How to Fit twice as much into your freezer.
Organizing week continues!




People are always asking me how I get so much done.  Part of it is because doing things is literally my job, but mainly it’s because I’m a doer.  I like to start, do and finish things.  That makes me a doer.  The thinkers among you are way smarter than me, way more insightful, and would probably do a far better job at all of the things I do … if you could ever stop thinking and actually start doing.  But you don’t.

Then there are the starters.  The people who like to start a job to see how it’s going to look or work and once they’ve done just enough to see that … they stop.  These are the people living in homes with one strip of wallpaper on the wall, one refinished floor board and an exercise bra that’s been exercised in exactly once.

But there’s one other small way I get things done.  By taking the time to organize shit.  When I redid my entire house on a whim my whole life got easier. I knew where things were, I knew when I was running out of toilet paper and when someone wanted to borrow a book I could shoot my arm out like a Jack-in-the Box and pull it back with that book in my hand.  This kind of organization takes time, a lot of time, to do, but in the end it saves you even more time.  And it honestly does. It’s not like when people say installing new windows will save you money in the long run.  It won’t.  The long run would have to be 250 years long for you to save the money those windows cost.  You will be warmer in the winter and have a better view of your neighbours fighting though, so it’s still kind of worth it.

When I redid my kitchen I also redid my mudroom, which I’ve never shown you.  What I did was remove the pantry from my old kitchen and dragged it into my mudroom.  My neighbour who helped me pull it out in one piece thought I was crazy.  Maybe I am. But the pantry idea isn’t proof of that.

I then trimmed the pantry in and built some shelves to the left of it and framed them in along with my upright freezer.  Add a door to cover up the freezer, paint everything the same colour and BOOM you have a good lookingish mudroom for barely any money.

Wait. That wasn’t the point of this post at all.  The point of this post was how to get twice as much stuff into your freezer.  O.K.  Let’s talk about that.




But before we do take a look to the right and see the one thing that really improved my mudroom. It’s a shoe closet from Ikea.    I’ve wanted it for years now but could never be bothered to actually go to Ikea, drag it off of their warehouse shelf and bring it home.  Just before Christmas I had enough time to do that.  I had enough time because I took the Christmas Pledge by the way.





So now that my mudroom was lookin’ so organized it was time to REALLY organize my freezer.  This is my freezer “before” shot.  I know.  It looks pretty organized already right?




But here’s the thing.  Take a look at the photo again.  LOOK at all the empty space.  Everywhere there’s emptiness is a spot that actual food could be stored.  I’d sometimes try to compensate for that by piling food up higher and higher in the containers.  It was always a crapshoot as to whether a falling filet or a bag of perogies would be the thing to break a toe when I opened the freezer.

When I was up to 9 mini-marshmallow sized casts on my toes I started to look for better containers for my freezer.  Ones that would take better advantage of the space and let me fill up the rest of my freezer.  No joke, it took months to find the right sized containers.  And these still aren’t exactly right.  For them to be MOST efficient they should have straight sides so there are no gaps in between them, but I gave up on finding straight containers that were also the right size in terms of width, depth and height.

Behold the Organized Freezer 2.0.




Putting all the food into better sized storage containers has done 2 things.  It’s used up almost all of the available space in the freezer, but even more importantly it allows me to see exactly what is in every inch of the freezer.  The containers are clear and they’re labelled.  Anyone who has ever owned a chest freezer knows what happens when you can’t see what’s in your freezer.  7 year old containers of weird gummy goo that used to be ice cream.  That’s what happens.

A disorganized freezer means there is ice cream in this world you are being deprived of eating.

Stop this craziness now.




Just by using these new containers (which I got on sale for $1.49 each) I’ve increased the amount I can fit into the freezer by almost double.

Add in this next tip and you’ll love your freezer so much friends will think you met on Tinder.  Because Tinder is all about love.





If you can freeze it flat in a baggie, DO IT.  Soups, stews, gravy, sauces, broth … anything that doesn’t have big bones sticking out of it can be frozen flat.  Just pour whatever it is into a baggie, lay it flat in the freezer (putting it on a plate or baking sheets helps keep it really flat) until it’s solid and then stack them.  Freezing everything flat will gain you all kinds of space in your freezer.

Plus it makes things easy to flip through and when it’s time to use it, flat baggies defrost quicker.

That’s really all there is to gaining a ton of space in the abyss you call your freezer.

1.  Store everything in clear containers that use all of the available space in the freezer.

2.  Label the containers so you can find everything easily.

3.  Freeze it flat.


Sound good?  Now stop thinking about it and just do it.  (Nike really has something there with that phrase).  And once you start doing it, finish it.  That’s all there is to getting stuff done.

Well that and a little bit of crazy.

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  1. Karol says:

    Pumpkin ravioli. Now that sounds delicious!

    • Karen says:

      Let me tell you. It IS, lol! I make it with Kabocha squash from the garden. It also has a bit of condensed milk, salt, pepper and sage. A few other things. ~ karen

      • Beverley says:

        Now I might have missed it if you ever did post one….but can you share your recipe Karen? I love pumpkin ravioli drizzled with browned butter!

  2. Diane says:

    I’m not coming to your house to eat…ever! Kinda grossed out by the kitty litter in the freezer! I think you are the only person on the planet with kitty litter in the freezer. Makes me wonder what you are actually shrink wrapping in the bags!?! Kinda scary Karen…just sayin!

    • Karen says:

      The litter box fits into the space perfect and is air tight. I use it to hold all of my seafood so I don’t have any odour transfer, lol. ~ karen!

      • julie says:

        If your seafood was nice and fresh, like we have here on the east coast it would barely have a smell! We are able to keep our fish intermingled with even bread or cake with no flavour transfer!!

  3. Su says:

    you mention Jack in the Box and now I want one…. since I already freeze stuff flat AND use containers I’m going out to find Jack…. :)

  4. Mary Gilkinson says:

    No matter how I try,my meat gets freezer burn. Do you experience this? If not, what is your method for freezing meat? Any tips on organizing bottom drawer freezers? somewhere in mine iI think I have frozen peas.

    • Karen says:

      Mary – I use a Foodsaver. I’ve been using it for years and I’ve never had something I sealed in it get freezer burn. Meat will keep in the freezer for over a year and not get freezer burn. I can’t recommend them enough! For the bottom drawer freezer use containers, but upright and skinny. So maybe 6 of them across the bottom freezer. Keep certain things in certain containers. They’ll still be full of stuff and you’ll have to dig through them a bit, but if you know the entire first container is filled with frozen vegetables you can just pull that one container out and go through it and nothing else in your freezer will move around and get jumbled up. ~ karen!

      • Pam'a says:

        Karen, I’ve been pondering a Foodsaver for ages, and in looking at the accessories I see 8″ and 11″ rolls, as well as bags. Do you have a recommendation? Do the rolls allow you to make various sizes? Enquiring minds and all. :)

      • Karen says:

        Hi Pam’a. Yes, if you buy a box of Foodsaver rolls they come with 2 different sizes. If you want to freeze 2 steaks for instance the slightly larger one will do 2 of them side by side. It’s just a matter of preference. I just use both sizes until they’re gone, lol. I have never used the premade bags but my choices are getting slimmer because the only way I’ve seen the boxed rolls for sale now is *with* the bags so I suppose I’ll be giving them a shot in the next month or so. I prefer to cut the rolls and make the bag the size I want. Foodsavers are a bit finicky in terms of the size of your bag. If you cut them too small then the Foodsaver won’t seal properly and you’ll get air. I really love it though. It’s a GREAT kitchen gadget. I’d get the smallest/cheapest one possible if I were you. Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better it just means taking up more room in your kitchen. ~ karen!

  5. Ryn says:

    Now I know how to organize my upright freezer when I finally get one. Thanks Karen!

  6. Tigersmom says:

    Thank you for already addressing the cat litter container question.

    Organization is a beautiful thing much easier accomplished when hoarding tendencies are not present.

  7. Louise says:

    I went on and .ca to find the shoe closet and I don’t see it. It looks great and now I want one! (Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!) Oh pretty please, do you have a link?

  8. Marna says:

    Wow that is awesome! I am a thinker, but I get a lot of things done once I figure out how I want to do it! I have a chest freezer, it is hard to find things in it. I use to have a really large one when I had all my kids at home. I had it well organized, had metal dividers and baskets. I recently bought some coated wire baskets to use in my chest freezer and refrigerator freezer, works well. I wish more plastic manufacturers would make straight sided containers, easier for use all over the house.

  9. Chancy says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who was wondering about the cat litter…although, really, how could that have been possible?

  10. Janelle says:

    Hi, Beverley – I too live in Duncan (Maple Bay)…small world.
    Karen, your freezer is a beautiful thing. You will do very well in an emergency…and for a long time thereafter.

  11. Liesl says:

    Hi Karen,
    Now, do you have some sort of hack for preventing all of the ice that builds up in a freezer? (I have precious photos of my husband with my hairdryer in the freezer to melt that ice build-up, without defrosting the entire thing!)
    Also, what is the best way to avoid freezer burn without owning a vacuum sealer?

  12. Bernard says:

    There are a couple more bennies from your reorganization by the way:
    1. Less “space” means less air to chill = less drag on the motor/compressor = less $$ to the utility company. Even if You leave the door open to peruse your available choices or are in and out of the freezer frequently, the air needing to be re-chilled is still less (the plastic containers will retain the latent cold) once the door is finally closed;
    2. Flat storage of foods = more surface area of chilled exposure = more efficient freezing and maintenance of cold temperatures of products themselves.

    Considering the use of vacuum sealing bags and the bonuses increase in terms of more product within each storage container.

    So…kudos K!


    • Karen says:

      Hi Bernard! Yup, all true. And everything in my freezer (if you take a close look) is in Foodsaver bags. I’ve been Foodsavering for 15 years or so. Things like soups and liquids are better let to a Ziplock bag. ~ karen!

  13. Beverley says:

    Hi Karen, the link you sent me to check out your freezer was for a recipe.

    • Karen says:

      LOL! Well I’m sure the recipe is good too but here’s the freezer link.®-Designer-8.5cu.ft.-Upright-Freezer-.product.100149457.html ~ karen!

      • Maria says:

        Karen, I have the Danby 4.2 cf upright. It has integrated door bins. The top has a textured working area where I will put my brand new Christmas gift: Vacuum sealer! It also is a manual defrost *sad face*, but it’s a perfect size for me. The one star on yours indicated that it had shut off on them and they’d lost all their frozen food, and that Costco claimed there were no recalls on it. Mine has worked flawlessly, but it will need a defrost soon.

        BTW, do you have a lot of room around the freezer? My instruction manual (not ONE of the 50 things to throw away – yet) said it needed 5 inches behind it to ‘breathe’. I thought of putting it in my closet as well, but when I read that…

      • Beverley says:

        Thanks Karen, I am totally inspired and now on the lookout for upright freezer sales! It’s time to replace my old chest style. I would LOVE your recipe for pumpkin ravioli to have so I can fill up an entire shelf…yum yum!

      • Karen says:

        O.K. I’ll do a post on it in the future if you like. ~ karen!

      • Beverley says:

        Thank you! Can’t wait

  14. Jamieson says:

    1. I too freeze things flat and store them standing up in my bottom freezer, to flip through like vinyl albums.
    2. I believe the spaces left between your bins are actually good for airflow and will keep everything colder.

    • Karen says:

      I’m afraid that’s untrue Jamieson. Not the vinyl album thing … that’s true I’m sure. But the more frozen stuff in your freezer the more efficient it is and the easier time it has to get everything else colder. ~ karen!

      • Jamieson says:

        Don’t be afraid! Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. Anyway, I’m sure you’re right. In my refrigerator instructions it suggests to leave space between items so the chilled air can circulate between items; my shelves don’t even go the back of the fridge, they stop about an inch away. But I guess a freezer works on a different chilling principle. (Chilling as in cold, not as in terrifying. Oops, I hope I didn’t scare you again there!)

  15. Laurel says:

    I am a thinker. I made the big mistake of marrying another (even bigger) thinker. I eventually do get the most important stuff done, once I have thoroughly researched everything. In my head, I have done way more than IRL :) I am in awe of your ability to get stuff done!

  16. Beverley says:

    Hi Karen,
    I’ve been reading and enjoying your great tips for just over a year now. I was born in T.O. but raised in a village called Bond Head, around 100 km north of Toronto, ever heard of it? Now I’m in warmer climes residing in Duncan, Vancouver Island. Anyway, just curious to know what size is your upright freezer. Cheers, Beverley

    • Karen says:

      Hi Beverley! Nope. I’ve never heard of Bond Head. Which is odd because with all the shows I’ve hosted I thought I’d been to almost every small town in Ontario! This is my upright freezer … For some reason someone has only given it one star. I have no idea why. The only ick thing about it is the fact that you have to defrost it. Bleh. ~ karen!

    • Susan says:

      Just had to drop in and tell you that I’m on the opposite coast and I’ve definitely heard of Bond Head! My parents avoided major highways like the plague and for years and years we travelled through Bond Head on our way to the Severn River cottage. And, at this moment, the East Coast is definitely not warmer climes.

      • Beverley says:

        Hi Susan, you must have been travelling north along Hwy. 27 and driven past the intersection of Hwys. 27 & 88. Ever remember seeing George’s Drive-In (hamburger joint) on the northwest side of the intersection?

      • Susan says:

        Yes! Definitely highway 27 because the 401 was too fast for the parents. For years, I thought it was an all day trip from Toronto to the Severn. And I vaguely remember George’s Drive In. Was it later changed to a flag store? Or am I thinking of another small town intersection on that route?

      • Beverley says:

        It must be another joint you remember seeing. I was just back last summer and drove past it…still George’s! I’m visiting my brother (he lives in a little hamlet called Egbert near Cookstown – bet no one has ever heard of that one!) again this summer, maybe I’ll go in for a greasy good old fashioned burger!

    • Cred says:

      Beverly, I know Bond Head. I grew up on the 7th line but technically in New Tecumseth. So, if you were to keep driving down the road from the booming metropolis of downtown Bond Head, our house was about 10 km directly west.

      • Beverley says:

        Then you must know George’s Drive-In!!! It was a special greasy treat now and then for my siblings and I to eat there. Times were tough kind of thing so my mum was always counting money. In retrospect, she made a really healthy choice! Anyway, one of the highlights for country bumpkins growing up in Bond Head. hehe!

  17. mia pratt says:

    Oh yes, Karen, organizing my kitchen is like a substitute for sex…I get that warm, glowy feeling every time I finish lining up cans, boxes and jars in perfect rows, row after row, higher and higher until I need a stepstool to reach that last box sitting at the peak of the very top shelf….Er…yeah, I like things organized, too.

    • Karen says:

      Hah! It’s a thing. :) ~ karen

      • Kat says:

        It is so nice to know there are others out there in the world who enjoy organizing like I do. Some days I organize what I have organized and always find ways to improve (thank God!). The day I can no longer find something to organize is the day I’m going to have to lie down and cry.

      • Patti H says:

        You can come to my house and organize your little heart out.

        Seriously, I NEED help!!


      • Bols says:

        And when you are done with Patti’s, come right over to mine!

  18. Melanie says:

    Okay, I said NOTHING about the lint roller collection, but…unscented scoopable clumping cat litter? Never mind. I don’t need to know.

    The freezer looks great. Also, I now have to check Ikea to see if they have a picture of the shoe closet opened up. In case it’s what I need to store my ribbon collection.

    You have so much food! Just as well: I heard that Idris has an appetite.

    • Karen says:

      O.K. I won’t tell you about the litter. But if you reallyyyy want to know you can check my answer to Fiona. The shoe case from Ikea would be great for ribbon. The “drawers” tip out. You could put a dowel from one end to the other in it and put your ribbons on it so you can pull and snip without having to even remove the ribbon from the drawer. ~ karen! p.s. I really, really like food.

      • Sue says:

        (The ikea grundtal towel rods/kitchen shelf hanging rods work awesome for ribbon spools, particularly if they’re on the wooden type ones. )

        I don’t know the etiquette on this, iplease edit if this is inappropriate, but there’s another blog I follow (that’s mostly local gardening and cooking) that’s created downloadable freezer inventory printouts (and a bunch of other lists, too) Here’s the page

  19. Valerie says:


    For sale: hundreds of chest freezers across the world.
    I really want a freezer with a door like yours but they were very expensive at the time I purchased this freezer I have. I realize now that I should have just bitten the bullet and obtained one in spite of the price. Who knows what is at the bottom of my chest freezer? I have pledged to take it all out this weekend and find out. I will keep you posted as to what I discover. I suspect it is either a plastic bag of nail polishes, some type of potato cake things or perogies.

    • Karen says:

      It’s freezer burned perogies. Trust me on this. ~ karen!

    • Maria says:

      Valerie, you can use the same storage system (clear containers); maybe with locking lids so you can easily lift out the top row of ice cream to get to the 2nd row of beef, chicken, dough, etc, the easily put everything back. Tape a ziplock bag on the top so you can easily insert labels as the contents change. Been there and done that, a looooong time ago :)

  20. Cynthia says:

    You just put that in there to mess with our heads, Karen. Did so!

  21. Cynthia says:

    What’s in the clumping cat litter container?

    Those food containers look just like the shoe box containers I found at Bunnings Hardware last week.

    I MUST know the rules for storing cooked stuff. Do you keep pre-cooked meals together in their own container with nothing like dough etc. allowed in with them?

    (I am really showing my analness, but please placate me.)

    If you want even more perfect flatness when putting cooked stuff in baggies. Fill the baggie while holding it up, partially seal, squeeze it a bit to push out the air, lay down flat and squish down with a square plate… before putting in freezer. No lumpiness at all.

    I want to print out labels on my computer now for you, so your freezer is so perfect to look at I could just pee.

    I can remember when I started reading your blog I was insanely envious of your post on organising your upright freezer. I did not have one then. Now I do. A BEKO, my very favourite appliance brand.

    • Karen says:

      I thought of nice, neat printed labels Cynthia, but the stuff in them will be changing too frequently. Especially, obviously the precooked meals. Speaking of which, yes, the precooked meals get containers of their own so I can quickly scan and see what I have if I need some food. Doughs all go together so I can just grab it when I want to make pizza or pie or pasta (all 3 of those doughs are in there). Best thing EVER. ~ karen!

      • amyfaith says:

        I was also thinking about the lables and how they need to change periodically; pulling off the lables makes yucky gummy residue, and putting new lables over the old ones eventually ends up a peeling mess. So it occurred to me that perhaps a dry erase marker (directly on the plastic) would do the trick. Hmmm, I’ll have to give it a try.

      • amyfaith says:

        New thought! The one problem that I had with dry erase markers was that they might not “pop” enough with the darker, varied background of the bin contents, BUT, you could simply put blank lables on the INSIDE of the bin, then the marker would show up just as clearly as if it was written on the lable itself.

  22. Barbara says:

    Thanks for this post! Very helpful and I now know how I’ll be spending next weekend . . . Getting my freezer organized. Awesome job! I do have to ask out of curiosity – what is the cat litter container for? I am sure I won’t be the first to ask this question. :-) Love your website and tips! Thanks again!

  23. Laura says:

    Ok, I can’t use this post ’cause I’m sans deep freezer even though I’m dying for one… BUT… Why the kitty litter in the freezer?? Does it make it do a magic trick?

    • Karen says:

      Hey laura! You can still use the method with a regular freezer. It’ll make WAY more use of any freezer. Oh! And see my reply to Fiona for why the kitty litter, lol. ~ karen!

  24. Couldn’t help but notice the massive bucket of clumping cat litter you keep in the bottom of your freezer… Are there uses for this stuff that go beyond the usual? Or is your cat part-snow leopard?

    • Karen says:

      Hah! I was wondering who the first to mention that was going to be. You win. :) The kitty litter bucket just happens to fit the space perfectly. I keep my seafood in there. Salmon, lobster, crab, sole … anything that stinks. It’s all sealed, and then put in the kitty litter bucket. That way there’s no chance of any smells transferring to other foods. ~ karen!

  25. Barbie says:

    I love your mudroom and that ikea shoe thingy….want one now!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Barbie! I wish I had bothered to take a before shot of the mudroom. It was a wreck. A WRECK! I hated looking at the dumb freezer. Framing it in and putting a door on it was the best thing ever. ~ karen

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