Organizing a chest freezer or an upright freezer can be challenging, but you can easily create an organized freezer with these storage ideas and tips.

icy freezer with one carton of icecream

For more tips and ideas to help you in the kitchen be sure to visit my Kitchen Tips.

You will also find entertaining tips like Everything You Need to Know About Serving Tea or How long can hummus sit out when having a party?

Also, learn how to start a meal train; it’s a special way to show someone and their family that you care for them during a time of transition or sickness. 

🧊 Why your freezer needs organizing

  • First and foremost, an organized freezer saves you money on your grocery bill.
  • Food does not go to waste or be forgotten at the bottom of the freezer.
  • It makes mealtime more convenient and saves you time

Freezer Goals

woman writing notes and coffee on table

Before we get started take a few minutes and think about how you want to use your freezer

  • Do you want a lot of prepared meals already cooked?
  • How about using your freezer to save grocery money by buying and freezing in bulk?
  • Is it imortant to have meal prep done once a month so all you have to do is cook them?

Some preplanning will help you think through what type of storage system will work best for you.

Is a chest or upright freezer best?

chest and upright freezers

It depends on your personal preference as well as how much floor space you have for a freezer. Generally, the upright freezer is easier to organize and takes up less floor space. If you have extra space, chest freezers are usually more economical to operate. However, they are also easier to forget about food at the bottom, which goes to waste. A good freezer is one that you don’t dread keeping organized.

🧽 Cleaning a Freezer

Before you stock your freezer, take time to clean it out. Go through and sort food that has an old expiration date. If they are expired, toss them out. Also, if an item has been in your freezer for a long time because you do not like it get rid of it even if the expiration date is good. Pass it on to a friend that might like it or toss it. It’s taking up valuable real estate.
Using a dry towel, wipe out everything that you can. Fill a bucket with warm water and add a few teaspoons of vinegar to the water. Wet rag and wring out. Wipe any sticky areas or stuck-on food. Dry with a towel as you go. Be sure to wipe the door, inside and out.

💭 Tip – Freezer Temperature

Always freeze and store foods at 0°F or less. To keep an eye on your temperature place a freezer thermometer in the back of your freezer.

2 Pack Refrigerator Thermometer, -30~30°C/-20~80°F

Freezer Organization Ideas

Using a variety of storage bins, dividers, and containers in your freezer will help you stay organized and keep your food fresh. Look through this list and decide what would be best for your needs.

  • wire baskets
  • sturdy cardboard boxes
  • Plastic baskets: I like getting these from my local Dollar Tree. They have mini laundry-type baskets to see what is in them, but they are sturdy enough to hold everything.
  • Glass containers: I use mason jars.
  • Freezer bins 
  • Plastic containers: I like to use smaller plastic containers to store whole ginger, cilantro, or other frozen herbs. Just snip off what you need with scissors or grade using a small hand grader.
  • Plastic bins: This would be good if you have a large amount of the same item. For example, you have ten bags of fresh corn off the cob to put in your freezer. Buy a plastic bin that is the size of your quart bags and stack them in the bin. Lable the outside of the bin, corn, and the date they were put into the freezer. I have found a few of these at my local dollar store.
  • Clear bins: If you have a variety of items all the same size, purchase clear bins so you can see what is stacked in them. This is a simple solution for a variety of things. Just be sure you do not get large bins that take up to much freezer room.
  • Freezer storage bags such as Ziploc bags or a good quality store brand.
  • Silicone containers are also another great way to store food.
  • Shelf dividers are good to use if you have many of the same items, such as frozen pizza. They can be stacked between the dividers to help keep them neat and easy to see.

Create Freezer Zones

Freezer food can be divided into categories of similar items and stored in zones to create more freezer space. Decide what areas will be designated for meats, veggies, fruit, frozen meals, desserts, or meal prep foods. This helps you see what is in your freezer, so food doesn’t go to waste.

❄️ Learn what foods do not freeze well

Before you stock your freezer with food, be sure you know which foods do not freeze well. Nobody wants to find spoiled or mushy food when they take it out of their freezer. According to the National Center For Home Food Preservation, here are some foods that do not freeze well.

  • Vegetables you plan on using in a raw salad after they are frozen.
  • Cooked pasta when frozen alone
  • Meringues on top of desserts
  • Icings on cakes and cookies made with egg whites
  • Cream or custard-filled pies
  • Sour cream when using it as a topping after frozen
  • Mayonaise that will need to be spread after frozen
  • Gelatin in desserts
  • Fried foods except for flash-fried french fries.
  • onions, change flavor after freezing
  • Curry develops a musty off-flavor
  • Salt loses flavor and tends to increase the rancidity of an item containing fat.
  • Pepper gets more robust and a bit bitter.
  • Garlic gets more pungent and more bitter.

💭 Tip – Freezing seasonings

When using seasoning and spices in a recipe, season lightly before freezing. Then after it is thawed, add additional seasonings when baking or reheating.

Best Freezer Containers

There are a variety of freezer containers that help keep your freezer organized and your food fresh.

Freezer labels

Freezer labels should have a place to write the item, date, and any instructions needed when cooking the thing. Also, it’s important to get the type of label that doesn’t leave a sticky residue on your containers. They should be waterproof too. You don’t want to have a smeary mess as they thaw with the food item.

Freezer & Refrigerator Labels – No Sticky Residue Left – Waterproof & Oil Resistant 

Freezer wrap

To prevent freezer burn, be sure your food is sealed well. If need be, wrap containers such as ice cream in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Meat is best wrapped in freezer paper and taped closed. To give food extra protection, slip wrapped meat into a large plastic freezer bag by the cut.

Freezer bags

I personally like to use zip-style freezer bags. They are easier to open when frozen. I like to use zip-style freezer bags. They are easier to open when frozen. Also, have a variety of sizes and shapes on hand. They help fill the bag appropriately with different sizes and shaped food items.

Ziploc Quart Food Storage Freezer Slider

Reusable freezer bags

SPLF 6 Pack BPA FREE Reusable Gallon Freezer Bags, Extra Thick Reusable Storage Bags Leakproof Silicone and Plastic Free

Freezer containers

When choosing freezer containers be sure they are BPA free and they are stackable.

36 Pcs Food Storage Containers Set, BPA-Free Plastic Meal Prep Freezer Container with Lids, Stackable and Reusable

Vacuum freezer bag system

My vacuum sealer is the most reliable way to keep my food fresh and freezer-burn-free.

Vacuum Sealer Machine,TKTK 7 In 1 Food Sealer

Tips for freezing food

Some foods are more tricky to freeze so they do not come out of the freezer frozen in one big glob.

Freezing Meatballs, berries, and cookies dough

When freezing round foods such as meatballs, berries, or balls of cookie dough, it is best to freeze them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet for 24 hours. After they are frozen solid, remove them from the pan and place them in a freezer storage bag or container.

Freezing nuts and seeds

I like to freeze nuts and seeds in glass mason-type jars. I use plastic lids, not metal, to seal them. Unless I use the jar attachment on my vacuum sealing machine, then I use the metal lids. Quart jars work great for filling up door space.