Thursday, July 22, 2010

Upright Freezer Organization

See this picture? I love this kind of organization (Better Homes and Gardens October 2009). Once again, function meets "pretty". For years I've had a chest type deep freeze. Still do, in fact. But this summer I purchased my first upright, frost-free, energy saver, deep freeze. Yahoo!


I'm till hanging on to my chest freezer for the side of beef I just bought. In fact, I plan to store most of my meat and frozen fruit in there. But it's out in the garage and hard to dig through. So the upright is now located in my pantry and it will hold smaller amounts of meat and things I use on a regular basis.


I really wanted to keep this one organized, so I did some searching and found the same kind of baskets that they used in the photo (and looked at a lot of others as options as well), and ordered a few. I measured beforehand to make sure they would fit and to know how many I would need of each size. I did not want to have to hunt them down later and manufacturers tend to change styles often, so if you do this, be sure to purchase all you might need in one order. Keep in mind, baskets with straight sides utilize space better than baskets with graduated sides (where the top is wider than the bottom).




Next, I made some laminated tags to attach to each basket and drawer so that everyone would be able to find what they were looking for. I have sections for meats, but also smoothies, granola, baking, bulk baking, cubes, and soups/broths. 

To attach the tags, I used hinged snap rings so that they could be moved around should I ever need to rearrange items in the future (of which you can be sure!).


All items that needed to be corralled went into a basket, while all meats went into a drawer. The door was used for canning jars to hold my extra grain that is left over from milling as well as some bulk items: cinnamon, sugar (for very special occasions or guests), etc.



The smoothie and granola baskets are packet with items respective of each category. 



For example, In the past I would have to hunt through my deep freeze, refrigerator, and spice drawer for all the items to make a batch of granola. Just walking around and grabbing these things more than doubles the amount of time it takes to make it! However, now that I have all the ingredients in one basket that I just pull out, set on the counter, use, and return, makes perfect sense. The smoothie basket holds all of our half opened bags of frozen fruit that I allow the kids to use for making blended concoctions. 


Don't ask me why I keep some of these items in the freezer though, like the granola ingredients. It has become a habit, mostly because a few years ago I made it only on occasion and so the freezer kept the seeds fresh. Now that we no longer purchase store bought cereal, I make granola on a regular basis and the ingredients get used fairly rapidly. {Sigh}...old habits can be hard to break. (If you didn't want to do this in the freezer, you could just store them on the pantry shelf in a basket.)


Perhaps now I'll be motivated to organize the old chest deep freezer! 


What do you do to organize your freezer space?



28 comments:

  1. What a beautiful feezer! We need to buy another soon, our chest freezer is full & theres still corn, peaches & a few other things to put up this summer. Plus my husband is butchering a cow & pig this winter, that need to go somewhere!

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  2. Great idea! I may have to try this with my freezer. So many ideas....so little time. :) Thanks for the tips. :)

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  3. What a great idea! My freezer is kind of a mess right now and I will definitely start looking for some baskets to help me organize.I do have one basket in there already (holds all the pureed veggies), but I never thought to use it for other things as well. Thanks for sharing this!

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  4. Wow! Great organization, Amy.

    We have a chest and an upright freezer, too. My upright is packed to the gills already and we're just starting to fill the chest freezer. In the upright, I keep like things together and stack them back to front so there is nothing hidden behind something else that I would have to dig for. I love the look of all those baskets, but I have to say, for us, they would take up needed freezer space.

    In our chest freezer, we store applesauce (which fills about half of it), chickens and some fruit. I like to only keep a few kinds of items in there, so there is less digging involved.

    Items I use all the time- cheeses, cubes of tomato puree and pesto, half used bags of veggies, etc., live in the freezer above our fridge where they are handy:-).

    Great post!

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  5. Hi Amy,
    Thank you for this post. My freezer is a disaster and very frustrating for me to work with. I'm going to look into organizing it like this with a very tight budget in mind.

    Thanks again,

    Christa

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  6. This looks wonderful!!!. We actually cleaned out our 2 chest freezers last weekend (threw away things that had been overlooked a LONG time).Organization can prevent waste and I've GOT to make time to do this. I've been wanting to transfer all my spices to the small jelly jars but other things must come first.

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  7. Great idea! We now have our daughter's upright freezer in the garage and I have always found them frustrating. Some don't like chest freezers but I have a nifty home-made compartments I built for them that collapses and can be slipped out to clean the freezer. Why haven't I thought of baskets in the upright? Thanks, I'll be sure and get something rigged up.

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  8. How awesome! I never thought of doing something like this, though I have HATED the mess that always exists in freezers! Great post!

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  9. This is brilliant. My freezer always has things teetering on the brink. As a teacher, I always kept my classroom library organized in much the same manner and it made it so easy for my little librarians to keep everything tidy. I can't believe I haven't made the connection to take some of those strategies and implement them in my kitchen! For those of you with little ones wondering how to introduce this type of idea into your home, I would also suggest color coding. I marked all my books with different color sticker dots and then had a key that kids could reference. So the fiction basket had a tag that said fiction written in red and all the fiction books had red dots. It made things very simple because the students always knew they were putting something in the right place after they had used it and in the process learned new words and made associations between the things in the baskets. By the end of the school year, they had all basically taught themselves these words and had a clear understanding of the genre meanings with very little instruction from me. I used similar ideas for everything in my room. Math things were labeled with yellow dots and we used yellow spirals. The label on the board was math written in yellow so the children knew if they had math homework, they needed their yellow things. For science, I would divide things into separate baskets and color code them and have the students work as detectives to determine why things were coded the way they were. I found it very powerful to implement such a simple system and allow the students the opportunity to teach themselves and draw conclusions and similarities based on the system. Now, I just need to remember to use this in my home, too!!

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  10. Great Post, thanks! It takes time to think through then implement an organized storage system so you've taken a lot of the work out of it for me! I have chest freezer, so I'll be looking for your ideas on organizing that!

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  11. That's a great idea. My freezer is just the standard one on the refrigerator...but I could probably adapt it because there's a lot of space that goes unused...
    I was curious about putting the spices and things in the freezer...but then I read the comment at the end, so the mystery was solved :) :) :)I may do that, because I don't use those things very often. Also, in our old apartment we had a huge problem with ants...so anytime anything was opened...ie/cereal box, sugar, flour...you name it...once it was opened it went in the refrigerator. The ants never went in there...They may be God's creatures...but I don't like them crawling and frolicking in my food :) :) Thanks for sharing this super creative idea!!! Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

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  12. Do you have any tips for how to keep a husband from not putting items back into the appropriate basket?!!

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  13. This is such a great idea. I think I just may use the bin system to put my granola together in my kitchen cupboards. I am searching all over the the ingredients. Wondering how I can use this system in my chest freezer...
    Oh- and I keep a plastic sealtight container in my freezer just for onions. When I only need half of one for a recipe, I cut it all and save the rest in the freezer. Great for soups!

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  14. I use a shelf for each type of meat. Like all the pork items are on one shelf, all beef on the next, etc.

    I'm pretty sure they make hanging baskets for the chest style freezers. Another excuse to go shopping!

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  15. Amy, Looks great; if only I could be so organized; our freezer is a jumble. You have inspired me to tackle the project! I just have to get everyone else to stick to the system instead of "piling it on"...

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  16. Brilliant!!! This time of year my freezer is turning into an avalance. I'm certainly going to take your idea and run with it. Thank you.

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  17. I have an upright too and I can't stand when my food jumps out at me when I open the door...lol I solved the problem in a similar way but I used wire baskets from old freezers. Just keep an eye out at thrift stores, Habitat ReStores. You could also ask a metal scrap dealer or an appliance dealer where they pick up the old when they sell you a new appliance, they might have something or might set it aside for you.

    I like the idea of putting the lesser used spices in there.

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  18. Oh I know what you mean about the chest freezer -we have a huge one & it seems I always end up with frostbite each time I have to dig through it!
    I like the way you've organised your upright freezer - looks great & very functional!

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  19. Oh my goodness...I've been offline so long I don't know which post to comment on first! I did make note though, for a very short :) trip to Michigan, I could pay you to organize my life LOL!!! Second, are there NO cobwebs and droppings in your coop??? Third, thanks for the recipe for dishwasher soap. I'll be trying that this week.
    XOXO!
    Kathy

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  20. That is so adorable!!! What a great idea!!

    What a cute freezer! I like all the details!

    Thanks for the great freezer. I love it!

    Upright Freezer

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  21. Where did you get the plastic bins? My hubby says they have them at WM but I've never seen them there.

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    1. Well, let me think... I believe I got them from OrganizeIt.com
      http://www.organizeit.com/stackable-plastic-storage-basket-clear-frost.asp
      you may have to google the basket brand name and shop around for the sizes you need. And I removed the handles on a few because they just got in the way.

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  22. We just got a chest freezer and this inspired me to get some baskets, much simpler to find what you need...

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  23. Upright freezer is one of the popular type of freezer and most of the people like it very much. You have to organize your things in such a way that it looks good and arrange it systematically.
    Chest Freezer Reviews

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  24. I only have one basket that came with my upright freezer. I'm going to have to do something. Deer season just started! I have this year's venison in the old chest freezer in the garage and what is left of last year's in the upright in the house. I just put 20 pounds of picked out pecans in the upright freezer. This appears to be the tipping point -- Time to get organized!

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  25. OMW! I loved this article! I clipped it & saved it when it came out. Nice to know that I can have it on Pinterest now, too. Your freezer looks great.

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  26. I love this idea, but wonder about the extra space the bins take up. Do you feel that you can't fit as much because of the bins? Did you measure your freezer before you bought the bins to make sure you maximized the space? mtolman2@yahoo.com

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    1. Hi Michelle, I didn't measure first (would be a great idea though - and wise!). Yes they do take up a bit of space and one can't maximize every inch of room, however, I wanted to get to things easily in this freezer... I have a second freezer that keeps bulk foods - i.e.: half a cow, etc.- in a chest freezer, but even in that I use rubber maid type bins to keep it organized. So it may not work for everyone.

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