Upright Freezer Organizing Ideas ~ Tips and ideas for organizing your upright freezer using a labeled bin system so it easy to find and keep track of foods!
It is September. It is Fall. It is also back to school. That means it is a busy time for families. When I was working full time and my children were in school I can’t believe how hectic it was sometimes keeping up with all of their in and after school activities. It took a lot of organizing schedules making sure my husband or I were available to either drop off or pick up a child at the pool, gym, piano lesson or from a friend’s house.
The girls are older now and more independent but I still like to be super organized when it comes to meal planning and grocery shopping. I fill the pantry and the freezer with foods based on my menu planning. Ideas For An Organized Pantry and Menu Planning Using Themes give you some practical tips and ideas for how to take the stress out of making sure there are healthy meals on the dinner table.
I like to buy my fresh meat and frozen fruits and vegetables in bulk packages at Costco. I like the quality and the prices. But the larger packaging creates a storage nightmare in the freezer. It takes up a lot of space. Items get lost at the back of the freezer. I lose track of what I have run out of, what I have too much of and what has been in the freezer way too long.
So I have come up with some upright freezer organizing ideas that make better use of the storage space in the freezer. I can also quickly and easily keep track of what foods are going in and coming out in an organized system! Here are….
Upright Freezer Organizing Ideas
Upright Freezer Versus A Chest Freezer
I started off with a chest freezer but switched to an upright freezer several years ago and I am really glad I did. It takes up less space where it is kept in the mudroom. My upright freezer is like a big closet filled with food where I just have to open the door to find what I am looking for. The inside door also provides even more storage space! I’ll be sharing in a future post some ideas for how to organize it to maximize storage and accessibility so stay tuned.
Packaging The Food
Since I buy most of my meats, frozen vegetables and fruits in bulk I have a bit of work to do when I get home from grocery shopping. I separate the meat into smaller portions for the recipes that I know that I will be making. I double wrap the meat in plastic wrap and freezer paper. Then I label each package with the contents, quantity and date it was purchased.
I also buy my frozen vegetables and fruits in bulk packages. I prefer to store these in smaller portions in labeled re-sealable bags. I can see right away what is in the package and the smaller bags take up a lot less room in the freezer.
Organizing With Plastic Bins
I purchased 15 plastic bins so I can easily organize the food by category. These bins were about $2.00 each and were sold as shoe bins. They work perfectly in my upright freezer. Three bins fit on each of the five shelves.
Decorating The Bins
When you think about it an upright freezer can be pretty stark place. Frozen food does not look attractive. So to give the bins and the freezer an element of décor I applied aqua blue Washi tape to each bin. Now when I open the upright freezer door it has a pop of colour!
Labeling With The Brother PT-D600 Label Maker
I created labels for each bin using my Brother PT-D600 Label Maker. It is so easy to work with and I love how the labels turned out. You can have some fun creating personalized labels because it has 14 fonts, 11 styles, 99 frames and over 600 symbols. These are some of the labels I created.
I love how they turned out. The border and lettering are very crisp and very clear. I could see what my labels were going to look like before printing because it has a full-colour graphical display. Since I made multiple copies of the same label I could input how many copies I needed and that is how many came out in one printing session. Printing was super fast and each label was pre-cut.
Other features that made labeling the bins for my upright freezer really handy is that it has a large memory feature that was really easy to figure out. I saved each label in a file so I don’t have to make new labels each time. This file holds a total of 99 labels in its memory. I have more plans for more labeling other items in the house so this is a fabulous feature for someone who likes to be organized like me!
The real bonus for me is the available tapes that can be ordered to use with the Brother PT-D600 Label Maker. There are five different widths and I used the widest width (24 mm) so the labels were large and easy to read. Also, these tapes are designed for both hot and cold surfaces! I was afraid the labels would come off with the cold moisture in the freezer but that has not happened. I also love how the labels were so easy to apply to each bin with the split back making it easy to remove from the back of the label.
Organizing The Freezer
Now the food is repackaged into more manageable quantities and packaging for easy storage. All of the food packages are clearly identified. All of the bins are decorated and clearly labeled. This is how I organized the different foods in the different bins….
On the top shelf are the bins for beef, poultry and lamb…
The second shelf has the bins for pork, seafood and sausages. I see I have a lot of pork because two pork roasts are resting beside the bin. I also have a lot sole stored in the seafood bin. Guess I better include these foods in my menu planning soon.
The third shelf has a bin for ground beef and ground turkey. There is another bin for the frozen patties. My husband likes to barbecue frozen beef, bison, veggie and chicken burgers throughout the summer. It is so easy to see that we have lots of these to use up with this labeled bin system for organizing the freezer! The third bin has the freezer meals. I like to make planned leftovers so there is a meal handy to reheat from the freezer when schedules are really busy and there is no time to cook.
The fourth shelf has two bins for frozen vegetables that have been repackaged and a bin to hold the baking.
The fifth and bottom shelf has two bins for frozen fruit and another bin for storing some more baking. The kind of frozen fruit I like to buy include mango, pineapple and cherries. You can’t see it in the photograph but there are also several packages of frozen blueberries that I bought fresh. Freezing Fresh Blueberries Simplified details how to make it an easy job!
Here is a before image of my upright freezer before being organized…
…. and here is an after image showing all of the upright freezer organizing ideas!
Final Comments: I have to admit I love how my upright freezer is organized for several reasons. Food is expensive and these upright freezer organizing ideas help save money. I can easily see what foods I still have and which ones need to be replaced. These ideas also save time because I do not have to rummage around in the freezer looking to see what I have when trying to menu plan and deciding what to make for dinner. I am also thrilled to have found bins that fit perfectly in the freezer and a label maker that easily labels the bins with labels that will not come off in the cold. Decorating the bins with washi tape is an extra but it helps gives the freezer an organized and decorative storage space.
A Recommendation: These organizing ideas are specific for an upright freezer but they will also work in a chest freezer. Laura from I’m an Organizing Junkie has some fabulous Quick Tips For Organizing The Deep Freezer that you will want to check out.
Your Turn: What kind of freezer do you have? What kind of foods do you store in your freezer? How do you organize your freezer? I would love to have you share your comments and join in the conversation!
Featured: Thank you to Good Housekeeping , Hometalk , HouseBeautiful , Huffington Post , Architecture & Design for featuring Upright Freezer Organizing Ideas! Better Homes & Gardens also referenced how I organize my upright freezer in the article Make Your Fridge More Functional !
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Brother Canada. The ideas and opinions are honestly and 100% my own.
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