I love organizing projects, especially when they make your life easier. We recently switched our all fridge to a fridge that included a bottom freezer, and I’ve only decided to organize it properly.
Of course, I’m very lucky that we don’t have to keep all our food in a small bottom freezer. I know what that’s like – our first home had a french door style one that you had to remove baskets in just to fit a frozen pizza! But we do have a dedicated chest freezer to deep freeze our meats and other foods we don’t access on a daily basis.
Step by Step Guide to Organize a Bottom Freezer
Watch the video below or keep reading the step by step instructions for what I did to get my bottom freezer organized.
By the way, we did this over a week ago and it’s still completely clean! That’s the best part about creating practical systems – you actually want to use them so they don’t get messed up.
1. Make a Plan For Your Food
Take a look at what you already have in the freezer. If you have a second freezer you can store things in, take a quick inventory of what might be moved. Then decide how you’d like to organize the foods you use frequently.
For us, it’s mostly frozen fruit. With the cost of food lately, it’s really helped us save money on groceries to switch to frozen. There’s also some baking that we keep in the freezer and just warmed up, some frozen snacks for the kids, and pre cooked chicken breasts for easy meals.
2. Measure and Shop For Supplies
I made the decision to switch the berries from bags to containers. I find the bags are so messy in the freezer. Plus they have a way of getting lost in the shuffle. In fact, I discovered we had two bags of frozen blueberries on the go when I did this bottom freezer organization project!
Another reason I did the containers was because sometimes the bags don’t shut properly. This led to more than one accidental spills – and no one likes picking blueberries from the bottom of a freezer.
Before you go shopping measure the area so you know exactly what you can fit. Don’t feel bad about trying things out in store. You can also purchase an array of containers, test them out, and then return what doesn’t fit if you really want to try it out at home.
Tip: Make sure the containers are freezer safe!
Since our fridge and freezer are from Ikea I went there for supplies – the containers and bins fit perfectly in our model! My family doesn’t do well with storage we can’t see, so I opted for clear lids and open bins whenever possible.
3. Take Everything Out of the Freezer
You can see from the picture that it’s impossible to tell what’s hiding in a packed freezer.
I find it easier to clean and organize when you first take everything out and collect it into one space. This is a bit tricky with frozen items since they may thaw while you’re working.
Collect like items together so you can actually see what you have. This will make it easier to organize too.
To Prevent Thawing
If you work quickly you can probably get away with leaving everything out.
If you’re worried about thawing, either move the frozen items to a second freezer temporarily or place them in a cooler. Ideally the cooler should have ice.
If that’s not possible, the fridge will slow the thawing process down while you work.
4. Clean The Freezer
While everything is out of the freezer this is a great opportunity to give it a good scrub!
5. Throw Away Any Unwanted or Freezer Burnt Food
Everyone has forgotten items in the freezer – it happens! The first thing you should do when you organize a bottom freezer is to toss anything that you know you’re not going to be eating.
6. Fill Storage Containers and Baskets
I didn’t snap a picture of the containers when I was filling them, but here they are back in the freezer. The rectangle ones hold frozen fruit perfectly, and I used the small round ones for those bits of frozen veggies that were going to otherwise get lost at the bottom of the freezer.
The container with the yellow lids contain leftover cooked rotisserie chicken. As our needs change, other leftovers can fit there or I can fit another row of the rectangle containers.
7. Put Food Back in the Bottom Freezer and Organize
You’ll see in the next picture how I filled the store basket that I use in the freezer. It has pizza pops for the kids, freezies, frozen bananas that we use daily for smoothies, and some cookies.
The best part is that it fit perfectly! And there’s actually a small lip built into the freezer that holds it in place in that spot.
- Freezer safe containers for any loose foods
- Bins or other organizational containers that fit in your freezer
- Cleaning supplies of your choice
- Make a plan for how you want to organize your food.
- Measure your freezer and shop for organizational supplies and containers.
- Take everything out of your freezer and put it in a cooler, back up freezer, on the counter, depending on how fast you'll be.
- Toss any unwanted, expired, or freezer burnt food.
- Clean the freezer out and wipe it down.
- Fill storage containers and baskets.
- Arrange everything in the freezer and organize.
If you have the budget and patience, buy a variety of containers then do a dry run (without putting food in) to see how they might be arranged best in your freezer. You can always return the extras as long as they're unused, or use them elsewhere.