Check out more from our organization package and find out how to declutter your home, how to organize your closet, make a moving checklist, as well as small laundry room ideas, and DIY closet organization.
My freezer is where all my Martha Stewart dreams go to die. It’s a frozen hellscape of best intentions. There’s the bag of frozen mirepoix I bought for a stew I never made. Somewhere in the back is some dairy-free “ice cream” I heard was delicious (it wasn’t). Mixed in with that is a three pound pack of ground chuck I bought last month but keep forgetting to thaw, as well as a new one pound hunk of burger I forgot about when I bought the next three pounds.
Wedged in between all that are various bags of frozen fruits and veggies that may or may not be used and there’s probably multiples of most of it. Why? Because it’s a freaking disaster in there. I can’t find anything so I buy more. My guess is that your freezer is in a similar state (and you know it is, or you wouldn’t be here). Lucky for you we’ve rounded up the best organizational tips, Mama. Together, we’re going to turn our freezers from hellscapes to Elsa’s worthy wonderlands.
1. Use Freezer Bags
You know what takes up a ton of space in your freeze? Those round or rounded plastic containers you fill with soups, sauces and the like. Freezer bags are built leak-proof and take up a lot less space, if you lay them flat to freeze. You can stack them carefully while they’re still liquid. Once they’re frozen, you could even file them sideways.
2. Use Magazine Holders
Magazine holders are the perfect organizational device for freezers. Their shape makes them perfect for sitting side by side and can be used to file those flat bags of liquid or even smoothed out bags of frozen fruits and veggies.
Those plastic shoebox-sized bins are also great for freezer organization. With lids, they become stackable and nearly landslide-proof containers to divide up different kinds of meat or store away ice cream bars or individual smoothie mixes ready for blending.
You can also use see through small-enough-to-fit wire baskets to group your frozen veggies from your frozen fruit to your ice creams to whatever. By placing it sideways in the freezer your eyes will immediately scan what’s inside for easy grabbing.
4. Use Magnets
Did you know the inside walls of your freezer are probably magnetic? Yeah, girl. Try it. Use that vertical space to your advantage by gluing large magnetic sheets to the bottoms of some small plastic containers. These shallow containers are perfect for that half-used bag of frozen diced onions or the dried beans you want to keep longer.
5. Labels are Essential
Another great tool for keeping your freezer landslide-proof? Label everything. Nothing does more damage to your hard work organizing than having to dig through to find that half pound of burger you filed away for spaghetti night. (It also does a number on the freezer temperature, making your food get freezer burn and requiring your freezer to work harder to get back to the right temperature.) Precise, easy-to-understand labels will not only make your own dinnertime prep easier, it’ll also help when you send your kids or partner to the freezer.
6. Group Similar Items
Those magazine holders and bins we talked about? Take the time to keep them organized and not just become catchalls. Label them for soups, veggies, fruit, or red meat and white meat… whatever works for your family. If you can stick with it, you’ll save yourself countless minutes when you stop digging through all three labels bins. With labels and proper grouping, you’ll always know that the bag of mangos is going to be in the bin labeled “fruit.”
7. Keep An Inventory
Want to avoid buying doubles or triples? Keep a dry erase board on your fridge with a list of what’s inside the freezer. Example: “Burger III” can let you know you have three pounds of burger. Each time you use one, erase it or cross it off.
8. Organize Category by Category
This means taking on each category of food at one time. Organize the meats by expiration date and the kind of meat or cut you use most often. Frozen vegetables with other veggies, frozen fruit with other fruit. It goes without saying that all the ice cream and popsicles should live together on the same shelf, and same goes for prepackaged food and meals. Most importantly, organize the groceries by what you use most.
Organizing Breast Milk in Freezer
First of all, whatever way you store your breast milk, it’s important to follow the CDC guidelines in how temperature affects breast milk.
Breast milk can be stored at room temperature (60 – 77 degrees Fahrenheit), for up to 4 hours.
Breast milk can be stored in the refrigerator (at 39 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler) for up to 3 days
Breast milk can be stored in your freezer (at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or colder) for up to 6 months
Thus, organizing with oldest breast milk up front to be used first is the best approach. This means that labeling is of utmost importance. Freeze the bags of breast milk laying down flat so they take up less room and use an old shoebox or freezer container to organize them by date.