tips for organizing a chest freezer?

jiggreenMay 24, 2007

Hi all! I just purchased a chest freezer last month, and have it all loaded up, but I'm having a hard time figuring out how best to organize it. It only came with one wire basket, I'd like to purchase more, but the manufacturer's website says the baskets are not in stock. I have my meats broken down into meal-sized servings in ziploc bags (labeled and dated) and put them into a medium sized rubbermaid storage container on the bottom. On top of that I have umpteen cartons of ice cream, breads, frozen veggies and oodles of other stuff. Everytime I need to get meat out, I have to dig to the bottom to get out the meat container. I'm struggling to figure out the best way to organize this freezer. Helpful tips would be welcome!

Thanks a lot!


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I also use a bag system. Small bags with meal-size portions of blanched vegetables, meats both cooked and uncooked, etc. Then I put about eight similar packages into a larger kitchen trash size bag. When I want something, I sort thru the bags. Well. at least it's better than emptying the whole freezer to find something on the bottom. I also have only one wire hanging basket. Does anyone know of a company that makes wire freezer baskets for stacking?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 8:15PM
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The Container Store makes freezer baskets. I'm not sure how well they would stack, because I always used them in an upright. They held up very well for the 10 or 15 years that I've had them. You can see them at

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 11:11PM
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I don't have a chest freezer, but I just thought that the chest freezers at the kiosks here that contain ice cream packaged in individual portions keep the different kinds in the cardboard boxes that they come in that are tall (or deep) and narrow, open at the top. This could work for individual portion baggies. All bags of the same thing in one box, open at the top. Each box has a really small footprint.

Or perhaps, divide vertically with wire grids (wire shelves from an old fridge could work for that) into say four or six sections and then rummage only in each section as you need? Keep a tray at the top of each section holding smaller stuff or what you need to access easily?

Just my thoughts. Hope you don't mind.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 4:10AM
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I have two freezers -- one chest freezer and one upright.

I use the chest freezer for meat -- ground beef in 3 stacks -- roasts in another stack-- stew beef in another stack -- steaks in another. And if there is a side of pork -- it will be organized the same way.

Under the basket -- I keep things I don't use often --- soup bones and short ribs. And then in the basket -- I keep extrememly short-storage items so the turn will be quick -- bread and rolls.

In the upright -- I keep veggies -- usually, corn and brocolli on their own shelf -- onions, peppers etc on another. WW flour, extra butter, morel mushrooms, juices and icecream on the door. Often -- there is a large box of ice pops on another shelf.

Chest freezers are great for long term storage but not for organization of lots of different items.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 8:32AM
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Growing up, we had a chest freezer. We had a hard time keeping things organized. We lost a lot of food because we forgot it was in there. I would buy some containers to keep things in. Label one for meats, one for deserts, veggies, etc. Mark the date on each food as you put it in there. I'd try to keep a running list of what is in there. I'd also suggest designating a specific month every year or six months to clean the frost out of out the freezer and use up what is in there.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 2:30PM
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