Your freezer is like a little city and you are a real-estate agent. The first thing you need to understand is property value. Don’t worry there is no licensing exam required.
In real-estate there are many things that affect property values, but in your freezer there is just one. Temperature! In the same way that mild climates and good weather contribute to the high property values in coastal cities, maintaining the desired temperature is the ONLY determining factor in Freezerville. In real-estate you have probably heard that the three most important things are location, location, location. The same holds true in Freezerville.
You can break it down into three neighborhoods: the back of the freezer the palatial estates and gated communities; the front of the freezer nice neighborhoods with clean parks and normal’ sized houses; and the freezer door the rough part of town where you hope your car doesn’t break down.
The back of your freezer, or the palatial estates, keeps the most consistent temperature. It is not as affected by the door being opened throughout the day. This is where you want to have your “rich” foods raw meat, ice-cream, baby food, etc. anything that would go bad if it were to even partially melt. If you have a shelf in your freezer then you double the space in your high-rent district, as the back of both the bottom and top would be roughly as cold.
The front of your freezer, or the nice neighborhoods, stays pretty cool when the door is opened, but is directly affected by the rush of warm air when you open the door. This is a good place to keep fully cooked meats or snacks. Things like frozen taquitos, quiche, pizza rolls products that were fully cooked and purchase frozen.
The freezer door is the bad side of the tracks, or in this case the wrong side of the warm air. Every time you open the freezer door the temperature of these items immediately begins to rise. The real problem is if the door remains open for a longer period of time, like when you are putting away groceries or staring blankly at the frozen bags trying to decide what to have for dinner. In that case the freezer will usually kick up its production of cold air, but since these items are hanging out in the warm air of the kitchen, they are usually too far away to benefit from the cool breeze blowing through the better neighborhoods.
These are the mean streets of Freezerville where only the hearty stock can make it: frozen veggies, flour, ice packs, etc. Even though the door seems like a place you wouldn’t want Mr. and Mrs. Fudgebar to raise their ice cubes, remember that even the undesirable neighborhoods in Freezerville are prime real-estate. Don’t let any of it go unused.
Just like people in a community contribute to the quality of the neighborhood, items in your freezer actually contribute to the cold. Once an item is frozen its cold temperature helps to maintain the overall temperature in the freezer. Leaving a lot of open space requires your freezer to work harder to create more cold air to circulate. When you don’t have enough food to fill your freezer simply stock extra icepacks or plastic containers partially filled with water. That way, when you need the extra space for food, you can just store the icepacks/containers elsewhere until the freezer is low again.
Finally, remember that you don’t want to oversell your space. When I say full I don’t mean busting at the seams. You want to have space for the cold air to circulate through the freezer or it will also be inefficient. Make sure you can see to the back of your freezer, as this is where the cold air blows into the freezer, and you want it to make it all the way out to the door once it is closed.