September 21, 2011

Cool Freezer Organization

We have a bit of a frozen food problem in our house.  As in, we buy tons of it and then shove it into our messy freezer anyway we can to get the door to close.  It's not the best strategy.  So I decided to finally do something about our freezer situation.  It was time to organize our freezer, since buying less frozen food isn't really an option (have you checked out the frozen food aisle at Trader Joe's?  Everything in it is delicious!  Seriously, we had butternut squash gnocchi for dinner last night and it was amazing).

Here's the embarrassing before picture (I snapped the photo after I had already cleared off the top shelf).


And an extra embarrassing close up of our freezer mess:


To get our freezer into shape, I cleared it out completely.  This also provided me with the opportunity to wipe down the freezer which was needed after a recent frozen can of Dr. Pepper explosion incident (I'm not pointing any fingers, but it wasn't me or the dog).


I threw out any old food (some things had been in there since we moved in three years ago -eek!) and I stacked all of the remaining food on the kitchen table and sorted it by type of food.  I found that our messy freezer had led us to unknowingly buy duplicates of a few items, like 3 boxes of waffles and 2 boxes of vegetarian corn dogs (I'm particularly embarrassed by that one because I can assure you that I'm not eating corn dogs by the box-full).


Once everything was cleared out and clean, I began to put the food back into the freezer.  This time, I assigned specific shelves to types of food.


So meats, got their own section just for meats.  Fish/seafood got their own shelf.  Frozen fruits and veggies got their own, and so forth.  I also labeled each shelf, simply using painter's tape and a sharpie, so that there would be no question about where things should go.  I think that assigning specific shelves will also keep our shopping lists in check because we'll be able to easily tell if we have too many frozen veggies or not enough, based on how full the assigned shelves are.  


I also added a few storage boxes to help us easily find things and neatly stack the items.  So my beloved Trader Joe's frozen meals got their own box and frozen fish got a second box (most of the frozen fish is bagged so the box keeps the bags neatly stacked).


We've had this new freezer organization system in place for about a week now and it's working great!  We're keeping items in their proper spots and it's been a breeze to find what we're looking for.  So that's my "cool" freezer organization (sorry, I couldn't resist the puns!).  Do you have any tips for keeping your fridge or freezer neat and organized?

I'm linking this project to I Heart Organizing.


Anonymous said...

Mine and my fiance's freezer looks about like your first two pictures! We have a drawer-style freezer and it is a pain! It hardly holds anything and it so awkward because the thing we are looking for always happens to be on the bottom underneath mounds of frozen bags! Great job organizing!!

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Brittany said...

This is amazing! I love the painters tape labels--so easy to make and to peel off. I recently bought some wire shelves for our freezer (makes it easier to stack things).

Anonymous said...

love it all! where did you get the green boxes????I <3 them!

Jenny @ DIY Newlyweds said...

The painter tape labels are holding up well. They may not be fancy, but it works!

The green storage boxes are from Walmart. I bought them on clearance back in January, so I'm not sure if they still carry them. They come in a 3 pack with small, medium, and large boxes. They're holding up well in the freezer.

Anonymous said...

I am so doing this in my freezer. Great ideas, thanks for sharing