Cold hard inspiration

While I love reading decorating and organizing magazines and blogs, and get a ton of inspiration from them, it’s often difficult to implement those ideas due to various constraints (time, space and money the most obvious). We rent a small-ish apartment, so we can’t knock down walls or even repaint. We can’t hang much from our very old plaster walls without them crumbling. And pretty much anything decorative placed on a flat surface will be promptly knocked down (and likely broken) by one of our two cats.

So I have to be realistic. I can drool over all the great stuff I see on Pinterest*, but in reality I can’t do much with a good deal of what I see. So when I see something that I can adapt to our space, I jump on it!

I don’t like our kitchen. It’s tiny, and poorly laid out (I’m pretty sure it used to be a large closet!) and the appliances are “economy models.” The refrigerator/freezer leaves much to be desired – the freezer in particular. It doesn’t have a light, or a shelf. It’s just a big, cold box that we tended to shove stuff into hoping not to cause a frozen vegetable avalanche.We had mostly empty containers of ice cream hidden by bags of frozen vegetables and freezer burned chicken.

When I saw this great idea for freezer organizing in the BHG Secrets of Getting Organized 2012 I knew it was something I could adapt with great results! (view on Better Homes and Gardens website)

I wish I’d taken some before photos of our freezer, but I likely would have injured myself in the process. I cleared everything out of the freezer, washed it down and tossed anything no longer good and/or edible. I then separated our frozen items into categories, and loaded them into labeled bins and into the freezer they went!

We ended up only having three main categories: vegetables, fruits, and pasta/bread items. We don’t eat much meat (hence the freezer burned chicken), so when we do want it, we buy it as we need it.

The freezer that was my inspiration (above) is a full size freezer, so there’s a lot more room, and a bunch of other great ideas if room permits.

I used vinyl alphabet stickers I had on hand to label the baskets so we’d know what was in them. I found these small, stackable plastic bins at Target (similar), and knew they’d be perfect for this project, so I had them at home before unloading the freezer. We already had the ice cube trays and ice bucket, and everything fit perfectly – pretty good for not measuring any of it beforehand!

If you’re not sure what size and how many bins you’ll need, you’ll probably want to clean out and sort into categories before going shopping (or re-purposing items you already have!). Just be sure to put everything back in or you’ll come home to a mess!

Have you cleaned and/or organized your freezer or refrigerator recently? Do you use bins to organize your freezer? Any other great ideas?

*It drives me crazy that they don’t yet have an android app, it’s probably a good thing because if they did I’d be more obsessed than I already am.


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