Even the most organized home cook tends to have a messy freezer. Why is that? It doesn't have to be that way! We spent the past year writing about all sorts of tips for cleaning the freezer, organizing it, and just taking better advantage of it.
Here's what you should do in 2018.
1. Know how to clean it.
Just like your fridge, your freezer needs cleaning. It'll probably need it less often, but it still has to happen.
- How To Clean The Freezer
- 5 Things to Know About Cleaning Your Freezer's Built-in Ice Maker
- The One Thing You Need to Clean Out Your Freezer
- 7 Signs Something Has Gone Bad in the Freezer
- Your 7-Step Plan for Cleaning and Organizing Your Freezer
2. Don't just throw stuff in there.
With just a few shelves, a freezer can be a complicated space to organize. Steal a few of these smart ideas and your freezer will look like it belongs in a magazine.
- The Best Freezer Organizing Hacks on the Internet
- The Most Important Tool for an Organized Freezer
- 10 Office Supplies You Should Use in the Freezer
- How I Take a Freezer Inventory That Works
- The 5 Best Tips for Organizing a Tiny Freezer
3. Keep the right things in it.
The freezer is often where things go to die. Stop forgetting about the stuff in there and start really taking advantage of it.
- 5 Things You Should Put in Your Freezer Right Now
- 5 Things You Should Take Out of Your Freezer Right Now
- The 10 Things I Always Have in My Freezer
- Our Favorite Freezer-Friendly Containers — For Whatever You're Freezing
4. Get smarter about freezer burn.
An aggressive case of freezer burn can ruin a good carton of ice cream. Can you still eat it? Can you prevent it from happening in the first place? We have all the answers.
- Can You Eat Something That Has Freezer Burn? Here's What the USDA Says.
- 5 Things to Know About Freezer Burn
- The Problem with Frost-Free Freezers
5. And storing the essentials.
Almost every freezer in America has ice cream, chicken, bread, and a few other essentials. (Yes, we just called ice cream an essential.) Earlier this year, we wrote about how to store each of these items and how long they'll last in the freezer.
- Here's How Long Ground Beef Will Last in the Freezer (and How to Store It)
- Here's How Long Chicken Breasts Will Last in the Freezer (and How to Store Them)
- Here's How Long Fruits and Vegetables Will Last in the Freezer (and the Best Way to Make Them Last)
- Here's How Long Bread Will Last in the Freezer (And How to Store It)
- Here's How Long Ice Cream Can Last In the Freezer (and How to Store It)
- Here's How Long Everything Will Last in Your Freezer: A Quick Guide
6. Cook — and shop — with your freezer in mind.
When handled correctly, your ice box can do more than just stash leftovers. If you shop and meal plan with your freezer in mind, it can be the perfect tool for pulling together a last-minute meal.
- 5 Freezer Marinades for Chicken or Pork
- How To Make Freezer-Friendly Breakfast Burritos
- 10 Foods to Stash in the Freezer for a Quick Weeknight Soup
- 17 Make-Ahead Breakfast Recipes to Keep Stashed in the Freezer
- 5 Dinners Made Easy, Thanks to Frozen Foods
- 17 Freezer Meals for When You Come Back from Vacation