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 Chest Freezer Organization
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Author Farm Kitchen: Previous Topic Chest Freezer Organization Next Topic  

windypines
True Blue Farmgirl

2439 Posts

Michele
Bruce Wisconsin
USA
2439 Posts

Posted - Feb 07 2018 :  02:47:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi everyone. How do you organize a chest frezzer? I am looking for ideas on keeping things seperated, so i can find them easily. I do have a few freezer baskets that i can stack, but wondering what everyone else does.

Farming in WI

Michele

AuntJamelle
True Blue Farmgirl

504 Posts

Jaime
South Bend Indiana
USA
504 Posts

Posted - Feb 07 2018 :  08:08:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh my, isn't this a fun one? Ha!

Milk Crates are something I've seen cited commonly as a solution - now me, I don't have easy access to milk crates nor do I want to purchase them. I make do with cardboard boxes - different shapes and sizes (saved from getting packages delivered) and sometimes the fabric shopping bags you can get everywhere now.

We order a lot from Amazon and I have a nice supply of not too big, not too tall boxes that are nice to corral things that would other wise slide all over the place - here I'm talking the flat things I've frozen like bags of chicken stock, sauces, bags with 3-4 steaks that were frozen flat and so on.

Deeper boxes get used for "thicker" things like bags of blueberries, strawberries, roasts and so on. If you are really on your game you cut hand holds in two sides (you can reinforce the holes with packing tape) before putting them down in the freezer - makes it a lot easier to pull them out by THAT then the lids which can tear them. For that matter I would add extra packing tape to the box bottoms too.

You end up with a kind of puzzle in the freezer, fitting in boxes on top of each other to gain the most space. The most frequently accessed items I keep on top - the long term supplies of things like the frozen fruits we pull from over the year I keep on bottom.

You can write on the boxes with sharpies or tape on paper labels - I use packing tape over them - bright colors of paper written on in black sharpie stand out nicely. Or you could leave the paper part exposed so you can mark things off, add things - or just do all writing right on the box - whatever works.

Instead of having to pull a ton of different slippery icy things out of the freezer - setting them on the floor or counters while I dig for something - I can just take out boxes - much better!

If you freeze delicate things sometimes - like certain appetizers or cake layers - the boxes really help protect those from breakage too.

Might not work for everyone but that's my 2 cents :)

FINAL TIP: Keep a cheap pair of gloves (fleece are nice) right by your freezer. Use a suction cup hook or 3M hook or something like that to stick them right on the side. Saves your hands from being frozen if you have to dig deep or are going through a lot of boxes or just plain handling a bunch of frozen things all at once!
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YellowRose
True Blue Farmgirl

3724 Posts

Sara
Paris TX
USA
3724 Posts

Posted - Feb 07 2018 :  09:38:51 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Here's my one-cents worth because I don't have a chest freezer but if I did I like Jaime's idea of boxes and I would devise a color code system. Example red is for meat - green is for veg

You can use colored tape to wrap a strip around the boxes - it needs to be wrapped all the way around because boxes will get jostled around and the color needs to be seen from all sides.

I use a spiral notebook to keep track of my canning. I record each batch and make notes if needed. First of every month I take an inventory and record in notebook. I keep the notebook near my pantry. If it isn't handy or easy I'm not going to do it.

Sara~~~ FarmGirl Sister #6034 8/25/14
FarmGirl of the Month Sept 2015.
Lord put your arm around my shoulders and your hand over my mouth.

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msdoolittle
True Blue Farmgirl

1011 Posts

Amanda
East Texas
USA
1011 Posts

Posted - Feb 07 2018 :  8:07:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I just cleaned my chest freezer out last night and I was wondering about some good organization ideas! Thanks, ladies! I have scary things I threw away yesterday. LOLOL

FarmGirl #1390
www.mylittlecountry.blog
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windypines
True Blue Farmgirl

2439 Posts

Michele
Bruce Wisconsin
USA
2439 Posts

Posted - Feb 08 2018 :  04:05:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Sara and Jamie, those are some great tips. The gloves is a great idea to do, along with the notebook. i have been looking on pinterest too. I want to try making some plywood dividers for the one freezer. It holds my beef, chicken and pork. We raise our own. the other one holds veggies, fruit and other odds and ends. I think the boxes, crates would work well. One for each kind of veggie or fruit. It would be better then trying to remember where you stacked each and what is buried under what. Amanda i cleared out old packages last fall and a few i wonder what this is items. I think the other thing to try to do, is freeze it flat, if possible. But i get in a hurry and don't take the time to do that. It really helps when organizing and stacking. Thanks again everyone!!

Farming in WI

Michele
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msdoolittle
True Blue Farmgirl

1011 Posts

Amanda
East Texas
USA
1011 Posts

Posted - Feb 09 2018 :  1:08:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I organized the chest freezer yesterday morning. AFter searching on Pinterest, I found that people were using file crates to separate foods, so I took out the dividers (frankly, they only hid food!), and I happened to have 4 file crates that I had for when I sold books. I think I got 3 or 4 of them in a set at Sam's for around ten dollars a few years ago.

So now I have a veggie box, a meat box, a ready to eat box and a seed and nut box! I love it! It left just enough room to squeeze in a frozen pizza, as well as some odds and ends in the main part of the freezer. I also had two drawer things that were in the freezer, and those hold fruit and smaller things like bacon packs, breakfast sausage, etc.

I love it. Wish I would have ditched the dividers sooner.


FarmGirl #1390
www.mylittlecountry.blog
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MaryJane
Queen Bee

12674 Posts

MaryJane
Moscow Idaho
USA
12674 Posts

Posted - Feb 10 2018 :  05:24:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great ideas! We have three large chest and two upright freezers. I have a variety of stack-able plastic and wire basket (easier to see inside) containers to help with organization, but for the most part I've resigned myself to accepting the fact that routine digging, sorting, and purging (chickens, relatives, and farmhands are great for helping out with that) is my lot in life. But now, I have a little perk for making the task a bit more pleasant going forward, gloves! Thanks ladies. Also, we've started feeding our new Bernese Mountain Dog puppy our version of homemade dog food (hamburger from my dairy/bull/steer herd, rice and veggies), so that's helping with my "keep-it-fresh" rotations.

MaryJane, Farmgirl #1 Plowin' Thru ~ giving aprons a good wrap for 45 years and counting ~
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AuntJamelle
True Blue Farmgirl

504 Posts

Jaime
South Bend Indiana
USA
504 Posts

Posted - Feb 12 2018 :  06:27:19 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The gloves idea isn't one I can claim credit for, someone shared it on my Christmas forum years ago and boy is a good one! :)

Another tip I haven't implemented is to put magnets on a dry erase board and marker and keep them on the side or top of the freezer and use that to keep a running inventory of what is in there, updating as you pull out or put in.
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saram
True Blue Farmgirl

325 Posts

Sara
Biggs CA
USA
325 Posts

Posted - Feb 12 2018 :  08:16:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great ideas ladies! Funny how we so often take on the same task at the same time of the year!
I also use the cardboard boxes which REALLY improves access to the bottom regions and reduces the amount of handling you have to do. I don't label the boxes because they are usually flat and low and don't offer a visible side when I'm hovering over looking down at them. But I have made a list at various times in my life. I have used the straight "what is in the freezer that should be used" list, and more recently more of a map list. Breads on the south side, nuts in that corner, etc. I always think I will remember as I'm organizing, but alas. I AM good at remembering that a thing is in there, but WHERE is a different matter. So the map reduces some digging.
I always freeze things flat as much as I can. Start in a ziplock on a cookie sheet, pat flat, freeze, then stack in the box. But most of you probably already do that.
I, too, shall add the gloves!
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windypines
True Blue Farmgirl

2439 Posts

Michele
Bruce Wisconsin
USA
2439 Posts

Posted - Feb 13 2018 :  03:07:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
good ideas, thanks everyone. I have a can of blackboard paint, so thinking about masking off an area on the top of the freezer for making a list or a map of what is in side. Would help others who get brave and go digging!

Farming in WI

Michele
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