White freezer drawers opened showing a variety of frozen foods

6 tips for how to organize a freezer

Stocking up on your family’s favorites during a great sale at your local grocery store, freezing berries you picked in the summer, or prepping freezer meals for the week are all reasons why having a freezer is a convenience, but also why it can get disorganized. No matter what type of freezer you have, organizing it gives you more time to do the things that matter most. Once you learn how to organize a freezer, you can take advantage of all of its benefits without any added stress. Keep reading to learn more about the best ways to organize a freezer and some tips to get started.

Select a link below to learn more about how to organize a freezer.

Woman placing food in white chest freezer baskets Woman placing food in white chest freezer baskets

What is the best way to organize a freezer?

The best way to organize a freezer is to take an inventory, figure out what you reach for most, use organization containers, and store your items vertically.

Freezer dividers, freezer baskets, and freezer storage bins are all useful tools for helping you get organized. Once you have learned how to organize a freezer, it is much easier to maintain the organization, so you can stay on track with weekly meals.

How to organize a freezer

Organizing your freezer is a great way to make the most out of its long-term food storage capabilities. How you go about this task will depend on the type of freezer you have and your preferences. Once you learn these freezer organization ideas, you will feel equipped to start optimizing the space in your freezer.

What you’ll need to get started

  • Freezer bins

  • Freezer organization containers

  • Magazine holders or file sorters

  • Labels

  • Permanent marker

  • Dry erase board/marker

Side-by-side freezer drawers opened with person placing item in freezer Side-by-side freezer drawers opened with person placing item in freezer

1. Determine what kind of freezer you have

There are many different types of freezers, so knowing what kind you have will help you figure out which organizational method is going to work best. You might have a refrigerator with a top freezer, a drawer freezer on a french door refrigerator, a side-by-side freezer, or a standalone chest freezer. You will also want to consider if the freezer requires you to reach down for your items, such as a chest freezer, or if it is an upright freezer as you determine how to store your items. Whirlpool brand offers a variety of freezers that can help you keep your meals organized while fitting in with your kitchen layout and lifestyle.

Quick tips for each type of freezer:

  • Side-by-side refrigerator freezer: The door is going to be the warmest part of a side-by-side freezer, so use it to store things like bread, nuts, flour, herbs, and ice packs and consider organizing it with skinny, freezer-safe bins and containers.

  • Bottom freezer refrigerator: In a bottom freezer, you’ll likely need to stack items. Stacking like items ensures that nothing is lost in the depth of the drawer. For instance, keep your chicken stacked on chicken and vegetables stacked on vegetables.

  • Top freezer refrigerator: You can make the most of the space in your top freezer by creating your own drawers using bins and labeling them based on contents. You can even use magazine holders or file storage bins to create organizational systems and zones.

  • Chest freezer: Use bins of different sizes to create layers since chest freezers have depth. You can keep the items you use the most in the top layers and the items you might not use as often in the deeper layers. Label the containers to make it even easier to find what you are looking for.

  • Upright freezer: In an upright freezer, you can create zones to organize freezer shelves, so that each shelf has its own purpose. Use freezer-safe bins and containers to break down the zones to further categorize your items.
Bottom freezer drawer opened showing organized freezer bins Bottom freezer drawer opened showing organized freezer bins

2. Take and keep an inventory

Knowing what you have on hand in your freezer will result in less excess food and less food waste. Taking and updating a freezer inventory is a great way to make sure that you always know what you have in your freezer.

  • Determine what you already have in your freezer

  • Write it down. Using a dry erase board on the door or front of the freezer is a great idea

  • Include the date that it was purchased or the expiration date, if possible 

  • When you grocery shop, update your inventory to reflect what was added

  • When you use an item, remove it from your inventory

3. Know which items you reach for most

The next step in freezer organization is determining what you reach for most in your freezer and making those items most accessible. If you have to move everything around in your freezer to get to the things you use most often, you will likely need to keep re-organizing. Determining which items you’d like to be able to access easily will make your freezer organization last longer and work to your benefit.

4. Organize items by expiration date

As you begin to figure out where items should go in the freezer, you also want to consider the expiration dates and when you purchased them. By keeping items that expire sooner in a more visible location in the freezer, you will be more likely to use them and less likely to have to dispose of foods due to expiration or freezer burn. Just like organizing the items you use the most, having the things that expire sooner more accessible will result in less food waste and less searching and re-organizing.


5. Use freezer-safe bins and storage containers

A great way to maximize your available space and stay organized is to use freezer bins and storage containers. Putting your items in freezer baskets and containers helps you to categorize them because it breaks your freezer into zones. You might use specific bins for vegetables, others for ground beef, and others for freezer-ready meals, and then further organize by keeping certain bins in certain areas based on their contents. Clearly label each bin with the category of items in it, even including the expiration or purchase dates, if you want to be specific. You can use labels, or masking tape and a permanent marker works great, too.  

If you have a top freezer, you can use bins to create drawers. Drawers make for easy access to things that are deeper in the freezer and will help you to utilize a top freezer’s depth efficiently. For side-by-side freezers, you can use skinny bins inside the doors to organize and utilize that space. For chest freezers, you can use a flat, wide storage container to create levels of storage and make use of all available space.

6. Store vertically

When you think about reaching into your freezer to get a frozen pizza or a bag of vegetables, you might picture an avalanche of items accidentally spilling out. This is a common occurrence in freezers where everything is stacked or piled. If you line your items up in your freezer vertically (like books on a shelf), you can easily see what you have and take out what you need. If you like to prep freezer meals ahead of time, you can store them in large freezer-safe bags or silicon containers and then label the edge with the meal and the date so you can easily take inventory, find what you need, and maintain your organization all at the same time. 

By utilizing storage bins and containers, you can use this tip regardless of your freezer type. If you have a drawer freezer, this method might seem hard to translate, but you can even use magazine holders and file sorters to help you store your items vertically. In freezers that have depth like a drawer or a chest, storing vertically will really come in handy.

Refrigerator with top freezer opened on top and bottom to show organization Refrigerator with top freezer opened on top and bottom to show organization

How do you organize a freezer without shelves?

The best way to organize a freezer without shelves is to use freezer-safe bins and organizers to categorize items and to create layers, drawers, and zones. You can use magazine holders, file sorters, milk crates, or bins designed specifically for freezers. 

Magazine holders and file sorters make great drawers and long, flat bins help to create layers in a freezer so that you can utilize the depth in a more efficient way. Once you have created zones and layers in your freezer, be sure to label each bin and try to store like items together.

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The best way to make use of all the space and benefits of your freezer is to keep it organized. If you’re still trying to decide which size would be best for your home, check out the variety Whirlpool® Freezers.

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