Getting home from the grocery store with frozen food items and not having the space to immediately add them is so frustrating. I hadn’t had this issue in years and boy, I’m feeling like I was spoiled. I like to shop at Costco and luckily when I got home the last time I hadn’t bought too much stuff that needed to be frozen. But it was enough to have to do some serious rearranging.
For the last 10 years I’ve had two fridge freezers and a medium sized chest freezer. I really haven’t had to be very organized. There was plenty of room to spare and I could even have different freezers be for different items just like you set your cupboards up. See, spoiled. Then the chest freezer started leaking and we had to get rid of it. Immediately dropping down to two fridge freezers is a major learning experience for me. I know I’m still lucky in many only have one freezer to work with. But baby
steps here for me. lol
Having specific containers to put your frozen items in, makes increasing your freezer space much easier. Containers stack well, unlike full Ziploc bags, which bulge and bloat when frozen. Having a set of containers that are dedicated for the freezer means you can stuff and stack to your heart’s content. Make sure you have varying sizes as you want to use the smallest container for the job so it takes up the least amount of room.
The best containers to use are ones with thick walls and locking lids. If the lids do not lock, there is a good chance you will have freezer burn when you pull them out to use later. The thick walls will help the containers hold up under the pressure of stacking, and also ensure they are reusable after months of freezing.
Stacking food in freezers is more akin to trying to stack soup, especially if you have a deep freezer. It seems as though freezer manufacturers all got together and designed the shelves to be extremely tall and unable to completely fill. Using shelves makes your freezer more stacking-friendly.
You can purchase simple plastic shelving from any of the large hardware stores, which basically doubles your storage space by the square foot. Items don’t need to be stacked as high and the air is allowed to move around the food more, so your freezer doesn’t have to work as hard.
Sure, things can freeze for quite some time, but do you really think the Ziploc bag of half eaten banana will get used if it has already been in there for over a year? Highly unlikely, get rid of it.
Going through and cleaning out your freezer every once in a while will do two important things for you. First, it will let you keep track of everything that you have in your freezer. This lets you know what you can use in the next few weeks or months, helping you save money instead of wasting food. Secondly, your freezer gets a scheduled cleaning as you go through everything, and re-arrange and stack. Move older food to the front so it gets used first.
There are some simple things you can do to maximize your freezer storage space. Using good quality containers, adding additional shelving and cleaning out your freezer on a consistent basis all help with increasing your storage capabilities. You will be surprised with a little organization and the occasional cleaning; your freezer will work better and be able to store everything you need it to. You’ll also be aware of just how much space you have open BEFORE you get home from the store.
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