out and put it back. I had a small freezer, I admit, but it worked for me. If/when I get a new standalone freezer this is what I'll do again. It keeps the thing organized and for me at least automatically tells me when I need to use things. When I have to "shove" or put things on top instead of IN the baskets, it's time to use up a bunch of stuff in the freezer!

    IHTH --

    Judi

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    Registered User happymomof4's Avatar
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    We have a large chest freezer. I make a list of what is in the freezer and tape to the freezer. When I take stuff out I take it off the list. I use the list to plan my meals also.

    We have 1/2 of steer in the freezer now. I stack stuff together. Like the ground beef is on side, then steaks, then roast, etc.

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    I no longer have a free-standing freezer, but when I did I stored like-kinds of things in plastic storage baskets. I have three of them in my refrigerator freezer, plus a drawer.

    I vacuum-seal foods in FoodSaver bags and these items are "filed" in the baskets. If I need frozen green beans, it's easy to flip through the basket that contains fruit/veg. to find it. I have meat in one basket, poultry in another, and fruit/veg. in the third basket.

    I also have one of those roll-down dispensers that are used for cans of soda/pop in the freezer to store plastic containers of frozen juice concentrate. Add to the top and they dispense out the bottom. I'm a stickler about keeping like-kinds of things together.

    I quick-freeze soup, chili, stew, Sloppy Joe mix, taco meat, freezer mashed potatoes, spaghetti sauce, hamburger stroganoff, rice, beans, cooked beef/chicken for stir-fry/dinner salads, etc., into portions in plastic containers. Once frozen, I pop them out of the containers, stack them, and vacuum seal them in a FoodSaver bag. Now I can remove as many servings as is necessary and reseal the bags. It also frees-up those containers to be used for other things.

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    Registered User leighcat's Avatar
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    I have just a fridge with the freezer on the bottom. I put my meat on the bottom since it is raw. I put things in plastic baskets in baggies in the freezer according to groups.
    Congratulations on your new freezer. My mom is giving me her second-hand upright when she gets a new one!

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    Registered User monkeywrangler71's Avatar
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    I have a small chest freezer as well. I always struggled to keep it organized because there are no baskets, and it has this bump in one corner (looks like a seat, I assume the motor is under it). I ended up doing the same as Mary, putting everything into giant ziplock bags. I would Individually wrap portions first, then put several in a bag. Write what it was on the top, and line them along the bottom of the freezer, standing up so that nothing was on top of anything else. Then I would put lighter things like bread on top, still in the bag from the store so that I could move it easily to get to the bottom.

    Mine is empty right now because we are leaving it with the house. I've decided not to use a deep freeze anymore, the top of the fridge is enough for us.

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    Registered User Liane's Avatar
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    I shop a lot and from time to time do not remember what I have in my freezer upstairs and downstairs. What really works for me is to have my sweet hubby list what is downstairs and I list what is upstairs. Then I know if it is time to take a break from great deals for awhile and I actually use the things I have. Of course I have to do this periodically because I lose the list too-lol. Helps to keep you accountable and not waste food. As for oranization, there is no method to my madness. Large packages get divided up into smaller packages but that is it. No matter what I love my freezer and wish it was bigger.

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    Registered User zakity's Avatar
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    I inventory the freezer and pantries once a year (in January). I then plan out meals to use up what has been around too long.

    I also use painters tape and a sharpie to mark everything that goes into the freezer. I label and date it (including the year).

    I made an inventory list with the list of what is in the freezer and pantries and I put slashes for how many items we had and then we make the slash an "x" when we use it. The list is taped to our garage door (freezers and pantry are in the garage because there isn't room in the house).

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    Registered User frugalfranny's Avatar
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    That is a tough one as it depends on what you plan on putting in it. If you are going to garden it can get a little hairy on keeping it organized when you are busy 'preserving'.......have/get a plan and STICK TO IT........the same things always go in the SAME PLACE or close.

    I have a little larger one that you have and have wire racks too. I STACK things that are duplicates......will stack freezer jam clear up one corner...from newest on the bottom to old on top so it gets used first. Same for butter.

    My meat I section off......just by piles but again with newest on bottom (or relatively close)...have beef separate from chicken and pork. I only buy a couple roasts of any kind at the time as it can take me awhile to eat them. The hamburger doesn't go in the freezer until it is cooked, seasoned, and ready to use. (hate having to stop and 'brown hamb.'.......when preparing a meal.) I cook it when I bring it home from the store.......MOST OF THE TIME!

    My veggies get a little disastrous in the summer when I am tossing things in there like crazy. I try to stop and organize in the fall when the 'garden rush' is over and I have a minute to breathe!

    My baskets hold frozen juices which are sorted (OJ and fruit).......bagged cheeses..the few cream cheeses that I freeze....and other 'tidbits'......celery leaves, orange zest, small containers of honey butter etc. Basically, anything that is small and might fall to the 'great beyond' at the bottom.

    My bread is on top so it won't get squished!

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