Freezer Organization 101

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I’ve been embarrassed about this for a long time. No, not my weight. Not my relatively recent inability to dance (I used to really shake my tailfeather. Now, not so much). Not even the fact that I’ll often wear the same jeans for an entire week. My friends, I’m embarrassed about this:

You just gasped, didn’t you?

That was the inside of my freezer. If you’re old enough, you’ll remember what happened every time Fred Flintstone opened his closet -— well, that’s precisely what my freezer was like, only when things fell out they tended to be frozen-solid blocks, and they invariably landed on one’s feet. Who knew how important steel-toed boots could be in the kitchen?

If you're a regular reader of Words to Eat By, you may recall I blogged about my freezer more than a year ago. Sometimes I, uh, let things slide for a while, and I found organizing the freezer to be a particularly daunting task. But when I worked on the Big Batch chapter of my cookbook, Parents Need to Eat Too, I was cooking a big ol’ pot of something every day, sometimes twice a day, and roughly half of each recipe needed to fit into that overstuffed freezer. Good luck, right? I had no choice. Something had to be done.

Hello, Container Store.

What you see here is that same freezer, reorganized thanks to a sweater box and a handful of shoe boxes. The sweater box holds almost all our ready-to-go food, things that just need heating, both homemade and store-bought (you can see, it didn’t all fit -— there are some Morningstar Farms and Trader Joe’s items nearby). The shoe box at top left holds uncooked meat, and the three lined up on the bottom hold bags of fruit and vegetables.

It ain’t perfect:

  • Because the boxes themselves take up space, I can't cram in quite as much as I used to.
  • I like to freeze larger quantities of raw meat in zipper-lock bags, and those are too big for the shoe box.
  • There is no official home for popsicles (the horror!).
  • And when I lined up the open bags of frozen fruit on the bottom shelf, it made the freezer look unpleasantly jam-packed again.

But heck, at least nothing’s falling out on my foot now. Maybe someday I’ll get around to peeling all those labels off the boxes, huh?

Now it’s your turn: How do you organize your freezer?

Debbie Koenig is a food and parenting writer who blogs at Words to Eat By. Her first cookbook, Parents Need to Eat Too: 150+ Simple, Healthy Recipes for Sleep-Deprived, Frazzled New Moms & Dads, will be published next year by HarperCollins.

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