I honestly couldn’t have told you what was sitting at the bottom of it. These chest freezers are so absolutely ridiculous, I mean who came up with the concept for one big box to keep things cold? Everything just gets thrown in and then buried. I would love to have a stand up freezer but since this one is still working (after 20 years!), I don’t see that happening any time soon so for now I’ve got to make this one work.
Normally my chest freezer isn’t quite this full since I usually am only buying what I’m eating for the week and maybe stocking some really good deals that are too good to pass up. However two things happened recently that have caused it to be filled to its limit. One, my husband shot a deer in the fall (he’s a hunter) so there was quite a bit of meat added to the freezer that’s not normally there and two, we had one of our two grocery stores in town shut down recently. This means I need to
hoard stock up on groceries out of town because the one grocery store remaining can’t keep up with demand. So my freezer is full which isn’t a big problem unless you have no idea what’s sitting at the bottom and lack the time or patience to go on a dig each time you want something. There had to be a better way! Here are some simple tips I used for organizing the deep freezer.
I started by taking everything out and then immediately took everything out of the grocery bags so I could properly see what I was dealing with.
I then sorted it all into categories. For me what worked for categories was:
– frozen fruit
– deer meat
I then took inventory of everything I had using this free Freezer Inventory printable that you see below from the Mom on a Mission website. However this one is no longer available but here’s another one to help you. Now that I have it all documented I can easily see what I have without having to go out to the garage each time and dig through the freezer. I really hate digging.
Many of you commented about using reusable bags in your chest freezers which I thought was just brilliant so that is what I did. Sorting like with like is essential in a freezer so you can keep better track of what you have in there. Reusable bags helps keep your sorted stuff separated and available to pull out quickly as needed. I like it. One bag I use for the deer meat and the other for the frozen fruit I buy for my smoothies. Nothing fancy but it gets the job done.
I used a crate I had lying around in the very bottom to containerize my breads. We use three different types in this house and they were all scattered about willy nilly. Now they all lie together. I like to think they all get along when I’m not looking. Keeping the breads together like this also means that when other family members go out to the freezer to get something they are less likely to just toss things about randomly. This is how things got so messed up in the first place, I’m just saying.
And no the frozen bread doesn’t get squished as the bags on top of the bread bin are slightly bigger and rest on the sides and well the bread is frozen 🙂
So let’s recap:
- empty the freezer
- take product out of plastic grocery bags
- sort like with like
- take inventory
- containerize with bins or reusable bags
And chest freezers everywhere lived happily ever after.