Sunday, January 29, 2012

free the freezer.

I don't know about your house, but at our house, the freezer gets the short end of the stick. What should I do with all of this leftover spaghetti sauce? Throw it in the freezer. Man, I wish this Diet Dr. Pepper would get cold faster! Throw it in the freezer. I want to make muffins, but can't eat them all in a week. Throw them in the freezer. Mr. Spouse wants a cool t-shirt for his summer bike ride. Throw it in the freezer. When in doubt, we (shocker) throw it in the freezer.

Being that our freezer is used so often, we needed it to be a functional space. But it's so hard to keep bags of chicken breasts, racks of smoked ribs, tubs of muffins, 5 pound bags of flour, bags of chocolate chips, and frozen soups and sauces neat and orderly. Nothing is the same shape and everything is used frequently, so it's hard to decide which items need to be in the front and which items can be tucked away.

So what's a girl to do when she needs inspiration for a freezer intervention? Pinterest it.


I first found this idea from Better Homes and Gardens. I loved the idea of categorizing all of my freezer items and placing them in labeled bins.

Next, I saw Jen's freezer over at I Heart Organizing. I liked how she put all of her smaller, bagged items into bins on the top shelf of her freezer which left her bottom shelf free for the bulkier items.

I had my inspiration, now it was time for my favorite part: shopping! I measured the height and width of both of my shelves, grabbed my keys, and booked it to the Bin Mothership: Wal-Mart. There, I found two different types of bins that would be a magnificent addition to our freezer!

The first bin was perfect for the top shelf of my freezer - it was deep enough for storing my bulky items, but narrow enough for 2 bins to fit on the shelf.

The second type of bin was the absolute perfect height to fit underneath the shelf, creating added storage on the bottom level of the freezer. It was also narrow enough to allow for two bins to fit side-by-side! I mean, P.T.L.
I had my bins, so now I wanted to follow Better Homes and Gardens's lead and categorize my freezer items. I found that all of our items fit into 3 categories: baking, meals, and meats. But, no bin is complete without a label! After printing, laminating, and hot gluing the labels onto the bins, I placed all of the items into their respective bins with this result:

Be still my organizational heart! The "meals" bin holds any sauces, stews, and breads that I have frozen for a future occasion. The "baking" bin holds bags of chocolate chips, nuts, and various flours. Lastly, the "meat" bins hold our frozen chicken, ribs, ground turkey, etc. Victory!

I am obsessed with our organized freezer for a couple of reasons. First, by storing all of our items in the bins, we have freed up our door shelves for any one-time freezer purchases, ice packs, and the occasional t-shirt. Second, I no longer find myself taking every single thing out of the freezer to find one item in the back; the bins are easy to remove so that I can quickly find what I need! Third, everything has it's place! I love, love, love when everything has a home so I always know if something needs replenishing and what is available to use.

Do y'all use your freezer as much as we do? How do you keep it organized?

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