How to Organize a Freezer – Expert Tips to Get Drawers in Order

Having an organized freezer can make a world of difference in your home. No longer will you have to dig through old freezer-burned foods or get frustrated trying to find what you need. With some simple tips and tricks, you can transform your freezer into an efficient and orderly space. As a home organization expert, I’m going to walk you through my best strategies for getting your freezer drawers in order.

Take Inventory and Group Similar Items

The first step to freezer organization is taking everything out and doing an inventory. This will help you see exactly what you have and make decisions about what should stay and what should go.

As you take inventory, start grouping like items together on your countertop or table. Having all your frozen fruits together, frozen proteins together, etc. will make it easier to organize them back in the freezer. Some categories you may want to group together:

  • Frozen fruits/veggies
  • Frozen meat proteins (chicken, beef, pork)
  • Frozen seafood (fish fillets, shrimp, etc.)
  • Frozen prepared foods/meals
  • Frozen treats (ice cream, popsicles)
  • Frozen herb cubes or other flavor boosters
  • Frozen baked goods (cookie dough, bread, pie shells)

Once everything is out of the freezer, it’s time to do some purging. Be ruthless here! Toss anything past its prime or that you know you’ll never use. This is key to creating space and reducing clutter.

What to Toss from the Freezer:

  • Foods past their labeled expiration date
  • Foods with major freezer burn
  • Mystery leftovers in old containers
  • Partially used ingredient bags that have been open too long
  • Foods you don’t like or won’t realistically eat
  • Items you bought on impulse but haven’t touched

If you’re on the fence about an item, be critical. Give it the sniff test and if it smells off, toss it out. A clean, empty freezer is so much easier to organize!

Invest in Freezer Organizing Supplies

Having the right supplies makes a big difference when it comes to effectively organizing your freezer. Here are some of my must-have items:

Storage Containers

Invest in some high-quality food storage containers in various shapes and sizes. Look for ones that are freezer-safe, BPA-free, and airtight. I prefer glass or stainless steel over plastic. Some good sizes to have on hand:

  • Small containers for rubs, marinades, pesto, etc.
  • Medium rectangular containers for baked goods
  • Large containers for soups, chili, etc.
  • Gallon bags for bulk meats

Make sure to label all containers with contents and dates! This prevents mystery leftovers down the road.

Dividers and Organizers

Plastic dividers are hugely helpful for separating categories and preventing items from toppling over when you open the freezer. I recommend getting a set with varying heights.

Wire or plastic freezer organizers are also useful for corralling smaller items, especially those pesky freezer bags. Vertical organizers are great for making efficient use of shelf space.

Baskets and Bins

Baskets or open bins are perfect for holding larger freezer foods that don’t necessarily need to be in sealed bags or containers. I like to use these for bulk proteins, loaves of bread, frozen veggies, etc. Just make sure they’re made of freezer-safe materials.

Arrange Foods from Most to Least Used

When putting items back in the freezer, think about accessibility. You want to arrange foods from most used to least used.

The top shelf or baskets should hold foods you access frequently, like frozen fruits for smoothies, veggies, meat for weeknight dinners, etc. The bottom shelves can hold bulk or backup foods, as well as items you use more sparingly.

Place rubs, marinades and flavor boosters near foods you’ll likely pair them with. Have your labeled and dated leftovers containers together for easy access.

Maximize Space

A disorganized freezer leads to wasted space and frustration. Use these tips to maximize every inch:

  • Use upright organizers to take advantage of vertical storage on shelves
  • Stack rectangular containers and baskets
  • Freeze broths, sauces or purées in ice cube trays, then transfer to bags
  • Lay fish fillets flat instead of folding
  • Use gallon-sized bags to flatten bulky items like loaves of bread
  • Don’t overcrowd shelves – leave a bit of space between items

Also pay attention to cooler vs. warmer spots in the freezer. Put items you access frequently in the easier-to-reach spots. Place items that don’t need constant temp monitoring (bread, nuts, etc.) in the back top shelves.

Label Strategically

Proper labeling ensures you know what’s what at a glance. Follow these label tips:

  • Label every storage container with contents and freeze date
  • Use painter’s tape and sharpie on reusable containers
  • Use freezer-safe stickers or masking tape on bags
  • Attach labels vertically – not horizontally where they’ll get covered by frost
  • Color coordinate labels by category (blue for seafood, green for herbs, etc.)
  • Label bulk meat with type of protein and cut
  • Note leftovers contents and date frozen

I also recommend designating an “eat first” bin for short-term foods or leftovers that need to get used up. Pull from this bin every time you take food out of the freezer.

Do Occasional Freezer Purges

No matter how organized you are, freezers tend to accumulate “stuff” over time. That’s why it’s important to do an occasional deep cleanse where you empty the entire thing out.

Aim to do a full purge every 6 months to a year. Toss anything that’s been in there too long, sort through disorganized areas, and do a fresh rearrange and organizational reset. It’s amazing how much better a fully emptied and cleaned freezer feels!

Staying on top of expiration dates during your regular meal prep will also help prevent freezer purgings from getting overly overwhelming.

Use Strategic Placement for Organization

Where you place certain items plays an important role in freezer organization. Keep these tips in mind:

Meat Proteins

  • Ground meats should go in a clearly marked designated spot, away from other proteins, to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Freeze proteins in gallon freezer bags laid flat to save space.
  • Divide bulk packages into meal-sized portions before freezing.
  • Arrange meat compartments from most-used to least-used.

Fruits and Veggies

  • Blanch vegetables before freezing to stop ripening and preserve texture/color.
  • Freeze berries dry on a parchment lined sheet before transferring to a container.
  • Fruit is best frozen in either syrup or puréed for smoothies.
  • Leafy greens like spinach are great frozen into “bricks” for adding to soups, omelets etc.

Baked Goods

  • Allow baked goods to cool completely before freezing.
  • Place parchment between items to prevent sticking.
  • Wrap cookies tightly in foil before freezing bags.
  • Label baked goods with contents and instructions for reheating.


  • Let leftovers cool before freezing to prevent temperature issues.
  • Use shallow, wide containers for more efficient cooling.
  • Make sure to label leftovers with reheating instructions!

Troubleshooting Common Freezer Problems

Even if you’re diligently using organization strategies, freezer issues can still pop up. Here’s how to troubleshoot:

Ice Buildup – This happens from humidity introduced from opening the freezer. Defrost and dry interior. Place a dehumidifying box in the freezer to absorb excess moisture.

Freezer Burn – Always use airtight packaging and remove as much air as possible before sealing. Use freezer bags designed to prevent freezer burn.

Frostbite on Food – Ensure containers and bags are properly sealed. Organize so containers aren’t stacked directly on each other.

Condensation Inside Containers – Only open containers as long as necessary and make sure to re-seal properly. Allow hot foods to fully cool before freezing.

Food Sticking Together – Interleave wax paper between items. Be sure to wrap tightly in foil or plastic wrap.

Top 10 Freezer Organization Tips

Let’s review my top 10 tips for a organized freezer:

  1. Do a full inventory purge and clean-out
  2. Invest in quality storage containers and organizers
  3. Group like items together before returning to freezer
  4. Arrange by most to least used
  5. Maximize vertical and horizontal space
  6. Use strategic labeling for easy identification
  7. Do an occasional deep freezer cleanse
  8. Mind meat placement to prevent cross-contamination
  9. Allow proper cooling before freezing hot foods
  10. Use containers designed to prevent freezer burn

If you follow these freezer organization tips, you’ll be well on your way to freezer nirvana! No more forgotten foods or frantic searching. Just an orderly, efficient freezer that makes your meal prep a breeze. Give it a try – I know you’ll be amazed by the difference it makes.

Frequently Asked Questions About Freezer Organization

Still have some questions about getting your freezer in order? Here are answers to some of the most common queries:

Should everything in the freezer be in an airtight container?

Not necessarily. Hard items like meat packages or loaves of bread are fine in a plastic freezer bag. The key is removing as much air as possible before sealing. Only keep baked goods, sauces, soups, etc. in rigid airtight containers.

How long does food last in the freezer?

An average freezer at 0°F will keep food safe for:

  • Fruits/veggies: 8-12 months
  • Meat proteins: 4-12 months
  • Breads/baked goods: 3-6 months
  • Leftovers: 2-3 months

Always label containers with the freeze date and inspect foods before use.

What’s the best temperature for freezing food?

The ideal freezer temp for long term food storage is 0°F. Food held at this temp remains safe indefinitely while minimizing quality degradation. Shoot for your freezer to be between 0° – 10°F.

Should open shelves or baskets be used?

Baskets and open shelves are fine for bulky, loose items like baked goods or frozen vegetables. Just avoid stacking other containers directly on top, which can lead to accidental freezing together.

How can I stay motivated to use my organized freezer?

  • Meal plan around frozen inventory to prevent new items accummulating
  • Focus on using oldest frozen foods first with “eat first” bin
  • Set reminders to do periodic freezer purges
  • Prep healthy ready-to-freeze meals for your freezer arsenal

In Conclusion

I hope these deep freezer organization tips help you transforms that frozen cave into a workspace that sparks joy! Remember – take everything out for a reset, use quality storage supplies, neatly arrange foods by category and frequency of use, label properly, and do occasional cleanouts. Follow these best practices, and your freezer will go from chaotic to calm.