5 dollar store baskets organized my fridge top freezer beautifully

Freezer Organization for Under Six Dollars

I don’t know if I’m the only person who has this problem, but I seem to spend far too much time fishing around in the fridge top  freezer for something like that last breakfast sandwich that I’m certain I didn’t eat.  Everyone else is claiming that they didn’t eat it, so it has to be in the freezer, but I just can’t find it.  Finally, I leave the house with a granola bar in my  hand because I didn’t have time to make anything else before leaving for work.    (There’s nothing wrong with granola bars, but they are a poor substitute for a sausage and egg breakfast sandwich.)

Part of the problem was that whenever my kids reached into the freezer to get a snack such as a Popsicle or corn dog, they moved everything around in their search.  Of course, they seldom put everything back in its previous location.  Sometimes things fall out of the boxes.  Basically, the entire contents of my freezer were being stirred around on a regular basis when people went looking for something.  It was not a functional system.  It was also very frustrating.

Several weeks ago, I finally had enough.  I knew that I needed to organize my freezer, but I didn’t have a lot of money for fancy containers.   Nevertheless, I proceeded.  The first thing I did was remove everything from my very crowded freezer.  I had already begun removing things when I realized that this might be a good blog  post.  having a messy freezer makes it harder to prepare meals

I had taken some things out of the freezer and placed them here.food removed from freezer and placed on counter

I had also started to organize some of the items I removed from the freezer.

Some more of the food removed from the over crowed and disorganized freezer

When I finally removed everything from the freezer, I was disgusted by what I saw.  There were crumbs everywhere. Youre freezer gets quite dirty from food crumbs

There was even a stain where something had leaked onto the top shelf and side of the freezer.  melted food is a sticky mess in the freezerAs I cleared out and  cleaned out the fridge, I solved two mysteries.

1.  Why was there no room in the freezer?

2.  What happened to all of the ice packs for my lunch?

The answer was the same for both.  My freezer contained 21 ice packs.  Here they are piled onto my cutting board.  There was no room for food because of all of the ice packsBecause the ice packs went missing, I had resorted to using frozen water bottles to keep my lunch cold.

Once all of the extra ice packs were removed from the freezer, there was plenty of room to organize the actual food.  I used 5 baskets for which I paid $1.00 a piece.  I even put labels on the baskets.  One was labeled “Breakfast Foods”.  Another was labeled “Frozen Treats”.  There was a basket for “Fruits/Smoothies”, and I used two of them for “Vegetables.”   In addition to finding multiple ice packs, I found 5 partial bags of frozen peas.  Miraculously, none of them had expired.5 dollar store baskets organized my fridge top freezer beautifullyThe packages that are shoved between the two containers on the top were full of O’Brien potatoes which needed to be used soon because they were getting close to their expiration.  I even organized the freezer door so  that there is an area for ice packs (just not 21 of them!), baking supplies, snack foods, smaller sized meats we will be using during the week, and frozen dinners that can be taken for lunch if there are no leftovers.  Having a place for everything makes it easier to find what you're looking for in the freezer

All in all, we are very pleased with our newly organized freezer.  I’m particularly happy that I was able to do it for only $5.00 (plus tax).  My hope is that as we use up the open bags of peas and other vegetables, we will be able to put our ice bucket back into the fridge.  It would be nice to just scoop ice into  glasses without popping it out of the trays.  At least, I can find that breakfast sandwich in the morning, and no one is stirring my freezer contents while they look for a Popsicle.

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