If your freezer is a mess you might want to start organizing it with a clean slate. Take everything out, defrost the freezer, throw away anything old and freezer burnt and add stuff to your freezer inventory sheet as you put it back.
The freezer inventory sheet is an easy way to keep track of what's in your freezer and how much of it you have without guessing or digging around. Using an inventory sheet and putting stuff in the right place is all it takes to keep your freezer organized.
Consider repacking food into smaller containers. Anything in a half empty cardboard box is a great place to start. Cut off the reheating instructions and put them along with the food into a freezer bag and label the bag with the type of food and the date.
Try to package things flat and rectangular as much as you can . Being flat makes it easier to stack and being rectangular or square means there is less space lost between oddly shaped packages. Avoid round container if possible.
Organize Freezer Contents
It's easiest to find stuff if it's put away in the right spot and it's easiest to put it away if you know where it should go. In your freezer you should keep similar items together such as breads and baked goods, fruits and veggies, cooked meals or meal components and raw meats.
Raw meats should always go at the bottom of the freezer because if for some reason there is a power out or open door and they thaw they won't leak juices onto other foods below them and contaminate them making evening inedible. Try to group your meats so you keep things like ground beef with steak and chicken breasts with chicken legs also.
For the same reason you should keep cooked meals above the raw meats. They might leak juices and ruin other foods if they thaw. You can then group them however you see fit such as by main ingredient or amount of servings.
Above those keep your frozen fruits and veggies which are least likely to contaminate other foods.
Lastly breads and baked goods should go at the top of the freezer so they don't get smashed.
Tip for Organizing Chest Freezers
It's easy to organize an upright freezer because you just set aside one shelf for each category. A chest freezer, however, doesn't offer that luxury.
Instead you can get plastic crates or cardboard boxes to group your frozen foods together and make them easier to find. Plus you can take the whole crate out of the freezer and search that instead of digging around the bottom of the freezer.
Learn more about getting started with freezer cooking.
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