Monday, May 6, 2013

Chest Freezer Organization


I recently signed up for a meat subscription service with the local family business Harborside Farms. Over the next year we will receive half a cow (quarterly installments), half a pig (quarterly as well), a dozen chickens and one turkey (fall delivery), 4 dozen eggs per month as well as a number of farm goodies like bacon, sausage, honey and maple syrup. Yum!

Freezer Before
Did I mention I have a small chest freezer? Jay's grandma gave us this freezer when she moved out of her house and it's been really great. It never bothered me before that it didn't have any wire baskets or dividers. Now that I've ordered all this meat I started wondering how I would store it in here. I imagined dinners would be sort of like picking names out of a hat except that I would be picking brown paper packages out of the freezer. "Tonight we are having...drumroll...pork chops!"

So I did what I always do in situations like this, I went to Google and Pinterest for inspiration. I found lots of great ideas for upright freezers but all the chest freezers seemed to be organized by putting food into boxes or milk crates and stacking them in there. I actually bought two different types of containers and brought them home to try but didn't like either of them. There was so much wasted space and I didn't like the idea of pulling out a bunch of containers to get at the stuff on the bottom. I'm pretty lazy by the way.

Then I had my Aha! moment. I decided to make dividers out of leftover 3/4" plywood. First I asked my husband to cut the pieces on the table saw. The pieces were:
1 piece - 18" x 26"
2 pieces - 18" by 9"
3 pieces - 18" by 7"

Adding Dividers
I had originally planned to screw the boards together but the pieces were so snug Jay had to hammer them in place. Now I can quickly remove a board or move it over to make room for larger items or make bigger spaces.

Finally, I made some labels and stapled them on to the edge of the plywood so that whoever is in there can quickly find what they are looking for.

Freezer After
The best part of this project is that it was FREE! You can see the pink 50% off sticker on my loaf of bread so you know I love a good deal. I also think this makes the best use of space. If you're wondering why I didn't make the compartments even deeper (they are 18" right now), it's because I thought it would be difficult to reach in and get things at the bottom and I also want to find some of those wire baskets that slide along the top edge of the freezer.


I'm really happy with how this turned out but the real test will be when the meat delivery starts next month. Hopefully I will have enough room for everything. If not, do you want to come over for a Barbeque?

4 comments :

  1. brilliant idea! I use empty cardboard boxes to raise up my food in my freezer - i would love some wire baskets too but haven't been able to track them down...maybe kijij? I also love your meat delivery plan, what a great service :)

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  2. Thanks Tanys, I thought they would be easy to find since freezers must break down eventually and the baskets would still work. Nothing on kijiji yet but I'll keep looking.
    Lindsay

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  3. Hi Jason and Lindsay

    Great Thinking! Your way to save Bacon, chicken and others under 1 chest freezer is awesome.I like your way to make slices in freezer...Chest Freezers

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  4. It looks like you could use those dividers to hold baskets above. I think if you had made them much higher, it could be difficult to pull things out of the cubes. Great idea. Have you had any problem with damage to the wood? I am wondering if the layers of plywood delaminated from the moisture of the freezer. Thanks for a great idea

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