Seriously, how is it that I can organize our freezer and within a month it’s back to being a disaster. Every time! But I have finally figured it out! I saw this hack on Pinterest and figured what did I have to lose? If it doesn’t work, I can reuse the supplies. But if it works? Well, my sanity may just be returned. Maybe. So how did we organize a deep freezer?
** Read All The Way Down For The 6 Month Update**
Let’s start with before
Yup. A disaster. Would you believe that I reorganized everything in February when we butchered our meat chickens? I cleaned everything out, defrosted and wiped everything down. You wouldn’t know it to look at it now.
What you see here is about seventeen meat chickens that have been broken down into parts and bagged. What you don’t see is the half a cow that has to go in here. Now, I will say, we bought the half cow knowing that we would have to get a second freezer because there was no way we were going to fit half a cow, 17 chickens, plus all my creamer.
Yes, it’s an addiction. No, I’m not sorry.
Bean water addiction aside, we needed more freezer space. But I knew that if I didn’t have some sort of a system, we were going to end up with a massive chest freezer that was nothing but piles of meat. Let’s be real here, not much sucks more than having to dig through frozen meat to find the one piece of steak that’s at the very bottom.
Enter Milk Crates To Organize A Deep Freezer
Milk crates have saved my sanity when Jared brought home the cow. I’m not going to lie, I was nervous that three coolers of meat was going to create more chaos than me. But we worked through it and got everything separated into five milk crates. They are overflowing but still stackable.
The idea with the milk crates is to have the ability to pick up and move them to get to what is below them. So far it has worked beautifully and I will be buying more crates for my upright freezer to handle that disaster.
The problem with the using milk crates in the upright freezer is not having the ability to see through them to what is inside. Yes, we could label them but if my kids won’t put things up where they go, do we really think that putting a label on the crate will help? I guarantee it won’t.
One More Tip
We also write on our freezers. This helps keep an eye on inventory levels…. when someone remembers to deduct what they took out…. which no one does. But it’s a good idea.
Now if anyone has a plan for a DIY smoker that would be really helpful.
6 Month Update Of How This Has Worked
In the effort of full disclosure, this idea is fantastic. But it lacking in some areas and could improve in others. Here are the pros and cons
- It has absolutely made finding things super easy
- While it doesn’t necessarily save space because the milk crates do take up space, it has created “sides” for things to go. Pig on one side and cow on the other
- The inventory system works well, as long as there is marker around it somewhere
- Adding inventory that doesn’t fit the category of the milk create has created a massive headache. Things like a whole chicken or bacon.
- Because the milk crates don’t have lids, things get disorganized very quickly. Like trying to find ground beef under a ton of pork chops.
One of the things we are looking into is getting wire shelves and using them as separators. My thought is this, everything is going to end up in piles anyways. Why not create a system that organizes the deep freezer into piles. We’ll then take the milk crates over to our upright freezer and see how it works over there.