Just shut the lower door and turn the fridge off. The lower compartment will keep the items cold for hours. Then all you have to do is put a pan of hot water in the freezer compartment to defrost. It will take all of 1 hour to completely defrost the freezer. You can wrap your frozen items in a blanket or put them in a cooler for the 1 hr and they will stay frozen easily. Better yet, wait until you are almost out of frozen food and then defrost. If you have a side-by-side it is the same principal. If you really want to make sure the items in the cooler compartment stay cold, put a small block or two of blue ice in the crisper or door shelf.