Organize a Chest Freezer once and for all!
You know what happens when something lands at the bottom of a chest freezer? It never gets seen again! This has happened to me so many times! Meat with freezer burn, unidentifiable soups without labels, and frozen veggies that are half open and filled with ice. Organizing a chest freezer will for sure save you money and stop food waste.
The Ultimate Ways to Organize Your Chest Freezer with Dividers
When it comes to organizing your chest freezer, dividers are absolutely essential! Chest freezer dividers come in all sorts of shapes and forms, and your an easily make your own DIY freezer dividers.
The whole idea of using chest freezer separators is to make sure you can SEE all your food! I scoured the internet to find new ideas to keep it organized, and I’m excited by what I found. Now to decide, which method will work for us!
When it comes to freeze storage, the most important thing to do is create a plan of the best way to organize your freezer and stick to it. Don’t start it and not keep it up or follow through, that’s how you consistently end up with a messy, unusable freezer and wasted food.
Then, before you go to actually organize your chest freezer, remove all of the current items from the entire freezer and clean out any spills or crumbs that may be in the freezer. Toss any expired or bad food and take a current inventory of what you have before organizing and putting it back in the freezer.
Now let’s take a look at all of the things you can use for dividers in chest freezers.
Organize Chest Freezer with Crates for Dividers
I love the idea of plastic milk crates to keep things organized. You can find different sizes or colors to keep your food separate. I love this picture below, as it perfect aligns what is currently in my freezer, except I don’t have so many pre-made meals! Doesn’t that look amazing?
Another simpler freezer, with just two crates inside can be seen here. This is great to group all veggies in one, and homemade prepped food in the other.
Organize Chest Freezer with Bags
An inexpensive solution is to provide grocery bags to separate your food. I love this idea, because you could grab the handle of one of the reusable bags, and just take the entire thing out to get to the food you want to use. It helps keep alike food items together and makes it easy to move things around in and out of the freezer.
Organize Chest Freezer with Tags
Tagging, or labeling your food is a great idea, as you would be surprised how quickly you forget what it is! It’s also important to put dates on things, so you use the oldest foods first.
Ziplocs and tags go together to make some of the cheapest and easiest DIY chest freezer dividers around.
Organize Chest Freezer with Boxes
A truly FREE idea for organizing, is to cut the top off of a variety of boxes and sort your food that way!
This idea, from Double the Batch did just that, and it’s a great way to allow your food to stand up right, and also be sorted from the other foods (veggies vs. meat, etc.), all while being within easy reach.
Organize Chest Freezer with Baskets
Functional and smart, using baskets inside your freezer, and even nested inside of each other is brilliant! Pull out a basket to reach the food underneath but be able to replace everything with ease!
You can use plastic baskets or wire baskets if you have some. If you need to save money, you can even use cardboard boxes from other foods, or packages that you have on hand instead of going out to buy freezer bins. Whatever works to use all of the extra space in the freezer.
Storing your freezer meals in plastic freezer baskets or bags is a great way to take a disorganized chest freezer and turn it into an organized freezer.
Organize Chest Freezer with Wood Dividers
I’ve seen some plastic dividers before, but I also like this DIY version with wooden dividers!
Other Great Tips for Organizing your Chest Freezer
- Most chest freezers have a sheet metal exterior and you can actually write on them with a dry-erase marker. An easy way to keep track of your freezer inventory is to write what you are adding into the freezer, along with the items expiration date to a list on the top of the freezer. If you are afraid of writing on your freezer itself, you can just keep a dry erase board out there with a marker on or by the freezer to write on. This is also a great idea if you have an upright freezer, you can write on the doors or on the white board so you know exactly what is in there at all times. Just remember that when you use something, you must erase it from your list.
- When adding something to your chest freezer, use a permanent marker to write the expiration in big writing on the box or container so it is easily visible to help you know when you need to use it by.
- It helps if you add the least used things at the bottom of the freezer and place your most used items at the top of the chest freezer if freezer space allows. It’s much easier to walk out to the garage chest freezer and reach in and grab the ground beef to thaw for dinner if it is closer to the top than if you have to move bins, baskets, bags, and things around just to get it once or twice a week.
- Vacuum seal packages when possible, this helps conserve space and helps prevent freezer burning any of your items.
- You could designate different sections for different types of food like meats, dairy products, freezer meals, etc. This can help keep you organized and ensure that food is used in the right rotation order to prevent spoilage.
- When you go to freeze homemade freezer meals in ziptop bags, lay them flat to freeze. When we make extra of our homemade spaghetti sauce or soup for instance, we let the leftovers cool down completely before placing it flat in the freezer to freeze. This makes it easier to stack certain meals and helps save tremendous amounts of space.
- When storing food or leftovers in a container, try to use something see through. If you can’t use fully see through containers, be sure to get containers that have a clear lid so you can easily see what is in there. If neither of those are possible, you should be sure to label and date your containers as you add them to the chest freezer anyway as this is the best practice to stay organized. As you add newer food of things you already have in the freezer, place the newest ones at the bottom and move the older ones to the top or front of your area where they are being stored.
- Make it a habit to go out and check the inventory of your freezer every 4-6 months. You may have forgotten about what is at the bottom of the freezer or on the bottom layer and that may help inspire you about what meals you can add to your upcoming meal planning session.
- Always remember not to overcrowd your freezer. It still needs room to circulate the cold air around the food to keep everything cold. Be sure not to overload it and that the freezer securely closes easily after each time you open the door. Nothing stinks more than spoiled food- both physically and financially.
The exciting thing is, you can use these simple steps to organize your upright freezer also! Really, these tips can be applied to any type of freezer or food storage system.
So many ideas to organize your chest freezer or deep freezer! Which one will you choose? Do you have other ideas?