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Chest freezers can be your best freezing friend or they can be your worst frozen foe – rarely is there a middle ground. These quick tips will help you organize your chest freezer in a weekend.
A chest freezer’s ability to store substantially more frozen food than your regular fridge freezer makes them a must-have for growing families.
As valuable as they can be, chest freezers are also notoriously hard to organize and keep organized. You could even go as far as to say they are akin to a frozen black hole.
A place where food can get lost and forgotten about. This great unknown means running a tight ship where your chest freezer is concerned is super important.
This article is filled with nifty tips and tricks designed to turn any old chest freezer into a shining example of organization.
Organize your chest freezer
You may (or may not) be surprised by how much food expires while sitting at the bottom of chest freezers right across the U.S? Freezing food doesn’t gift you carte blanche on eating times.
Sure, it extends the life of foods like meat, vegetables, and dairy. But, this extension is typically months, not years like some people think.
The first step toward an organized chest freezer is to dispose of expired and forgotten food. While you are at it, this would also be a good time to reduce any unnecessary packaging that your food is presently stored in.
Every makeover starts with some kind of drastic action and throwing out your freezer’s questionable food is one of them.
Categorize Your Food
Everyone who enjoys organizing things is a sucker for categorization. Grouping frozen food into categories is super important as it will help you to make sense of the mess. You could use this inventory sheet to help you.
Depending on whether you have an excessive amount of one particular food type, you may need a few sub-categories as well.
For instance, if your chest freezer is filled with meat, try breaking it down into types of meat – ground, chicken, and beef are three examples.
Doing this now will save you time and energy down the track, and we could all certainly use that. Here are some of my favorite freezer bins.
Another tip similar to categorizing, but important enough to have its own section is savvy portioning. There is nothing more frustrating than needing to whip up a quick kids’ dinner.
Only to realize that the ground beef you intended to use is frozen solid in a 5kg solid brick.
Portioning your meat, vegetables, bread, baked goods, and dairy products will, again, be a life and time saver when evening comes and the kids are hungry.
Freezer Bins Are Your Friend
One of the best things that you can do to organize your chest freezer is to acquire freezer bins. A range of various-sized freezer bins will allow you to compartmentalize your frozen foods into easy-to-reach sections.
If you are someone who revels in being as thrifty as possible, you could even source some regular plastic tubs.
Tubs that still fit snug into your freezer but come with a significantly smaller price tag. Whichever way you play it, a freezer floor full of bins is where it is at.
Sort Your Freezer In Terms Of Usage
There is little point in putting a mammoth bag of peas on top of the week’s frozen dinners if you haven’t planned on loading them up with peas.
Organizing your freezer in terms of what you reach for the most and what you use the least is a great way to save your sanity and back.
Now that your food is already nestled into freezer bins this step should be easy.
Place the bins that have the rainy day food in them at the bottom and place the everyday frozen bits at the top. It really is as simple as that.
Don’t Be Afraid Of A Label
We know, we get it, labeling is a tedious task by anyone’s standards. It is, however, far less tedious than scouring your entire chest freezer in search of a frosted-over Tupperware container of lasagne. A container that looks like every other container in there.
Also, once you complete the initial “label-thon”, you will only need to label a few bits here and there when the frozen food stocks are dwindling.
When on the label train, don’t just scribble down any generic term like “meat” or “frozen veg”, make your labels count.
Write a few words about each thing, as well as the expiry date, and you will be thanking yourself later.
Create A Chest Freezer Inventory
We understand that most people will look at this last step, think it is excessive, and maybe even proceed to laugh at it a little. “Most”, however, isn’t everyone.
For the folks who take their organization seriously, there is nothing more foolproof than a dedicated inventory of your chest freezer goods.
Imagine having every chest freezer stat and figure on an easily-digestible sheet. A sheet that expels the need to open up your freezer and start digging.
Not only will it give you an everyday peace of mind but it will also make the food shopping day a whole lot smoother.
Moreover, you could even download a digital inventory to input your chest freezer info straight onto your phone or use a paper one like this.
This will allow you to scroll through your chest freezer’s stocks while you sip your morning coffee and prepare the shopping list.
Information like the date food was bought, a list of what’s in the freezer, and expiration dates can all be considered vital inventory knowledge.
Final thoughts on organizing a chest freezer
As you can see, organizing a chest freezer isn’t hard, it just takes a little time to do properly. Once you put the hard yards in and get your chest freezer into a tip-top shape, you will be cruising on easy street.
Nobody likes rummaging around a messy freezer, and with the tips and tricks outlined above, you don’t have to. We hope this article has given you the inspiration to gain back control of your fridge freezer today, and start reaping the rewards tomorrow.
Stephanie has been blogging at Sticky Note Mom for 4 years. Before starting her blog she worked in the finance industry working on the floor of the Chicago Board of Trade to working for major financial institutions with personal financial planning and the mortgage industry. Now she shares all she has learned about frugal living to help others learn how to stop spending and start saving more.