I wish I could show a picture of a perfectly organized freezer with nothing shoved into tight spaces, but that is just not reality or even the practicality of freezer foods. We have store bought stuff and homemade stuff, and big bags of stuff and boxes of stuff. The reality is that it looks cluttered and I am really the only one that can easily find stuff in my freezer!
I am also lucky enough to have a LOT of freezer space! It’s definitely worth the investment of a second freezer, whether it’s a chest freezer or a stand up one. I personally love the stand up one (though I get reminded of its inefficiency from a freezer point of view often enough!). I find it easier to see what I have, and my brain just seems to relate better to shelves. I have tried many different containers in the freezer to ensure better organization, but then some things don’t fit and it gets even messier.
I have yet to put my new Costco bins to use in the big freezer. Right now I have a few kitchen drawer type shelf organizers and some other wire bins that somewhat help me stay organized. Although it’s always a work in progress as we fill, then empty, then refill the freezer.
I also have the freezer in the fridge in the kitchen. I have tried to separate my freezer items so that I keep only fruits and veg in that kitchen freezer. I find that I am more likely to make a smoothie that way, or I can easily pull out some frozen veg to add to my dinners. The meat and other items I need to plan ahead for a bit more, whereas the frozen veg I don’t need until the last few minutes of cooking anyway (usually when the kids are going crazy, things are coming out of the oven, gravy is about to boil over, or I am finally mashing the potatoes – there’s no way I want to run to the big freezer to dig something out from underneath 10 other things!)
You’re not going to believe it……BUT….I actually also have a second fridge (with freezer) in my basement. Something I inherited from my grandmother. It’s been well loved and in used, old condition, but hey, I LOVE the freezer space so I am not complaining! Since I have the space, I use that freezer for all of my bread type products and most of my baked goods. Now here is where I did already start using my new bins. Check out the difference! I also removed some items that did not belong and we ate the banana bread from the door. Otherwise all the reorganization is thanks to the bins!
I have to admit, I love having different places for all the different freezer items!!!! It really helps keep my meal planning organized.
I know not everyone is as lucky when it comes to freezers, or even space to keep the freezers! Maybe some of you only have the small freezer in your fridge in the kitchen, but don’t let that stop you from freezing your food! Maybe you get mostly fresh produce so that you can have more meat in the freezer. Maybe you can still make some easy to reheat meals. Maybe instead of making things for the next few months, you simply cover enough for one month. Maybe you buy store baked cookies or butter tarts and toss them in the freezer so that you don’t accidentally eat them all in one night…. It’s surprising how little space you need if you plan it right. Some chicken, some ground meat, and some seafood can be enough stretched out to cover many meals! Add a loaf of bread to the freezer and it will still be good in a couple weeks for when the fresh loaf is gone (Pro tip: place your bread into a container or another bag to keep freshness, you can even keep reusing the same bag!).
I don’t really have any magical solutions for organizing your freezer (or freezers). What I try to look for most of all is bins that fit from front to back of your space, and squared edges and walls. That way you can maximize the storage space. I also always hope to find tall walls to keep everything from pouring over into the next bin, but it’s surprisingly challenging to find. Organizing your freezer is so specific to how you freeze your food.
There are so many great products out there, keep in mind that you don’t have to only look for containers for the freezer! Get creative with your thinking. Think of how you freeze your stuff, then think about how best to store it. After that, look for containers or shelves, or drawers to try to keep your stuff usable, and findable!! Every now and again remember to go through your freezer in more detail, use a cooler to help keep your items frozen while you empty and wipe down the shelves. (Pro tip: its easiest to inventory your freezer when its depleted a bit already).
Also, the biggest tip as always….don’t forget to label your stuff!!
It’s all about making your stuff, and effort, work for you!