I recently realized something about myself.
We all know that life with two young kids can be a little chaotic. I already have a lot of “noise” in my head so add to that the sounds of crazy kids playing (or arguing) and it can feel downright crazy.
All of the crazy along with certain areas of my house being totally unorganized has me craving less chaos and more systems that will make everyday tasks like cooking and meal planning easier. And easier and less chaotic around here means a happier me.
I’ve come to the realization that I can’t necessarily control the noise my kids make (or the fact that there are a million hot wheels strewn about the living room floor 24/7) but if I create systems in my home that take away some of the stress in other areas, I might just find my sanity!
And after a trip to Costco where I bought 2 items we already had and spending more time than necessary digging in my freezer to find what I needed to make dinner (cursing under my breath) I decided that it was time to get the freezer organized.
And not organize the freezer like I had done before, which clearly didn’t work. I mean really create a system that will keep the freezer organized, make it easy to know what is in it, and easy to find what I need (quickly and without a potty mouth.)
Before we get into the 3 easy steps I took to organize my freezer once and for all, I gotta get real here and show you what a mess it was to begin with!
That container of frozen soup has probably fallen on my big toe a half a dozen times (ouch). Who knew that with one trip to the store and about 30 minutes of time I could get this crazy spot under control? Why didn’t I do this sooner?
Freezer Organization in 3 Easy Steps
Step 1: Get some containers
I grabbed these different containers at the dollar store. I literally just grabbed a few of each kind, not knowing what I would end up using and planning to return the rest. I will say that I found the square buckets and the rectangle baskets the more useful (the 2 on the left) but the others worked fine too.
Step 2: Take everything out and categorize it as you go.
As I removed everything I made categories. My categories were bread, meat and seafood, fruit and veggies, appetizers, easy meals, breakfast items, and desserts.
Step 3: Place like items into containers and put them back in the freezer.
I used to just stack everything in their categories but what ended up happening is that I would grab something and then everything around it in the freezer would fall, which ended up creating the big mess of a freezer that you saw. No bueno.
The containers act like drawers so I can easily pull out the container, grab what I need, and put it back without creating an avalanche. So good!
Check it out! A sure sign of getting old is that this freezer organization makes me really happy.
And I didn’t stop there… I headed to the inside freezer next!
We keep more of our everyday items in our inside freezer (which is a drawer under our fridge) but even getting the cold packs for my kid’s lunch boxes in the morning was a hassle.
I followed the same 3 steps and used a few more bins to make everything fit nicely and now when we grab something out things stay put! Not to mention I can actually see what I have!
Smoothie? No problem!
All of this systematizing got me thinking about how I plan meals each week and create a grocery list and how I could make it easier on myself.
My plan is to create a binder over the next couple of weeks so that I have everything related to meals all organized and in one spot.
I started with this easy freezer inventory printable so I can see at a glance what we have in the outdoor freezer. (You can grab it at the end of this post.)
I filled in what we have in the freezer…
And slipped the sheet into a plastic sleeve. This way I can write on it with a dry erase marker and when I use something, easily update the amount. That way when I’m planning meals or making a grocery list I know what we have. And I won’t end up buying things we don’t yet need!
How is that for efficiency?