The freezer can be a challenging area to organize and keep organized. It doesn’t seem to matter if your freezer area is a large pull-out drawer, side-by-side, or the large compartment above the refrigerator; there aren’t always enough compartments to organize the contents.
Organizing the freezer is a small project that won’t take too much time and will help you easily locate something for lunch or to thaw for dinner. If your freezer has too much food in it, you may want to consider as a first step eating what is in the freezer before you buy more food for the freezer. This will help trim down what you will need to organize.
Simple Steps to Help You Organize Your Freezer:
1. Clear a large work surface on your kitchen counter.
2. Remove the contents of the freezer and as food is placed on the counter, arrange these items in groups of food, such as:
- Frozen entrees
- Juice concentrate
- Boxed items
- Pre-made meals
- Dessert items such as ice cream, popsicles, etc.
3. Toss anything that you don’t recognize, is freezer burned, or has passed its expiration date.
4. Wipe down the inside of the freezer compartment, removing any shelves for cleaning.
5. With the contents on the counter, you are able to see the quantities of each food group. Looking at the quantity of each, you are able to determine how much space you need for each group of food so you can best determine how you want to use the freezer space.
6. Re-stock your freezer by the groups of food types you normally have on hand. This will help you determine what types of freezer storage containers, if any, are needed. Items that don’t stay stacked easily, such as bagged veggies or juice, are great candidates for some type of freezer container.
7. Shopping for freezer storage containers comes after you know where things will be placed and you have your measurements. That way you will purchase freezer containers that fit the specific places you need them.
- Use square or rectangle freezer storage containers. I prefer these to round as round containers waste space. When freezing leftovers or making meals in advance, use erasable food storage labels. Be sure to include the date you froze the item.
- Freezer Baskets. Freezer baskets help contain items that don’t stack easily – as long as your freezer has the space for them. I wouldn’t store frozen entrees in a basket since these items easily stack.
- Freezer Locker. I came across a new product I had never seen before as I was doing some research … a freezer locker. At home you might use it to keep your favorite flavor of ice cream safe or at work to keep your fellow employees from enjoying your lunch. I wonder if my parents would’ve ever wished they had one of these when my brothers and I were growing up?
- Magnetic Tape. While this tape may not help you organize the contents of your freezer, it can help you with the outside of your refrigerator if yours is stainless steel. Put a small pieces or a strip of this tape on your refrigerator so you can use magnets to display artwork or a shopping list.
I hope you find this small project to be one you can complete in less than an hour. You’ll benefit daily from a well organized freezer when you can quickly answer the question: “What’s for dinner?”
Laura Leist, CPO
Organizing with Laura