Simple tips and tricks to Organize Your Freezer, and keep it organized!
Over the last few weeks I have been busy organizing my kitchen. Everything from the pantry, to the drawers, to the cabinets and the fridge and freezer. With 5 people in my household, and 4 of them active in the kitchen, things can get pretty messy and disorganized very fast. And this drives me bonkers. Especially when I don’t know what I’ve got in my pantry and freezer, and what things I’m missing…there’s nothing that annoys me more than when I’m about to bake or cook something, and someone has used up an ingredient. So I decided it was time to get organized. It’s a big job, but when it’s done it is well worth it. To make things more manageable for myself I tackle one thing at a time, one day a time.
One day last week I decided to clean out and organize my fridge freezer. We have 2 freezers in our home, a deep freeze for long term storage, and the fridge freezer that is used for more day-to-day things. This day-to-day freezer really needed some help…it was a disaster…spilled peas, coffee, iced up mystery containers…it was time to clean it out and start fresh.
Here are some tips to help you get your freezer cleaned and organized, and stay that way!
Tip #1: First things first, clean your freezer!
Before you get your freezer organized, it’s important to first get it cleaned out. Make sure to work fast, so your food items don’t melt. Here are some things to try:
- Take everything out of your freezer.
- Throw out old items…things you won’t use, food covered in ice and mystery foods!
- Get rid of packaging. If you can, get rid of boxes and store things in bags.
- If you have doubles of items, put them together to save space.
- Then use warm water and soap to give your freezer a good cleaning.
Tip #2: Keep an inventory
While you’ve got everything out of your freezer, take an inventory of what you have. Then keep your inventory list updated each time you take something out or add something to your freezer. This is a really great bundle of free printables (from the blog Dear Crissy), including a freezer inventory checklist.
Tip #3: Organize with Bins
I like to use bins to keep things organized in my freezer. Bins give a designated space for food items which makes organization easy for everyone when they are looking for something, or are putting food away. In my freezer I use large bins for items I have a lot of, like fruits and vegetables, and smaller bins for things like ice packs and juice.
Here are my bins:
- 1 bin for ice packs
- 1 bin for raw meat
- 1 bin for cooked, leftover meat
- 1 bin for bread products
- 1 bin for frozen juices
- 1 bin for frozen fruits
- 1 bin for frozen vegetables
Tip #4: Organize your freezer into zones.
Put most used items in the front zone, and less used items in the back zone. I keep the most used items in the front of the freezer for easy access, things like bread, fruit for smoothies, and ice packs for kids lunches. Items I don’t use regularly go to the zone in the back. This just makes things really easy to find. Another tip to keep in mind here is, if you’ve got a deep freeze, use that freezer for items that you don’t use very often, or for large bulky items like roasts, turkeys and big boxes of food.
Tip #5: Label Items
Use a labeller or dry erase marker to label items in your freezer. You think you will remember the soup you added to your freezer, but in a couple of months, it becomes mystery soup! Just write what food item it is right on the bag. And don’t forget to include the amount!
Tip #6: Freeze things flat when possible.
If you are using ziplock bags to freeze food, lay the bags flat out on a cookie sheet first to freeze, that way you can stack them in your freezer when they’re solid (see the photo of the chicken broth above…this is how I freeze my soups, stocks, chili and stew). You can store many more flat ziplock bags in your freezer than bulky containers.
Tip #7: Freeze things in useable portions.
Instead of adding a half container of leftover broth to your freezer, why not freeze it in portions? Portioned items like broth, lemon juice, and tomato paste are really easy to access for cooking. For example, I freeze both lemon juice and tomato paste by the tablespoon in ice cube trays, then transfer them over to ziplock bag once they’re frozen. That way it’s really easy to access these small portions when I need them. I also freeze broths by the cup.
A place for everything, everything in its place
I know at first it can seem like a lot to do to get your freezer organized, but if you just take the time, you will be so happy with the end result. I find that once things are organized, and there is a space for everything, it’s much easier to keep it organized moving forward. It’s just too easy to dump items in the freezer if things are already a mess, but if there’s a clear spot for something, it’s easier to keep it tidy.
I hope you found these freezer organization tips helpful! Do you have any tips to add? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
More Tips to Stay Organized in the Kitchen:
- Kitchen Drawer Organization
- Kitchen Organization
- Building a Baking Pantry
- Building a Dinner Pantry
- Organizing the Fridge