Posted by on Jul 15, 2013 in Organizing | 10 comments

deep freezer

Happy Monday, everyone! I have a quick little tip to share with you guys about deep freezers. We love our deep freezer! We love using it to preserve extra crops from our garden and stash extra servings of meals we’ve made. But what I don’t love about our deep freezer? It’s a deep freezer! It’s a giant box of frozen that seems to have the incredible ability to hide exactly what you’re looking for. Or, even worse, pushes food into the bottom and to the corners where it is never to be found again. Or at least not until you have to defrost the thing and think, oh yeah, remember that bag of chili I put in here 8 months ago?

In an ideal world, I’d have this beautifully huge upright freezer and everything would be stacked and clear labeled. But ideal this is not. I have a regular run-of-the-mill medium-sized chest freezer, and I think I’ve finally figured out the key to keeping it organized.

dry erase marker

A dry erase marker! I just used the front of our basement fridge (right next to the deep freezer) and made notes of everything in the freezer and how much. You could just as easily write the list on your deep freezer door or side panel. When we take something out, we just change the amount. When we add something, we add a tally mark.

freezer door

Gone are the days of spending 20 minutes hunched over the freezing cold air (and wasting precious energy) on grocery list day trying to figure out if we have any tortillas or not. I just check the list.

list

Of course, if you don’t have a dry erase-able surface on your freezer (make sure you test in an inconspicuous spot), you can easily buy one of those $5 dorm-room door sticky white boards and attach it.

freezer list

Now, the list is only half the battle, the other half is keeping the actual freezer organized. I keep it in “zones” that correlate with the categories on the list. In the chest freezer are three of the categories—prepared foods, veggies and fruits.

deep freezer

And in the top-mounted freezer of our basement fridge is where we store our meats. We never have a lot of meats really, so this freezer stays pretty empty. Which works out, because we can use it to “flash-freeze” items before we pack them into freezer bags or storage containers. Like the whole peaches you see there on a cookie sheet (yes, you can freeze whole peaches!). We also use it to store our ice cream maker canister  so it’s always ready to go so we can always attend to any ice cream emergencies that may arise.

freezer

This system works out so well for us now. It makes doing the grocery list easier. And it’s especially nice on nights when we don’t want to cook dinner. We just go downstairs, look through the prepared foods list and go shopping for dinner! Easy.

freezer dinner

As you can see, thanks to the strawberries, peaches and raspberries, our freezer is filling up pretty quickly! We were hoping to stash at least corn and green beans in there, but we’ll see how much more we can fit. We need a bigger freezer!

Have an awesome week, everyone!

How do you keep your deep freezer organized?