Freezer Week

5 Easy-to-Steal Freezer Tips from Professional Organizers

updated Aug 5, 2021
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Most of us have good intentions about keeping our freezers tidy. But somehow, no matter what we do, frozen meals, bags of veggies, and leftovers always end up getting shoved randomly onto shelves or in drawers. And with lots of people preparing for a possible round two of stay-at-home orders this winters, our freezers have never been important. In order to take full advantage of our freezers (now or any time!), you need a good system. Luckily, John and Sherri Monte, owners of Elegant Simplicity, an interior design and professional home organizing firm in Seattle, have just that. Here are five of their best tips for creating and maintaining an organized freezer.

1. Use a cooler when it’s time to clean things out.

If this is the first time you’re giving your freezer an organizing treatment (or if it’s been a while), the Montes says it’s best to start with a blank slate. Either remove everything all at once, or work shelf by shelf. To avoid soggy, thawed frozen food in the process, the couple likes to store store their frozen items in coolers while they organize. 

Read more: How To Clean the Freezer

2. Create zones.

Based upon what you’ve taken out of your freezer — and what you’re actually going to put back in — zone the shelves or drawers into several categories. The Montes say to get as granular inside of these categories as you or your family need. Here are some zones the Montes commonly use: 

  • Premade meals
  • Soups
  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Veggies
  • Fruits
  • Desserts

3. Label and date everything.

Labeling every single thing you freeze makes finding your food easier, which prevents waste. “As a general rule, you want to date everything that you put into your freezer so the next time you clean it out, you can spot anything that’s too old quickly,” says John. Beyond the date, include the actual dish name on the container. “This way, you can easily create those zones for your most often used sections of your freezer,” John says. And so you don’t have to guess about mystery containers.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

4. Use dividers and bins.

The Montes like to recommend dividers because they let you section off space without losing square footage like you do sometimes with containers. (You can grab some freezer dividers on Amazon.) “If you prefer bins to containerize, consider buying just one type,” says John. “This way, everything will stack neatly on top of one another or side to side.”

Credit: Joe Lingeman

5. Freeze things flat in plastic baggies.

Regardless of what you’re freezing, the Montes swear by plastic baggies. They may not be the most environmentally-friendly, but they will allow you to lay things flat to freeze, which makes storing things a heck of a lot easier. “From soups to premade meals to even meats, the flatter you can get them to freeze, the easier it will be to divide them into sections or containerize them in bins,” John says.

Share your tips for a more organized freezer in the comments below!