Looking for tips on how to organize your freezer or some freezer organization hacks? This article has you covered with more than 25 ideas!
There’s also suggestions for freezer organizers like freezer bins, freezer baskets, freezer dividers, etc that you can use to really maximize your freezer space!
As always, I recommend doing what you can with what you already have before buying something new. Function should be more important than looks when it comes to freezer organization.
For example, if you already have some wire baskets that aren’t being used, try them out in your freezer! If they work, then great! If not, at least you’ll get a better sense of what you need before buying something.
Feel free to read all the tips, or skip to get freezer organizer product suggestions using the table of contents.
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Tips for Organizing the Freezer
Eat up your freezer before starting
Reorganizing your freezer will be much easier with less stuff in there as there is literally less stuff to organize!
I recommend eating from your freezer for most meals for a week or more (depending on how much you have in your freezer) so you have less to go through. Doing this also helps you get a good sense of what’s in there so you’ll save time when it comes time to reorganize your freezer.
Try a no spend grocery challenge to use up what you have.
Wear gloves when reorganizing the freezer
I don’t know about you, but I HATE having icy cold hands! When you’re organizing your freezer, wear some winter gloves to keep your hands warm!
Have somewhere cold to put the food while you’re organizing the freezer
To prevent the food from thawing while you’re in the freezer, make sure to have somewhere cold to store the food in the meanwhile.
For example, put the food in a cooler, or outdoors in the winter!
Turn off the freezer
I recommend unplugging or turning off the freezer. You’re going to have the door open for a while so it’s wasteful and unnecessary to have the motor blasting to try to keep the temperature regulated.
Freezer Organization Ideas
Store similar items together
Create sections in your freezer where similar items are grouped together. For example, all frozen veg here, frozen fruit there, premade meals over there.
Having a designated area for each food type is freezer organization 101. Because you know where it already is, it’s going to keep you from digging for what you’re looking for and making a mess of everything.
Rearrange the layout
Your groceries might change from time to time and so must your freezer organization. Say you tried a new brand of frozen pizza but the box is bigger than the brand you previously used and now there isn’t room where you used to put the frozen pizza.
Don’t be afraid to rearrange the inside of your freezer to accommodate what you need to freeze. Try moving shelves to fit what you have, or even remove the shelf altogether!
Freeze by serving size
This is most important in keeping your freezer functional. While it may be easier to freeze the whole value package of meat in it’s original packaging, I find it easier to actually portion it out into family sized portions (whatever you normally cook at once).
This cuts down on time needed to thaw which can make meal planning a bit simpler (no need to remember to take food out to thaw in the fridge 2-3 days in advance).
It also is a perfect opportunity to add a marinade so you have a ready to go meal!
This works perfectly for meat, tomato paste, & bulk meal prep.
Freezing your food flat instead of in random shaped lumps will make it so much easier to stack and organize your food. Plus you’ll be able to fit more in your freezer when the packages are similarly shaped! Your food will also defrost faster since it’s thinner too!
This is most relevant if you use freezer bags for freezing liquids. It also works well for portioning out meat into plastic bags.
For example, separate a value pack of chicken breasts into smaller portions (the amount you would normally cook for your family). Place each portion into a freezer bag and lay on a cookie sheet in the freezer to freeze flat.
These reusable freezer bags are similar to what I use and are highly rated!
Vacuum sealing, or at least squeezing as much air out as possible, is a great way to save freezer space and reduce spoilage. It also helps get the package flat as possible!
Make sure to label everything (and I mean everything!). This is going to limit digging around to find what you’re looking for.
On the label, make sure to include what the food is, the date it was frozen, and any special cooking instructions. If you have family members with different dietary needs, make sure to note the ingredients and whether it’s safe for specific family members or not.
Here’s an example of some freezer labels that are easy to mark and come off cleanly without leaving sticky residue on your containers.
Make the labels face outwards
While having everything labelled is helpful, you’ll get the most out of it if you make sure all the labels are immediately visible when you look in the freezer. That’s going to allow you to quickly grab what you’re looking for without having to move a bunch of stuff around.
Label the shelves or sections of your freezer too
Not only is it important to label the individual food items, it’s a good idea to label the shelves as well. This makes it easier for all family members to remember where everything goes so you won’t have to constantly reorganize after them all the time.
This works well in any freezer with a shelf, basket, or divider. If they’re plastic, you can write right on them with a permanent marker, or use a label maker. Label wire shelves or baskets with a binder clip. Simply add the label to the binder clip, and put it where it needs to go. I like this method as the binder clips are so easy to move around.
Freeze loose items individually
Freeze loose foods like berries individually on a baking sheet, then put in containers so they don’t stick together. Then you can take out just as much as you need without having to thaw a whole brick of them!
This works well for chopped fruit or veg, berries, cooked beans, or small pieces of meat (think chicken wings bought in bulk).
Use the right size container
Whenever possible, choose a container that best fits the food you’re freezing. Not only does it save space, it will also prevent freezer burn by limiting the amount of airspace around the food.
Use clear containers
In addition to labelling, using clear containers helps you quickly identify the food you’re looking for. It also allows you to keep an eye on the condition of the food and make sure to eat it up before it gets freezer burnt.
Use stackable freezer containers
Stackable freezer containers are all about maximizing the space in your freezer. If they’re all irregularly shaped, it’s going to be like playing Tetris to try and fit everything in. It might also prevent potential avalanches of food from an upright freezer because the food is stable instead of stacked precariously.
Use square or rectangle containers instead of cylindrical
This is also another great way to make the most of the limited freezer space. There is a lot of wasted space between the rounded shapes that is filled up by food in a squared off shaped container.
Use freezer dividers
There are so many options for freezer dividers, whether you make your own, repurpose something you already have, or buy special made chest freezer dividers.
The benefit of dividing up your freezer is being able to keep different foods in their own section and make it easy to organize. Chest freezer dividers are ultra important as usually chest freezers only come with a basket or two which is not enough to keep it organized!
Use magnetic containers
If your freezer has a magnetic surface, you can easily attach small magnetic containers to it! This is perfect for small amounts of things like nuts that might otherwise get lost amongst everything else in the freezer!
Hang bags on wire racks with binder clips
Another genius hack with binder clips! This is great for keeping bags of frozen veggies organized and easily accessible. Simply attach the clip to the wire shelf in your freezer, then clip the bag to it. This allows bags to hang and stay organized and secure! It’s also great for making sure the bags stay sealed and don’t spill their contents everywhere.
Maintain a freezer inventory
Keeping an accurate inventory of what’s in the freezer is an excellent way to keep it organized. You’ll avoid unnecessary duplicates of food you already have, plus you can see at a glance what’s in there, which makes deciding what’s for dinner a breeze.
You can keep a paper inventory like this one, or write on the inside of your freezer with a dry erase marker or grease pencil!
Get rid of wasteful boxes
Boxed food stacks well and makes it easy to see the ingredients and cooking instructions.
But once the box is partially empty, it’s taking up precious space in your freezer! Decant your food into a more appropriate sized container, or fold the box down to be a better fit. This is a major trick used in food service kitchens to maximize freezer space.
First in, first out
This is a motto used to make sure that the oldest food gets used up before the newer food. In other words, the food that first went into the freezer older than the stuff you just added. The older food should be used before the newer food so that it doesn’t get freezer burnt and go to waste!
Create an “eat first” section
Creating an “eat first” section is one way to ensure you’re practicing “first in first out”.
Whether this section is a specific area, a designated basket, or just the foods in the front/on top, make sure your whole family knows which foods to eat first.
This will go a long way towards reducing food waste, but also it will limit having 6 open bags of frozen peas!
Make use of freezer organizers
This is especially useful for organizing a chest freezer. Since chest freezers are so deep, it’s easy for food to get lost at the bottom!
Find some good freezer safe bins to use and put all similar food together in the same bin.
For example, all beef in one bin, all chicken in another.
If you have a smaller freezer like the one in a fridge, freezer bins can still come in handy. I like to use them like a drawer to keep smaller items together.
You don’t even need to buy special deep freezer organizers. Try using what you have first! For example, reuse milk crates, cardboard boxes or boughten storage containers that you already have on hand.
I’ve listed suggestions for freezer organizer products such as freezer bins, freezer baskets, freezer dividers, freezer shelves, and freezer labels.
There’s also ideas for all types of freezers including chest freezer organization, freezer drawer organization, how to organize an upright freezer, and more!
Freezer storage bins are usually made of plastic. Make sure it specifically says for freezer use, because some plastics become brittle in the freezer and can break easily.
They can be used in upright freezers to act as a sort of drawer as you can pull out the basket to easily access anything in it or behind it.
Large, stackable freezer organizer bins are also super helpful in a chest freezer. When they stack on top of themselves to make separate compartments, it makes it easy to access the food at the bottom, plus keeps food from getting squished!
Get a variety of sizes like these, or measure the exact size you need to fit the space and get multiples. These ones could also be good for a fridge freezer.
Freezer baskets are one of my favorite ways to organize the freezer. They keep like items together while making things in behind or below the basket easily accessible.
I’m always a fan of wire baskets over plastic for durability. Wire baskets like these or these also make it a bit easier to see what’s in there! Clear plastic is the next best, but it can fog up which makes it hard to see through.
The right sized basket in a fridge freezer acts almost like a freezer drawer. These rose gold ones are so pretty!
In a chest freezer, stackable freezer baskets make it easy to access food at the bottom.
Hanging freezer baskets like these are actually my favorite type of baskets for chest freezers. They make it so easy to access everything in the freezer without having to stack it so deep.
Tip: Look up the model number and brand of your freezer then buy “replacement” baskets so you have more than what the freezer originally came with and can maximize the space!
Dividers are excellent choices for using in the bottom of chest freezers to keep like items together. Some chest freezers come with dividers, but most don’t. They aren’t the easiest to find either! There are several tutorials online about how to make your own freezer dividers and some people even sell chest freezer divider kits, although I haven’t tried them so can’t vouch for them.
You can also use freezer dividers in freezer drawers, but dividers aren’t the most useful for other types of freezers. I recommend using freezer bins or baskets instead.
You could get a shelf specifically designed for a freezer, like this one, or you could repurpose other shelves you have. For example, regular pantry organization shelves work well as long as they’re made of a freezer safe material like coated metal or freezer safe plastic.
Another good idea is to simply get another shelf from the manufacturer of your freezer to add a whole other additional shelf! Simply look at the brand name and model number and search something like “freezer shelf for Fridgidaire freezer model number 240358007”. Here is an example of what I mean.
I also like hanging shelves that make the most of unused air space underneath the existing shelves. Here’s an example.
I know everyone is obsessed with Ziploc freezer bags and claim they’re the best freezer bags. But to be honest, while they do work well, I find them expensive and wasteful. By all means, if you like using them, I’m not going to stop you.
Make sure to always use the freezer bags, which are thicker and specifically designed for keeping the food fresh in the freezer. You can always wash and reuse them as well, as long as you don’t have raw meat in them.
But if you’re like me and have been looking for an alternative to disposables, I’ve been using reusable freezer bags for quite a while and love them! These ones are very similar to what I use and they’re very highly rated.
When I freeze meat, I make sure to still wrap it in plastic, then put the smaller, wrapped portions into the reusable freezer bags. Wrapping it tightly in plastic plus the freezer bag gives it excellent protection against freezer burn.
I usually reuse any clear plastic baggies that make it into our house like produce bags. Even though we use reusable produce bags, some plastic ones still make it into our home and this is a good way to use them up. Alternately these bags are specifically designed for the same purpose and use less plastic than zip top baggies.
Freezer paper is also a good alternative for portioning food inside of freezer bags.
Freezer Safe Containers
The best freezer containers are stackable, have straight sides, and are freezer safe.
Most containers can be frozen (even glass!) but there are some pros and cons to each.
For example, certain plastics become brittle in the freezer and can crack. For this reason, it’s a good idea to choose containers that say they’re freezer safe. Freezer safe containers are less likely to crack and break.
If you choose to freeze in glass containers, I highly recommend choosing ones with straight or flared sides, rather than a neck.
You’ve probably had the unfortunate experience of wanting to quickly chill your beer bottles but accidentally forgetting about them in the freezer. When you finally remember, you find a cracked beer bottle! This is because liquids expand as they freeze. Bottles or jars with a tapered neck don’t allow the liquid to expand and end up breaking as the pressure increases.
If you do choose to freeze in glass, make sure to leave space at the top for the liquid to expand as it freezes. It’s also helpful to leave the lid on loosely as it freezes as well. Never place the frozen container in hot liquid or directly heat it as it will shatter.
For the reasons above, I recommend choosing freezer safe containers just to avoid these issues. The examples below are highly rated on Amazon:
How to Maximize Freezer Space in Different Types of Freezers
Wondering “how do I maximize my freezer space?”
The answer of course is, it depends! How to organize your freezer and make the most of your freezer space is going to depend mainly on what type of freezer you have, but also on other factors such as what kinds of food you normally store in there, how full you normally keep your freezer, and who’s using it.
For example, if you have a family with older kids or teens who sometimes feed themselves, you’d want the batch cooked and frozen meals to be easy to find.
If you have a chest freezer, your biggest friend is going to be big freezer bins or dividers, and hanging baskets, whereas if you have a fridge freezer, you’d probably find smaller freezer baskets or additional freezer shelves more useful.
I’ve added some more detail on each type of household freezer so you have information that is specific to your needs.
Chest Freezer Organization
Chest freezers are notoriously difficult to organize. They’re just a big open box. Without shelves, dividers or freezer bins, it’s almost impossible to keep them organized and find what you’re looking for.
The best solution is to compartmentalize the inside of the freezer and sort your food by grouping similar items together.
I recommend using chest freezer dividers or large bins in the bottom of the chest freezer to hold the things that aren’t accessed frequently, big items like large cuts of meat, and duplicate items if needed (think: having multiple bins of roasts).
Then add another level of bins that stack on top of those. The second level of bins will have smaller items or items you access more frequently. If you have 2 bins filled with the same things, stack one on top of the other and use up the top bin first. This is a great way to ensure the older purchases get used up before the newer ones, by placing the newer ones underneath the older ones!
Finally, use the hanging freezer baskets to store even smaller items. These can break if filled with heavy stuff so lighter things like bread or frozen veggies are good to store here.
When you need to access food from your freezer, simply move the hanging freezer baskets and/or the freezer bins out of the way to get what you want. Then put the whole basket back where it was. Your freezer stays just as organized
My favorite chest freezer organization idea is to get more deep freezer baskets to maximize that space! Usually the deep freeze only comes with one hanging freezer basket. Why not use the entire space by getting multiple hanging freezer baskets! You can get them from old freezers that no longer work, or order “replacement” ones from the manufacturer.
No need to wonder “how do I keep my chest freezer organized?” any more!
Freezer Drawer Organization
Freezer drawers are actually pretty easy to organize as they often already have built in compartments or additional drawers. These are probably my favorite style of freezer for that reason!
Even still, they can get disorganized if you’re not careful.
The most important thing when it comes to freezer drawer organization is to keep similar items together whenever possible. Have a specific section for ready made meals, a section for frozen veggies and fruit, a section for meat, etc. That way you won’t waste time trying to find what you’re looking for and also will always have a place to put the food back when you’re finished getting what you need.
Upright Freezer Organization
Organizing an upright freezer is a bit easier than organizing a chest freezer because there are shelves that divide it up into sections.
Having additional shelves than what the upright freezer originally came with may help you further optimize it. You can purchase additional shelves from the manufacturer by searching something like “replacement shelves for (brand name) model number (XXXXXXX)”
To organize an upright freezer, you can also make great use of freezer storage bins or baskets. Find ones that fit the shelves. Then you can easily pull out the bin just like a drawer to be able to access anything at the back without having to take out everything in front of it!
Use each shelf or bin to hold similar items so you always know where to look.
Side-by-Side Freezer Organization
Side-by-side freezers/fridge combos are actually pretty easy to organize as they are. Because they’re narrow and have lots of shelves, there are already decently compartmentalized!
That being said, I’d definitely recommend getting freezer baskets or bins for some of the shelves. Find ones that perfectly fit the space so you can easily slide it out just like a drawer. This will make it easy to store multiple smaller items without making it difficult to access the items in the back.
Your main challenge with this type of freezer is likely space, since space is limited. You also aren’t able to freeze larger cuts of meat or freeze things flat on a cookie sheet (unless you have a small one that fits!).
There may also be a large section blocked off just for storing ice made by a built in ice machine. If you don’t use ice that often, consider turning off the ice machine and using that space for something else.
Overall, just follow the freezer organization tips at the beginning of the article to identify any areas for improvement.
Fridge Freezer Organization
Organizing a fridge freezer should be fairly easy. You have a small space that is naturally compartmentalized by the shelf and the smaller areas on the door. Your biggest challenge with this type of freezer will be limited space.
I like to use a few smaller freezer bins or baskets to hold smaller items. This makes it easy to access everything without having to move other items around and make a mess.
It’s also important to keep designated sections for certain types of food so you always know where everything is!
No matter if you’re trying to figure out how to organize a chest freezer, needing suggestions on deep freezer organizer bins or a freezer shelf, or just looking for general freezer organization tips, I hope you found this article helpful!
Now all you have to do is put on some gloves and start organizing your freezer!