Cold Storage in Upright Freezers

How To Pack The Freezer

In this video conservator Theresa Voelenger shows a full packed freezer.  Each shelf is fill of fully packaged boxes, and door bins are full of boxes as well.  All the boxes are places so that all the labels and humidity cards are easily visible.  She demonstrates the possible variations on packing depending on the size and shape of collections.  She also shows the use of the freezer map.

Presentation Transcript:

Packing The Freezer

Before you begin packing the freezer, you need to set the temperature. The recommended setting is between 10 and 32 degrees fahrenheit.

Be sure to allow the freezer to acclimate for at least 24 hours after setting the temperature.

So here is a freezer that has been fully packed. I just want to show you some things about the packing job here. The boxes are face forward in terms of labeling and the humidity indicator cards. This will allow you to easily read the cards when you're checking for inspection. You won't always be able to do this, depending on how you can arrange your freezer, but if you can, try to have as many boxes face forward as possible.

You'll also want to think about really maximizing the space inside. Think about how you place your boxes to really utilize as much cubic footage in the interior as possible. Also think about the distribution on each shelf.

Try to weight the shelf across the shelf to make sure the weight is distributed evenly. Some items, like aerial film cans, are particularly heavy, and if you have some of those, you may want to take out these bottom bins and put heavy things directly right on the bottom of the freezer.

Door bins can also be a plus or a minus. If you have small boxes that do fit in the bins, that's a great use of space. However, if your collection doesn't contain these types of boxes, sometimes these shelves can be removed, and what you can do is maximize your shelf space by filling up as much as you can on that shelf, extending boxes a little beyond the edge of the shelf, taking out this bin, and then you'll utilize some of this space. This really maximizes the interior of the space. Make sure when you're packaging not to cover the air vents that are in the back of the freezer.

Freezer Mapping

Lastly, once your packaging is complete, you'll need to make a map of the freezer. The freezer map will help you identify the location of items prior to opening the freezer. When creating the map, include box numbers and shelf or door bin numbers. Secure it to the exterior with magnets. It may be helpful to have separate pages for the interior compartment and the door bins. This tool will prevent you from having to search for items inside the freezer, and it will reduce the amount of time you need to have the freezer door open.

This image shows an example of a Packed Freezer This image shows example of how you should pack a freezer Continue to Cold Storage in Upright Freezers: Resources