Every Day

A Big Mistake and Changing The Way We Use Our Freezer

Does anyone know what this is? When I was getting something out of my freezer yesterday, I spotted this. It was wrapped in butcher’s paper and this was inside. I made the mistake of not marking what was in it. I don’t even remember buying it at the butcher shop. It looks like it could be ground beef. I guess we will find out when I thaw it. If it is, I will can it.

My chest freezer is out of control! I can’t find anything without unloading many things. I have tried so many ways over the years to keep it neat and sorted and eventually they just frustrate me. I was using reusable bags for a while and that was working but then they started falling apart. The handles would fall off or the bag would rip as I was removing it from the freezer.

I could buy an upright but they are expensive and I don’t want to spend the money on one. Our money is being saved for another goal. So Hubby and I decided to make the chest freezer easier to navigate.

I measured the freezer yesterday and set out to find a way to organize it. We have these on order from The Container Store:

I purchased 6 of them. Only 5 will fit in the freezer because it has a built in shelf over the motor. The sixth one I am going to use to carry things from the freezer to my kitchen. I have had this freezer for 13+ years. I always thought it was 7.2 cu. ft. However, when I pulled the information on the freezer out of our file yesterday, I realized that it is actually 8.8 cu. ft.

Realizing that the containers will take up space, I am canning more of my beef and chicken. I have been doing this for a while to get as much meat shelf stable as possible in case of a power outage.

We have also been eating out of the freezer for months. It is still grilling season, so we have been enjoying steak and barbecued chicken using homemade BBQ sauce.

When these bins come, I will rearrange everything. I like to keep my fruits, vegetables, and cheese in the upstairs freezer. The meat goes into the deep freezer. But that has gotten out of control lately too. So there is a lot of organizing to get done.

How do you guys keep your freezers organized? Any tips you would be willing to share?

12 replies on “A Big Mistake and Changing The Way We Use Our Freezer”

I have no tips. I have a deep freezer and a stand-up freezer. Both are packed full and a mess. I have tried various things to organize as well but never stick with it. I have accepted it and stopped stressing about it – which makes me happy. This is one area that I can’t be uber organized like every other area of my life.

Hi Precious, boy am I glad for your true confession about your freezers. Mine is sort of organized, but not great. I have an upright that we got at the Sears outlet when we lived in our previous town. I try to keep beef on one shelf and pork on another. And chicken and fish on the third one. On the door I try to keep my butter, the freezer jam and some of the frozen veggies. In the drawer I try to keep bacon and sausage. But inevitably things get jumbled up when I find a deal on something. And the turkey breasts are in daughter’s freezer. LOL! I am glad it is not just me. I like the containers you ordered. We are trying to eat out of ours also as much as possible. My freezer is hooked up to our generator when the power goes out (not often) so I don’t have to worry much about it. When we bought our house, it came with a generator b/c the late husband of the former owner was on oxygen. We weren’t looking for one, but it has been nice to have.

Hi Chris,

I am jealous of your organized upright. I know about the jumbles. LOL!
We decided that we could replace many freezer fulls of food for that price. My son has a portable one. But with the cold, ice and snow that we get here, we are just too old to have to keep refilling it with fuel. His is connected to his propane tank buried in the yard.

Thanks for sharing.

We have a stand-up freezer in our basement. It has 5 shelves. I keep a written record of what we have stored in the freezer and what shelf it can be found on. I label all freezer entries with product, date and what store purchased in. Sometimes we’d rather eat chicken purchased at Shop Rite vs Aldi. So far, everything is working out fine.

I tried organizing mine with plastic bins. Beware, they Crack when they freeze at deep freezer temperature. I also used an inventory spreadsheet on a clipboard for a period of a few years and had a “map” of what was where to lessen digging. That worked the best until kids got old enough to root through too. Currently my deep freezer (s) – longish story but yes since 2020 I have 2…are out of control. We need to do an eat from the freezers for about 3-4 months and gain control. Part of me wants to hoard food I bought at a lower price as I buy on sale and cook fresh but mentally I know that’s not right and we stand to lose food we should just eat.
Best of luck! Have the same goal as you.

Hi Jackeey49,

I used plastic bins years ago. Mine cracked too. But people who have purchased these bins have told me that they last for years and have never cracked. Time will tell. We are trying to eat the oldest first but it is so hard to put the oldest on the top. Thanks for the good wishes and sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it. I will keep everyone updated as I go through this process.

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