Declutter Your Kitchen - A 3-Part Series on Owning Your Culinary Oasis
9 essential tips to organize your freezer
In this three-part series, we are going to explore the art of decluttering your kitchen and keeping your cool this summer while your kiddos are home. The kitchen is the heart of the home and without organization to snacks, food and drinks your little ones are going to be coming to you every five minutes asking you to get them something. Empower your Rugrats to grab their own items by organizing and providing easy access to them. Follow along each week for new tips!
In part 1 and 2, you’ve organized the pantry, tackled the fridge purge, and now it’s time for the freezer. With summer almost in full swing, going to the store is the last thing on your list and you’re spending more time outside – or at least you hope to be.
Chances are no matter who you are, your freezer is jam-packed with stuff that you might not even know is in there – hello 2-year old mystery meat. If you’ve ever been scared to open the door in fear of one of those rock-hard frozen items coming crashing down on your toe, it’s probably time to do some organizing.
Your freezer doesn’t have to be a nightmare every time you open it. In fact, you can enjoy opening and seeing all the food you bought and stored knowing that a quick meal or frozen treat is simply a defrost away!
Follow these simple steps to achieve freezer bliss:
|1 Empty and clean everything out||2 Get rid of all original packaging|
|Just like we did with the pantry and fridge, start by emptying out the freezer and combining duplicates, throwing away any outdated food, and even thawing out any frost buildup you may have. Once defrosted and cleaned out, you’ll be able to start organizing things and realize how much extra room you really have in there.||If you keep your freezer food in its original packaging, you’re probably wasting a lot of valuable space. Most store-bought items come in a variety of shapes and sizes making it nearly impossible to best utilize a limited space. Try taking items out of the packaging and placing them into bins and airtight containers. Store cooking instructions in one place like a nearby drawer or cabinet.|
|3 Freezer bins||4 Labels|
|Whether you like to keep your food in its original packaging or not, freezer bins are a smart move for any kind of freezer organization. Even if you prefer to keep those bagged foods in their packaging, freezer bins will help to store them in a neat and orderly fashion, so you’re not burdened with an avalanche of frozen bags hurdling at you every time you open the freezer.||If you decide to take your frozen items out of their original packaging, labeling can be very important. Whether you live by yourself, with roommates, or with your family; labels will make things easier for everyone. You can print out editable labels to use for cooking directions, ingredients, and expiration dates then stick them to your bags, bins, shelves, etc.|
|5 Freeze things flat/stack vertically||6 Keep a list|
|Try storing soups in resealable plastic bags. Lay them on a flat surface in your freezer until they freeze, then go back and stack them vertically. This is a perfect way to maximize freezer space. One DIY hack for flat frozen foods is to stack office binder holders on their side and neatly stack them in the corner. This will help so you don’t have to pull everything out if you need that one item that’s on the bottom.||Keep a list of what you have on hand as well as what you may need to purchase the next time you go to the store. A simple dry erase board magnetically attached to your fridge is an easy way to keep track of everything you have. It will also save you the headache of trying to cook a meal and realizing you’re out of that one thing you need.|
|7 Maximize space/eliminate wasted space||8 Freeze individual servings|
|Choose the right size for containers and bags. Air circulation is what causes freezer burn so if you can eliminate as much air stored with your food as possible, you will increase its overall life and have more room for the things you need. Try attaching magnets to the bottom of smaller containers and stick them to the walls or even roof of your freezer. A perfect option if your freezer isn’t already stacked to the top.||Portion your meals and ingredients beforehand so you don’t have to thaw out that whole bag of soup when you just want one bowl. If you don’t want a bunch of little portions scattered about your freezer, freeze the individual portions then put them all together in a larger bag or bin.|
|9 Be smart about placement||H ow do you organize your freezer?|
|The door is the warmest part of the freezer so it’s important to keep certain items off the door shelves. Try to store everything in the heart of the freezer and use the door for things like ice packs and liquor. If you have a deep freezer try using reusable shopping bags to store your larger items so you can pull the whole bag out rather than digging around for something all the way at the bottom.||Share your photos on social media and tag #mDesigner for a chance to be featured on our pages!|
Mike Freiberg is a Digital Marketing Specialist at mDesign
and an avid skateboarder and has even been a stunt double in a feature film.
How do you stay organized? We’d love to hear your story!
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