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?


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