So, with it being spring and all (almost), and my Lenten goal to become more purposeful, I thought about organizing some of the systems in our house. But during some research online, I realized that maybe documenting some of what we do (and some thing I implement that we currently don't do) will help someone else out there in cyber space. Because while none of the home organization solutions I found were perfect for me, they at least gave me a starting point. And with a Frankenstein of those, plus a little creativity, I came up with some solutions that worked for us.
Our freezer has been organized like this for quite some time. The hubs is fabulous at organizing kitchen things and he came up with this system while we were still in Florida. But the label part, that's all me (I have a thing for bins and labels).
We have plastic bins of varying sizes (it's dependent upon your freezer size and shape, obvs) that we place like items in and then label (with chalk). When we take one out, we re-write the number. This way, nothing gets buried in the freezer and becomes a "What is that?" It also cuts down on the amount of rummaging we do for "I thought we had.." The key here is that once you bring food home or have leftovers you want to package, to do it in portions that are realistic for your family. We usually do half pounds and sometimes even quarter pound packages of ground meat because we're only two people. Steaks and other meat cuts are wrapped individually. A family of 6 would obviously portion differently. You can also use one large freezer bag with smaller portions just wrapped in plastic wrap to cut down on bags (and space in the containers).
I tuck ice pack for the hubs lunch bag in between the containers. And since we took out our ice maker, we have a few ice trays in the top left corner there.
We also portion everything, and shape it for the containers before we freeze it. Trying to fit already frozen items into bins can work, but it's less space efficient. To maximize freezer space, shaping fresh items allows you to "mold" things into the bins so that there is little wasted space.
Behind all these bins, we have our prepared meals (soups, pot pie fillings, chilis, etc.) in 2 c. Ziploc containers. The 2 cup size works well for a serving size of two portions - exactly what we need). They sell larger cup sizes that we use on occasion, but we mostly use the 2 c. size. The nice thing is, though, is that the 4 c. size fits in the location of two 2 cup containers, so you can use a mix of both if you need some larger portions and some smaller. To keep tabs on the back of the freezer, we keep a running list of what gets put back there so that we know without having to unearth what's in front of it. Take it out, cross it off.
On the door, we keep go-to items again in the Ziploc containers (for easy rearranging if necessary). Things like chicken stock and fruit for smoothies goes here, along with odd items like old bananas, popsicles, etc. that would clutter up the freezer bins or won't fit into them efficiently.
How do you keep your freezer organized? Anyone have tips for the fridge?