Organizing: Track Frozen Foods with a Chalkboard Freezer

chalkboard freezer

This is our freezer. What started out as a circa 1992 white freezer with rusted edges and a nifty (?) black and gray “racing stripe” down the left side has turned into one of my favorite things in our laundry room (that we created during our garage remodel). And it was as easy as painting the front with chalkboard paint and gluing molding to the edges.

Not only is it much nicer to look at (and with a French door into the laundry room, this is important), but it has become a time-saver for keeping track of our garden produce that I freeze for winter use. Actually, it’s become almost indispensable. I keep chalk and an eraser in a magnetic holder on the side of the freezer which makes it easy to update the totals whether I’m putting something in or taking something out.

chalkboard freezer top

In June, a new season begins with as the strawberries ripen, so I start a new section on the bottom of of the door that lists what was left from the previous season. So, in this example, “2009” moves to the bottom along with the names of what is left and how many and I will write “2010” up top and erase all the category numbers making it ready for the new season’s produce that I will be adding.

Can I just say I love, love, love this? I always struggled to keep track of the things I threw in the freezer, and especially using the things from the previous year that were buried under other things. And of course I should also do this with the meat and other frozen items I buy, but haven’t reached that pinnacle yet. One day…

chalkboard freezer bottom

It also serves as a nice art display for anyone interested in drawing. Our daughter keeps our door beautified.

chalkboard freezer molding

Interested in doing this or something similar? After I completed this project I read some advice for painting freezer or refrigerators that say you need to prep the surface first, but other than a light sanding, I just painted right over the top. Update: It looks the same after four+ years!

Here how to create a Chalkboard Freezer door:
  1. Sand the front of the freezer, just enough to dull the shine, with a medium-grit paper. Spend a little extra time on any rusty edges to smooth them out.
  2. Paint a coat of chalkboard paint on front of freezer and let dry according to directions on the can.
  3. Paint a second coat. I still looked a little scraggly, so I went ahead with a third coat after the second dried, but this is optional.
  4. Prime the chalkboard according to directions. This involves using the edge of a piece of chalk to cover the entire surface and wiping it off.
  5. Apply molding to the edges. Measure the edges (we used a 1″ picture molding) and cut using a miter saw or box to make the corners. Paint the molding (a couple of coats), let dry and adhere to the edges with Liquid Nails, holding in place with clamps. We did one or two edges at a time, letting them dry before doing another edge. The clamps were tricky to keep in place because they didn’t have much to hold onto, so that’s why we did just one at a time to minimize any bumping.

That’s it. For about $14 ($7 chalkboard paint, $7 picture molding + liquid nails we already had) we got a much better looking freezer and an awesome organizational tool!

-Jami

This is linked to Works for Me Wednesday.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    really cool idea! Good Job! I have c chest freezer in the garage, I might have to do this when it warms up out there.

  2.  says

    After taking a look at the 2010 preserving count on the left I was wondering about the size of your freezer, then stumbled on the link to the freezer organizer chalkboard and found my answer. Great idea! We’ve been wanting to add a freezer to our kitchen (or home) but right now don’t have enough space and we’re making do with the one fridge&freezer in the kitchen.

  3.  says

    I’m late in finding your great post here, but I am thrilled with this idea. I have two large freezers, and keeping track of them is definitely a challenge. What a great way to stay organized (or in my case, at least appear to stay organized!! haha) I can’t wait to try this.

  4.  Swissie3 says

    Hi – have just stumbled across this post and absolutely LOVE it. I must admit I am struggling trying to do it all at the moment. Divorced head of household, full time job, blah blah and having just come in from weeding my bl*****dy veggie plot YET again tonight I was wondering if it was worth it. But then I looked up at the mountains, the 3 mares with their foals and realized just how lucky I was and then came across this great idea. So I will probably get to freeze a few things and use them before they get snatched up as props for the next Ice Age movie. And I have to tell you I LOVE your recipes (love to cook myself). It’s so nice not to see “take one can of Betty Crocker” whatever as part of the recipe. I’m sure we all use short cuts sometimes but opening a packet of ready made something or other doesn’t appeal to me. Keep up the good work. And all the best from Anna in the Alps!!!

    •  says

      Thanks SO much for your kind words, Anna! Oh, my, you’re right – how lucky you are to live in such a beautiful place. :) I recently flew over the alps which made me determined to one day actually set foot on them – breathtaking from the sky, I’m sure awe-inspiring from the ground.

      And you know what? After not cooking with packaged foods for years, I can now taste a weird packaging taste in brownies, cakes, etc. that people have made! Others say they can’t, but it SO fake and odd that I have no problem passing it up. So, yeah, you’ll never find that here. :)

      I don’t know what kind of garden you have, but I hope you will take some time to look through some of my weeding/easy garden design posts – I don’t spend a lot of time weeding the vegetable garden – though the flower beds are a whole other matter, sigh. :)

  5.  Katie says

    This is a great idea! I use small whiteboards now because we rent, but I will keep this in mind. Also, they have self-adhesive chalkboard paper now (and whiteboard too!) which would probably help minimize the bumps. Or, you could make a chalkboard with a sheet of poster board if you want to remove it later.

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