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Have you ever pulled out something from your freezer and wondered how old it was? Organizing your freezer can often be a dreaded task, resulting in a waste of food and money. Most of us dread exploring the depths of the freezer and lack the time to make it look neat and Pinterest worthy. Honestly, rearranging your freezer isn’t such a bad thing. It just requires a bit of smart work and organization skills. With a few tips and tricks up your sleeve, you’ll have it organized in no time!
1. Storage Bins
Honestly, these storage bins are a lifesaver. They are multipurpose, so they can go in the pantry or freezer. They can easily store all those slippery and unstackable frozen veggie packets that keep sliding out of the freezer and falling on your feet.
You can ideally store yogurt, cheese, meat or canned food in these bins without worrying about how much space you have. The bins themselves are sturdy, cheap, and space conservative. You’ll finally have space for a big bucket of that Rocky road ice cream!
2. Label your food
Sound a little prissy and uptight? Perhaps. But definitely a lifesaver! Rather than opening up your freezer and wondering what foreign item you’ll be eating for the day, use labels. These labels let you know exactly what’s in that container in your fridge and if it’s a recipe, exactly what ingredients went into making it.
3. Milk Carton Storage
Don’t throw away your old milk cartons! Clean them out properly, without using an acid or vinegar. Just use a bit of dish soap, and rinse it a couple of times, until it stops smelling like milk.
Put your needed veggies on a tray, spreading them out and freeze them. Once they are frozen, easily pour them into the container! This makes storage, and dinner plans much easier!
Although this does sound old school, keeping track of all your items is quite useful. Either just view the contents of your freezer by eye, or make a list, and stick it in the fridge! This saves money and time before the dinner rush at home so that you don’t end up with 3 bags of frozen peas, or an expired pack of meat.
5. Reusable Sandwich Bags
Packing a sandwich the next day or even next week? Is it becoming difficult to avoid pressing the snooze button to procrastinate packing lunch for the kids?
Use these reusable sandwich bags, that are perfect for storing not only sandwiches but fruit and other snacks and cold cuts that you would like to keep fresh. And they’re reusable, and easily sealable so the greasiness of the food doesn’t remain in the bag, like with Ziploc baggies.
6. Leak Proof Containers
Going on a 10-day vacation and don’t know how to leave food for your kids? Not to worry. Pack all those delicious lasagnas and casseroles in these leak-proof containers.
Don’t worry about liquids spilling out of containers or an accidental freezer explosion. These containers are cheap, durable, and perfect for potlucks or family dinners. Show off that wonderful meatloaf!
7. Vacuum Sealer for Food
Although it is a bit pricey, it’s definitely worth it. This vacuum sealer sucks out all the air from Ziplocs and other bags so that you can actually see the food in your freezer. There’s a lot of difference between eating food from bags that have been vacuum-sealed vs normal baggies. The taste is a lot fresher and the coloring of the food is better from a vacuum-sealed bag.
8. Ditch the Extra Storage
When you stock up your freezer, it seems like a great idea at the time to add more boxes to separate the contents. But this takes up a lot of space. Cut down on the number of boxes you use. This will ensure that your freezer stays neat and clean while keeping the existing boxes also secure. Use the boxes you already have, with trays in between, to save space.
9. Freeze by Serving Size
Rather than stocking up on literally everything and stuffing it in the freezer (Refer to “mystery meat”), freeze the food according to serving size. Items like hamburger meat, tomato sauce, and frozen vegetables can take up more space while the other food items can take a backseat.
When you need that item, take it out of the baggie and zip it back up again taking care that the baggie doesn’t contain extra air.
10. Freezer Bags
Have you stored spinach in the freezer and pulled it out and found that it looked like a green icicle? Avoid that debacle by using freezer bags to store spinach, veggies, and other meat like sausage and ham. These bags are leakage proof, and multipurpose and will definitely not turn your food into an icicle. It will keep it fresh and tasty.
11. In-built Cubbies
Freezers are a pain to organize especially since there’s food falling all over each other. The food is virtually unstackable and a general pain to clean and reorder. Use wooden planks to create in-built cubbies so that you can easily stack vegetables, and organize your items with ease and not dread!
12. Group Foods
No matter how organized your freezer is, it can take a long time to get anything out of the freezer. And…..cue the grumbling stomach from the lack of a frozen snack. If you group foods by category, like meats, sauces or fruits, retrieving food from the is a heck of a lot easier.
13. Bottom Shelf Organization
Anything that could possibly leak or drip, or give off the slightest amount of moisture should be stored in the bottom shelf. For obvious reasons, storing such items above others will make the other items below wet and a disgusting pile of mush. Food like meat, poultry, and yogurt come under the category of “wet foods.”
14. Small Items
What if you want to store one bagel or a stick of butter? Obviously, you don’t need a whole section of the freezer to store it like you would need to with meat, poultry or sauce. Simply stick these items in the freezer door so that they don’t fall out or get lost under all those other foods.
15. Don’t guess!
One of the most common mistakes is putting everything that you think needs to be frozen. So, don’t guess! Google it! Make sure you actually need to freeze it before you put it in the freezer. Freezing something unnecessarily could ruin something perfectly edible! In other words, never freeze cake unless you want to have impromptu freezer decoration.
16. Binder Clips
One of the many ways that frozen fruits and vegetables can be stored is using binder clips. Confused? So was I. It’s actually quite simple! Those slippery fruit and veggie packets are quite difficult to handle.
Attach the packets to binder clips and store them in the freezer door. If possible, hang them near the front of the freezer or behind, according to your convenience.
If you have a small freezer like me, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to store that bucket of ice cream right about now. Unfortunately, the only possible thing to do is to stack the items.
Yes, that’s right! Stacking them efficiently is what matters so that you don’t have to play Jenga every time you open the freezer door. Check out The Kitchn for effective stacking techniques in a tiny freezer.
18. The Ice Tray Situation
In our already tiny freezers, there’s an extra part that takes up more space which is the ice packs. I mean, the ice takes up more space than the ice cream! The ice trays can be taken out of their section. This space can be used for smaller items like sticks of butter or small jars of sauce.
19. Avoid Plastic Containers
Since plastic containers are convenient to use, we often end up overusing them. In fact, over 50% of my fridge, personally, is full of food in plastic containers! Unfortunately, the moment you start putting these containers in the freezer, they consume too much space. Avoid using such containers, and use the stacking method instead. Group the stack’s base on the food category.
20. Being Flexible
Pinterest always has great ideas that seem pretty……but not quite function. With a few DIY techniques, you can definitely function with the fridge you already have. Use the space you have by organizing food by category, get rid of extra boxes, and always check your inventory BEFORE you go shopping.
21. Ziploc Bags
Ziploc bags are really easy to use and perfectly portable. But, after too many days in the freezer, it starts looking like the jelly monster from Aliens vs. Monsters. This Ziploc bag organizer comes pre-built and is resealable and reusable. These bags are durable and won’t crowd your freezer.
Combine and edit these fridge organization ideas with one another to get the best possible outcomes. Also, remember that just organizing and leaving it for once won’t yield long term results. Maintenance is the key!