Cleaning up my freezer mess – Tuesday 14th June

After the mess of yesterday there was only one thing I could do with my day today – I cleaned out my -80 freezer.

I arrived this morning at 8:30am, and then 20mins later I had to head back out to get cake for the lab meeting. I went to a bakery on Queens Road (~10mins walk from the University) hoping to get something a bit different, but they didn’t really have anything I fancied. I went to Sainsburys for back up cake and then walked over to London Road to see if the bakery there had anything better to offer. I ended up with a mix of jam and lemon tarts which went down well. After all this it was 9:35am before I was back in the lab, which didn’t leave me much time before the lab meeting at 10am. I loaded my lab meeting onto my memory stick, grabbed a drink and headed to the meeting room.

I was second speaker, which means a short talk (10mins + time for Q’s), as the first speaker tends to over run I made sure my slides were brief. I stuck to my 10mins and just gave a little update on the work I presented last time (March).

After the meeting I sat working up the courage to tackle the freezer and by 11:30am I had this on my bench….

IMG_5422 (1)

I have 7 drawers in the -80, 3 years of accumulated work. This was not an easy job. I printed out 9×9 tables so I could record what went in each box and I removed A LOT of duplicated stuff (mostly strain stocks that I don’t use as much anymore). I organised everything so it was grouped in a much more sensible way. My completed experiments that need to be stored but are used infrequently are together (and occupy 3 drawers!), my working stocks are grouped together, my single colony isolates are together, you get the idea. I ended up with 3 fewer boxes in total and the whole job took me 3.5hours. I worked through lunch without realising it, I was a woman on a mission. At 3:15pm, when everything was safely back in the -80, I stopped to eat.

From 3:45-6:15pm I made maps, each of those freezer boxes is now recorded in searchable detail in one big document, for anyone who might need to look.

I didn’t do any of the things I’d originally planned to do today but this was something that needed to happen. It took a day, and I’m sure I’ll spend a few weeks confused about where things are, but overall I think this was time well spent. Until tomorrow everyone, thanks for reading.

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