If your freezer is anything like mine used to be (packed to the brim), stuff falls out the minute you open the door. With some organizing tips, you can avoid having to explain to the doc how a frozen turkey broke your foot.
Organizing in any area can be daunting, especially if freezer burn renders an item unrecognizable. But, with some research and practice of my own, I’ve figured out the best freezer organization tips for me and want to share, if you need help to get your freezer back in order. Good luck!
Why do I need freezer organization ideas?
Beyond the sheer aesthetic appeal of opening your freezer door and seeing everything in its place, there are other far more practical reasons to take the time to organize your freezer.
- It’s energy efficient and saves you money
- It saves you time when you can get what you need right away
- It keeps your food fresher longer, so less waste
Set the ideal freezer temperature.
Believe it or not, your freezer has an “ideal temperature” set by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), which is 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius).
You can periodically check your freezer’s temperature using appliance thermometers that you can buy cheap on Amazon.
Decipher what’s freezable and what’s not.
The first and most important part of organizing your freezer is the part most people leave out—figuring out what’s actually supposed to be frozen in the first place! If you freeze things that fare poorly in the freezer, you’re wasting precious freezer space now and cooking time on a poor-tasting dish later.
Determine your freezer’s warm and cold zones.
While every freezer may have its little quirks, generally speaking, the coldest part of your freezer will be near the back, and the warmest part will be near the front (and especially on the door).
Since freezers are for, well, freezing, you only want to store items that can survive a less-frozen experience nearer the front.
Gather your organization tools.
Your goal here is to use all the available space in your freezer! This means you’re paying to keep food cold and free from freezer burn (which occurs when free cold air circulates between your frozen packages).
What you need: Permanent marker (for labeling and dating packages), storage bags, organizers.
Storage options: The options you select will be based on your freezer shape and size and what you want to freeze. Here are some ideas:
- Ziploc Freezer Bags (the plastic is thicker on freezer bags)
- Stackable plastic or glass containers
- Foil to double wrap items like breads and meats
- Bins for small items so they don’t get lost (the kind you use to store magazines on bookshelves work great!).
How to organize a standup freezer.
- Nuts/snacks/dry goods/alcohol zone (on the door)
- Fruits/veggies zone (near the front)
- Baked goods (near the front)
- Pre-packaged or prepared-in-advance meals (in the middle)
- Meat/dairy zone (at the very back)
Place any ice cream or dairy items in the back of your shelves then place any remaining food in front of this zone as follows:
- On the top shelf arrange your foods by stacking pizzas and breads next to any chilis and soups.
- The middle shelf is ideal for frozen meals or homemade dishes next to fruits and veggies.
- Reserve the bottom section of your freezer for meats. This will keep them colder and prevent any leakage from getting all over your other foods.
PRO TIP: The same principles for a standup freezer hold true for chest freezers, except instead of organizing back to front, you’ll need to organize from bottom to top, starting with meat and finishing with nuts, snacks, dry goods, and alcohol at the top (where it should belong, right?).