How to organize your freezer drawer
Drawer freezers are great, because they hold so much...but they can also easily become a mess. And since your fingers are not what needs to be frozen, you want to get in and out without too much rummaging. Luckily, it's really pretty easy to organize in just a few steps.
STEP ONE ::: empty it out
Yes, everything. Pull it all out. As you're piling it on the counter, discard anything that's freezer burnt, expired, or a mystery. Start putting things into categories: meat, veggies, fruit, prepared meals, breakfast, etc.
STEP TWO ::: clean it
There's no easier time to do it, and you'd be surprised what collects in there. Believe it or not, I vacuum mine. It's the fastest way to get all the crumbs...and I like my cleaning projects to be fast. ;) All it needs after that is a quick wipe with your favorite cleaning spray.
STEP THREE ::: assess what you have & get bins
Now that you've gotten rid of what you don't need, see how much is left and what your categories are. This will help you figure out how many bins you need.
Bins are the difference between an organized drawer and a disaster drawer. They don't need to be fancy; you can get them at whatever price point fits your budget. I recommend plastic because they're easy to clean. My favorite bins for freezers are multipurpose bins from The Container Store because they are tall and narrow and come in a variety of sizes. It's what I used in my last freezer, but unfortunately they were just slightly too tall to reuse in my new freezer. (Tip: always measure before you buy anything!) I ended up using a variety of bins I already had, including two of these Ikea favorites.
STEP FOUR ::: putting it all back in
What you want to do now is create zones: breakfast items should be together; veggies together, etc. This makes it easy to find things and easier to see what you need to restock next time you're grocery shopping. A tip for saving space: remove things from their packaging. Frozen items often come in boxes that are bulky, especially when half empty (ahem, Eggos...). My freezer has to levels, but if you're lucky enough too have three, the center (usually shallow) one is great for bagged fruits and veggies, or frozen pizza.
My categories for this freezer are: ice cream/popsicles; cookies/desserts (I always have cookies in my freezer, for emergencies!); breakfast; vegetables; fruits; meal components (pizza sauce, enchilada sauce, breadcrumbs, cooked shredded chicken); and meals that are ready to eat (homemade soup, lasagna, appetizers, etc.). They're hard to see in the pictures, but the door has little bins that I use for lunchbox ice packs and yogurt tubes. You may notice that I don't have any meat in here. We have a chest freezer in the basement and I keep all frozen meat there because it stays cold longer in the event of a power outage (something that seems to happen a lot in my town...).
Don't undo your organizing efforts! Take the extra 10 seconds to put things in their area vs. just tossing it in.
Label everything, with contents and a date. Four months from now, you probably won't remember what's in that packet of foil. And just because it's frozen, doesn't mean it lasts forever.
Use twist ties or rubber bands to keep packages closed and compact.
So that's it! A simple project, and one that will pay off in reducing frustration and frozen fingers! Have a question I didn't answer? Comment below and ask!