Freezer Organization Tools You Already Have In Your Home Office

Many tend to focus on the pantry when organizing their food stores, decanting endless bulk goods into matching clear jars and containers and sorting snacks into various bins. However, the freezer is an essential tool in any kitchen, whether you have a smaller unit on top of your fridge or a separate chest freezer. You can freeze portions of homemade meals, ensuring you always have something healthy and convenient at the ready. And, it can be invaluable for budget-conscious shoppers, allowing you to stock up on things like meat when there are good sales.

The problem is, because there's so much that can be potentially stored in them, freezers become overstuffed and utterly chaotic until you can barely tell what you have available. Organization is key if you want to avoid having random freezer-burned items lingering in the icy depths. Organizational bins can be expensive, which is why finding items you can repurpose can be an easy way to get your storage in tip-top shape at no additional cost. Though you may never have thought to look in your home office for freezer-friendly organization tools, this unexpected space actually has several items that can easily help you tame the frozen chaos. If you're ready to think outside the box, here are a few tools to consider.

Items for clear labeling

Whenever you put something into your freezer, you assume you'll remember exactly what that item was and when it was placed in the freezer, but that's just not the case. Clear labeling is key to well-organized storage, and there are several tools in your office that can help. A permanent marker such as a Sharpie can be used to label Ziploc bags, aluminum foil, and plastic containers — jot down what the item is and the date it was frozen. This also allows you to see what's freshest at a glance, cycling older items to the front for quicker use. If you're freezing items in glass or reusable containers that you don't want to stain with permanent marker, a roll of masking tape will solve that problem.

Also consider using a dry erase marker to create an inventory list right on the exterior of a large freezer unit, helping you to determine what you have on store at any given time without having to dig around inside. If you're feeling ambitious, use highlighters to help color code the frozen items you've stored. For example, if you have an abundance of homemade meals frozen in individual portions, use different highlighters to indicate which meals are vegetarian and which contain meat.

Paper organizers and magazine files

Most home offices have at least a few paper organizers or magazine files kicking around; even if you have a separate filing cabinet, these are great for storing documents that you need to access often. They're also organizational powerhouses for your freezer where they can be used vertically or horizontally, giving you a lot of flexibility.

One way to use this tool for organization is to group things that go together, especially items that don't come in boxes and can easily topple over. For example, you might fill one organizer with all your smoothie supplies and bags of frozen fruit. Another might be used to store all your meat, so you can tell at a glance what proteins you still have left and what you may need to add to the next grocery order. Magazine files can be great for storing loose items as well, such as popsicles. 

In addition, they encourage you to freeze things flat, which is ideal for both storage and practical reasons. Flat sheets of food thaw out more quickly, making your life easier, and they can be tidily stacked atop one another. If you start freezing as much as possible this way, you'll be able to file away tidy little packages of frozen food in these handy organizers.

Binder clips

Yes, you can use binder clips to keep half-used bags of items like frozen fruit and vegetables closed, but they're much more versatile than that when it comes to freezer organization. Given that you likely have at least a few of these inexpensive items in your office drawers, make sure you're utilizing them to their full organizational potential.

Binder clips allow you to easily amplify your storage with one simple trick. If you have wire shelves in your freezer, which is fairly common, you can attach a clip to the wire and then hang bags of frozen food from the underside of your freezer shelves. Since the items are elevated, you can still store additional items vertically beneath what you've secured with the clip. As an added bonus, securely clipping the bags means the contents won't spill if they're slightly jostled — no one wants to be cleaning frozen peas out of every nook and cranny in their freezer.

If you just want to be able to find things faster, use binder clips to secure labels to the fronts of shelves in order to designate zones. Zoning helps everyone stay organized by indicating where to put the meats, fruits, vegetables, leftovers, etc.

Monitor risers

While different freezers have unique layouts and configurations, it can often feel like your shelves are spaced just a bit too far apart for ideal organization. Sure, there may be plenty of room to store your frozen goods, but it requires stacking packages on top of one another until they're liable to careen out if you open the door a little too forcefully. There's an easy solution to be found in your office — monitor risers. While these are typically used to raise your monitor for better ergonomics, they're essentially just portable shelves.

By placing them atop your existing freezer shelves, you create an extra storage layer without having to make any serious modifications to your freezer. This trick will depend on the width of your unit as well as the monitor riser, but if the two are compatible, it's an easy way to avoid unstable towers of frozen goods atop each shelf. You can neatly tuck smaller items underneath, while stacking boxed or bulkier items on the top. If you're working with a small monitor riser, you can turn it on its side to create a divider of sorts, keeping all your vertically-stored items neatly organized or enforcing zones within your freezer.