The excellent freezer tip that wasn’t…..

This was to be a lovely little post on how to use milk crates to organize your deep freezer. The truth of the matter is this. Milk crates do a fine job of organizing your freezer IF your freezer doesn’t look like mine.

Turns out that all that frost on the freezer sides doesn’t make it too easy to get the crates in and out. Unfortunately for me and my freezer, defrosting the freezer falls under cleaning and not under organizing so I don’t expect it to be done anytime soon. Then again my baskets are clearly sad, I mean just look at them there. Poor things. Not being used to their maximum potential, it’s a tragedy. When my baskets are sad, I’m sad too. That guilt will eat me up until I eventually get the job done, if for no other reason than to make my baskets perk up and sing the Hallelujah Chorus once again.

Out of curiosity though there is something that I need to know, that must be resolved once and for all. Is freezer defrosting something that people actually do regularly and if so is it because your baskets are crying out to you too?

Filed under: Containerizing, My Life, Organizing Solutions


39 Responses to The excellent freezer tip that wasn’t…..

  1. 1
    Esther says

    Check your seal on the door isn’t in need of replacing. If there is a gap in the seal warm air is pulled in and warm air holds more moisture which them freezes out becoming ice.

  2. 2
    Stacy says

    You are supposed to defrost freezers!!! 8)

  3. 3
    joyful says

    My (organized/”Maintainer”) husband defrosts the freezer when he feels like there is too much ice on the sides. I will measure the inside dimensions of my freezer and see if a milk crate or two is a good solution for me. I’ve been looking for one for a while! Thanks.

  4. 4
    Susanne says

    What is this “defrosting the freezer” that you speak of? I thought the ice was supposed to be there. Is that not what keeps the stuff frozen? ;v)

  5. 5
    Lazy Organizer says

    Um ya. It was an easy thing to do in our last house because the freezer was in the garage so we just pulled it out into the driveway and opened the door till it melted. Then I had the bright idea to design a place for it in our new pantry so I wouldn’t have to walk out to the garage. I wasn’t thinking of the defrosting issues!

    Actually I think now would be good time of year to do it because we can just put all the meat in coolers on the front porch and they will stay frozen while we do the defrosting.

    See how you make me do these projects that I don’t want to do?

  6. 6
    chupieandjsmama says

    Um, we defrost every 5 years or so (or when the mood strikes us). Do you think less of me now?

  7. 7
    Laura Moncur says

    You should post more organizing failures! I love to see what doesn’t work. Milk crates in the freezer sounds like something I would try if I owned a huge ole freezer.

    Glad to know they just become trapped victims of frostbite!

  8. 8
    momrn2 says

    I hadn’t defrosted my upright freezer since we had moved in (2 years ago). Then it broke and defrosted on it’s own! What a mess!!!

    Needless to say I am now down to only the freezer on the top of my fridge and have I defrosted it??… NO. Am I supposed to?? 😉

  9. 9
    The Chatty Housewife says

    Whatever you do, do not do any chipping. Let it all melt. My mother tried the chipping thing and bust through the side of the freezer. When that happens you have to buy a new freezer!

  10. 10
    JoAnn says

    Mine just happens to need defrosting now. I’ve been meaning to do it forever but had to wait until we could eat all the food in it first. Almost there!

  11. 11
    Valerie says

    Yeh, you do need to defrost it. I don’t know a timeline whne to do it. I do it maybe once every year or year and a half. I have an upright one so I don’t think any baskets would work in there would they?

  12. 12
    Mrs. Wilson says

    I’ve just finally gotten a deep freeze for the first time about 2 months ago, so I’ve never had to do the defrosting thing. I’m sure it’ll happen during the move though!

  13. 13
    Tink says

    I use milk crates in my chest freezer, they’re AWESOME. No more digging to find what you want.

    About defrosting. I do it about once a year – leaving a build up will suck up electricity like there’s no tomorrow. I hate doing it, but I hate power bills more.

  14. 14
    Pam Lowe says

    Turn off the freezer, Remove all the stuff, place a pot of boiling hot water in the freezer, and close the door. Change water if it no longer steams. Takes about 2 hours and you then will have happy milk crates.
    Great job for older kids and worth the price.
    Thanks for all you advice.

  15. 15
    Tori Rollins says

    I love to clean, but even I never get to that freezer and defrost it.
    Thankfully, my husband (who detests housework) feels a need to defrost the freezer every once in a while.
    It’s a personality quirk, I’m thinkin’.

  16. 16
    Downshifting Diva says

    I use stackable wire baskets. There are ones that you would normally place in a closet. They let the air circulate, are light and wider so you can use your space more efficiently.

  17. 17
    Sandra says

    I don’t have a freezer like that, so I guess I don’t need to worry about cleaning or stacking LOL

  18. 18
    Donetta says

    I have an upright for this very reason.

  19. 19
    Jena says

    The last time I defrosted the freezer is when the power went out–seemed like a logical thing to do. Another thing you can do is eat down the food supply and then defrost it–less stuff to move around.

  20. 20
    Proverbs31 says

    LOL! You’re hilarious. I’ve never had baskets cry out to me because they were sad. But I have heard them whisper to me on occasion from the shelf at the store. 😛 And yesterday I received some of the cutest organizing baskets and I keep hearing them whisper for me to come in and gaze at them in joy. 😉

    I’ve never had a deep freezer, but my best friend is telling me that she keeps a car ice scraper near the deep freezer and scrapes it off as soon as it starts to collect so that she only spends 5 minutes every now and then rather than an hour of toil and drudgery.

    By the way, I have a new word for you. While typing too quickly about purging and organizing toys into baskets, the following result occurred: “purganizing.” Now doesn’t that just have OrgJunkie written all over it?? You can have it, it’s all yours. Feel free to purganize at will and talk about it freely. 🙂

  21. 21
    Lisa Knight says

    I use an ice scraper (like for the car). It’s a tip I figured out having an ice cream shop. I still desperately need to defrost though, I think I have a leaky seal. I’m holding out for a new energy efficient replacement though!

  22. 22
    A Simple Wife says

    I have a small chest freezer and the milk crates don’t work well with it so I don’t use them. Besides, I can cram more into it without the baskets. However, I do sort of defrost from time to time. Or, more precisely, whenever I have the contents of the freezer emptied out onto the dining room table to cycle the new stuff down to the bottom and pull the old stuff up (and double check the inventory), I have the husband scrape the frost off the walls with the (washed) dustpan. That happens maybe twice a year. My freezer is rarely empty enough to do a “proper” defrosting and I just don’t have the cooler space to store the food otherwise.

  23. 23
    NerdMom says

    We do it when ever we move or the power goes out;). In theory, you should do it once a year.

  24. 24
    Lauren says

    I just had to laugh when I read this post… I JUST defrosted my freezer last week due to some heavy frost issues of my own!

    Just a few thoughts:
    1) We didn’t know we were supposed to buy a “frost-free” freezer, and it seems as if ours is pretty frosty fairly often. So I defrost once every 4-5 months or so. Just drag into the driveway and open the lid. If only we’d have known better we would’ve bought differently.

    2) I use plastic bins from the dollar store of varying sizes. In one is cooked ground beef, another chicken stock, another cooked chicken, another raw chicken, etc. And casseroles are frozen and stacked. I love the plastic bins and they work perfectly with us.

    3) I keep a freezer inventory that I printed from It has really helped me a lot since we hav a chest-style freezer and I can’t always see what is in there. Boy has that list alone saved us quite a bit of money…

    Thanks for letting me share my freezer thoughts! 🙂


  25. 25
    Multi-tasking Mommy says

    Funny I just read this post, as I just noticed a bit of excess ice build up on our freezer and wondered if it might be time, after 4 years of owning it, that we should defrost it.
    This would mean that I need to clear it out though–oh this will take us a while!

  26. 26
    Keven says

    Frost free freezers … are a no-no. They only remain frost free by periodically NOT FREEZING your stuff … so it is constantly unfreezing/freezing and thus RUINING your food. I always wondered why stuff never “lasted that long” in a typical freezer (in your fridge) – until we got a deep freeze, and started picking my favorite food in the world – organic blueberries. Within months the same blueberries are disgusting in our regular fridge freezer, but feel/taste/look/are just as delicious as the first day they were frozen in the deep freeze.

    The longest I’ve tested the blueberry theory is 11 months – I try to ration our Sunday blueberry pancake ritual to make them last from season to season.


    Thanks for the boiled water trick – only took me 2.25 hrs to remove the huge ice patches today!

  27. 27
    TC says

    I was looking for freezer inventory’s and came across this post.

    Helpful hint for people who don’t have enough cooler space while defrosting your deep freeze. Get out your blankets and/or sleeping bags (packing blankets work well also) and some boxes (I’m and apple box junkie). Store your freezer items in the boxes as full as you can get them so the items can keep eachother cold. Then cover the boxes with the blankets. Everything should remain frozen.

    I just did this yesterday. I filled three large coolers and 2 apple boxes. I put a packing blanket on top of a cooler (makeing the seal on the cooler tighter) places my box on top of the blanket, filled the box and wrapped the blanket so that top had all the overlapping. I did this about 5pm last night and didn’t get back to it until this morning. Everything was still frozen. (this was in a garage in NV) I wouldn’t sugest waiting that long but it dose prove that it works.

    Another tip is that wind will defrost a freezer fairly well and it will cool the area off. Handy for a freezer in the house in the warmer months. Plus, if your defrosting inside. Try putting a hose on the end of your freezer drain hose. It does need to a down force unless you want to sifen it.
    Hope this helps someone. I was fun to read all the posts

  28. 28
    Pammy Sue says

    I actually own TWO chest freezers: A very large one purchased in 1983 is in the basement storage room and is used to store whole hog and half beef purchased from friends; and a slightly smaller one upstairs in the laundry room (inherited from grandparents). I need lots of space, but could definitely use some organizing. When the big freezer gets low, it’s hard to reach the bottom. I’m thinking the crate idea will work great to bring items up more in “towers” for ease in reaching. Especially when I send one of the kids down to get something for me.

    The “basket-trapped-by-frost” could be a problem for me, too, but it will be an incentive to MAKE me keep up with defrosting. THANKS for the great idea!


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