With back-to-school upon us and calendars filling up with fall activities (yes, already!), I love spending a little time cleaning out the fridge, freezer and pantry. And my phone is ringing off the hook with clients wanting help with that as well as homework stations! Getting those areas organized not only helps with breakfast and lunch-making prep, it also helps get that dinner menu plan back in order. So hard to think about “planning” after a carefree summer meal schedule, huh?
Many of us enjoy a weekly meal plan for the school year. I’ve done this before and it works so well to take the guesswork out of “what’s for dinner?!” each night…especially when you’re exhausted after a long day. Personally, I’m aiming for improvement in this area. And should be successful because I’ve scaled back our after-school obligations quite a bit.
In years past, I’ve had 3 kids in various after-school activities / sports. But with my busy business and homework ramping up as the kids get older, I noticed we were all tired and worn down at the end of a school day. I considered how our overall attitudes and health were during the last school year and decided we need a break. This fall is going to be more intense in other areas so I made an effort to say “no” when / where I can and am shifting focus to what matters / what must get done, which will give us a lot of after-school down time. It was hard to do and still struggle when I see fun sport clinic invites come through my inbox. But this fall with a few changes, that mom gut is saying slow down a bit.
I totally believe that spending a little time getting your spaces organized – especially something as high-traffic as your fridge, freezer and pantry – will save your sanity and time in the long run. I can’t stress enough how important it is to not overbook yourself, your kids or your family. Think about what’s important and how everyone felt last fall or over the last school year. No one can fault you for shifting more focus on the good things that make everyone feel better.
That said, let’s talk freezer organization!
My children are creatures of habit when it comes to meals. I do my best to bring in new ideas, but we always end up back with the typical. So I make sure to have those on hand in my garage fridge, which acts as an overflow and am sure many of you have the same. But even if your main / only fridge is in your kitchen, this inexpensive freezer drawer organization idea is something you don’t want to miss!
I love this fridge and wish it fit *inside* my house, but the fridge opening in my kitchen is a 1960’s size…so it’s out here in the garage for now. As you can imagine, since it’s outside, the kids and our neighborhood friends raided it all summer. It needed a serious cleaning before the school year began. This freezer always annoyed me because of the depth and inability to keep anything organized or easy to find without digging. I’ve been doing this project for clients, so don’t ask me why I finally took a moment to do this in my own.
BOTTOM DRAWER BEFORE
Before, you can see items were reachable but there was certainly room for improvement and a whole lot more space…
BOTTOM DRAWER AFTER
THE MAGIC PRODUCT
All I did was purchase a few inexpensive multi-purpose bins, remove the outer food packaging when possible, and put items away in categories; breakfast, veggies, meat, etc. These bins are great for lots of spaces around your home but especially useful in a deep freezer drawer…
They fit like a glove!…
Like I said, my kids are creatures of habit so I know exactly what to set my oven to for Applegate Chicken Nuggets or Smiley Fries. Removing the box isn’t an issue for me and I’m sure many of you mommies know the same little details about you or your kiddos foods. So why keep that annoying, space-wasting box?
TOP DRAWER BEFORE
Above the deep drawer is a smaller slide-out drawer…
No, the ice maker isn’t operating because I don’t have a water line out here. But again, mess of a space. But not anymore.
These work well to use the entire space AND perfectly contain small items like popsicles and burritos…
I’m in freezer organization heaven!
ONE FINAL EXPERT TIP
Be sure to empty your freezer completely, measure the entire space and know what you’re putting away before purchasing product. A good rule of thumb for me is to overbuy and then return what wasn’t used / didn’t fit. It’s always helpful to have everything on hand in case it does work.