Even though I claim to be an organizing whiz, one space I still struggle with is the freezer. So in honor of National Frozen Food Day (because yes, apparently there’s a day honoring just about everything), I’ve decided to tackle my icy nemesis head on. If you want to organize your freezer, I’ve got six super sweet solutions to keeping your freezer organized, easy to use, and even energy efficient.
1. Get Rid of Anything That’s So Old it Might Wink at You. Before you can even think about organizing, trash any food that’s passed its expiration date. Not sure if that barbecued chicken at the back is from last week or last year? Get rid of it.
2. Create a Method to the Madness. The key to keeping things organized is to set up food zones and stick to them. That means just like in the fridge, choose a spot to stack frozen veggies, meats, desserts and even a special place for the ice trays (if you have them). Of course, different freezer types require different strategies.
- Side-by-Side Freezer: The beauty of this baby is that it usually comes with plenty of shelving. Place frozen desserts and liquor on the top shelf (so they’re out of younger kid’s reach), meat and leftovers in the middle where they’re easily accessible and bags of frozen veggies in the drawer below. Door shelves are great for boxed items and baby food.
- Bottom-Freezer: Typically bottom freezers come with one main shelf, a single pull-out drawer, and one or two shelves inside the door. Split the main shelf into three sections — main course foods, desserts, and ice trays. Stick frozen vegetables and any other items that come in bags in the drawers. Secure each bag with a freezer clip so you don’t end up with a mess. Use the door shelves for boxed items and breads.
- Top-Freezer: This is typically the hardest freezer to organize, because it’s one big frozen cavern. Place a plastic coated cabinet shelf in the fridge to help you divide up the space.
3. Love Your Labels. It’s so easy to forget when you bought those frozen peas or stored that leftover lasagna. Mark each item with a date so you know when it’s time to toss.
4. Use Smart Storage. Tossing in plastic bags of food can create uneven piles of food that can avalanche on unsuspecting ice-cream seekers. A better bet is to use airtight containers: they are easy to stack less likely to let frost form on your food.
5. Imitate Your Grocer. Grocery stores rotate soon-to-be-expired stock to the front and places newer products at the back. Do the same with your freezer a few times a month — you’ll be more likely to eat those leftovers before they go bad.
6. Keep it Energy Efficient. Yes, even your freezer can be earth conscious. Just make sure the door seal is air tight (so the cold won’t escape) and defrost once in awhile (to keep the ice storm at bay).
Have a freezer tip you’d love to share? Let us know in the space below.