How to Organize Your Freezer From Start to Finish
Follow these simple steps to tame the chaos in your freezer, ensuring it's organized and stocked with food that's safe to eat.
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A few hours
If it's been a while since you've organized your freezer, the task may feel daunting. But with this simple approach, you'll wonder why you put it off for as long as you did.
- Cleaning rags
- Microfiber Cloth
- Trash bags
- Soapy warm water
Project step-by-step (4)
Empty your freezer and scrutinize the contents
- Put on your gloves and begin pulling items out of your freezer.
- Pitch anything that's a solid block, has ice crystals or looks like it has defrosted and refrozen.
- Toss items that look or smell freezer burned or are discolored.
- Discard anything past a printed expiration date. Consult these food safety guidelines for anything you're unsure about.
- Set up an ice cooler and place keeper items inside it so they stay cold while you work.
Clean your freezer
- Remove freezer bins or shelves and wash them with hot, soapy water.
- Set them aside to dry.
- Wipe out crumbs inside the freezer using a microfiber cloth.
- Wash the inside walls of your freezer with a warm, soapy cleaning rag.
- Rinse and dry quickly.
- Dry your freezer bins and shelves and reinstall them.
Reevaluate organization and storage
- Before you return items to your freezer, consider any problems you discovered while emptying it.
- If items get lost (and go bad) in the back or bottom of your freezer, consider adding storage solutions. Stacking bins can make items easier to access in a deep freezer, while narrow storage bins can work well in a side-by-side freezer.
- As you reload your freezer, place like items together — meat with meat, veggies with veggies and so on.
- Consider storing items vertically instead of in stacks so it's easier to see what's inside. (See photo.)
Place new items in front and add labels
- When you restock your freezer, put new items at the back or bottom of the stack so older items are in sight and used first.
- If you tend to lose track of how old items are, invest in labels or keep a Sharpie marker nearby to mark dates directly on packaging. Get in the habit of labeling items before you put them into the freezer to keep things organized and avoid future waste.