The Top 3 Ways To Reorganize Your Small Freezer For More Space

Regardless of size, brand, or place in the home, there are two types of freezers in this world which reflect two types of freezer owners. The first type is the minimalist freezer. These freezers contain just a few ice trays, maybe a bottle of vodka or gin, and at a stretch some ice cream or frozen peas ... and that's it. If you're a minimalist freezer owner, then this article probably isn't for you!

The second type of freezer is the maximalist freezer; the sort that's full to bursting with all different kinds of foods, drinks, and mystery leftovers from who knows what and who knows when. These freezers are what Stop Food Waste compares to the black holes of the universe and it's easy to understand why — because it's almost impossible to see what's in there!

If you're a maximalist freezer owner, especially one who's been cursed with a small freezer to make things even worse, then you need to hear the top three ways to reorganize that tiny food trap and free up more space, as well as your sanity.

Freeze things flat

Anytime you're about to put something into your freezer, ask yourself if you could freeze it flat. This works for soups, juices, stews, and even meat! Just make sure you have a good supply of freezer bags on hand, and instead of letting the contents set into a misshapen ball or brick, lay them on their side on an aluminum tray until they flatten out like a book, ready to be stacked up.

According to Serious Eats, not only does this technique make your freezer feel more organized, your food will both freeze and thaw quicker this way. This is because the shape of a freezer bag laid flat has a large surface area in comparison to its volume, so more of the cold air of the freezer can hit the food immediately to start cooling it down. Likewise, more of the warm air outside can access the food to start defrosting it later. Incredibly, the benefits don't end there. The quicker freezing times and lack of air in the bag dramatically reduce the chance of freezer burn.

If you're thinking scientific advice regarding surface area ratios isn't for you, and maybe it's more effort than it's worth, then consider this: Breastfeeding mothers swear by this technique. The Milk Bank, among many others, includes it in their top tips for storing breast milk, and let's be honest — if the sleep-deprived mothers of newborns think this saves time while improving organization, then there's probably something to it!

Create shelves with magazine organizers

Now that you're freezing things flat, it's time to upgrade the inside of your freezer a little bit as well. Freezers, especially smaller models, tend to lag far behind fridges when it comes to shelves and other storage infrastructure. Per The Kitchn, this lends itself to clutter as items get stacked like a higgledy-piggledy game of Tetris where one simple shelf isn't really going to make a big difference.

According to, the cheap and simple solution to this lack of shelving is magazine or file holders. These are easy to find in dollar stores and stationery shops, just make sure you buy metal or plastic ones though, as the cardboard kind might eventually get damp and lose their structural integrity. Plus they're easier to clean if there's a spill.

This aligns perfectly with the first tip around freezing things flat, as well. Together these two tips can take your tiny freezer full of chaos and turn it into a delicious library of leftovers that will save you stress and food waste!

Keep a freezer inventory

Ultimately though, even with flat bags of frozen food, and a sweet shelving hack to organize them on, a freezer still tends to feel like a black hole. It's designed to keep stuff for months at a time without the need to check on them, and you can't realistically expect to remember every last thing you put in there seven months after the fact.

This is why Lifehacker advises creating a freezer inventory. It's as easy as making a list of what's in your freezer and adding or erasing items from that list as you use and replace them. This way, you won't need to try and remember exactly what's in there, and it has the added benefit of giving you a visual reminder of what needs to get used up.

According to Good Cheap Eats, a freezer inventory can take many different forms. It can be simple, like a paper list on a clipboard. You can also use a dry-erase marker to write straight onto the actual door of the freezer. Be sure that you have the correct surface and markers before you try this one though! There are, of course, apps for everything, and a freezer inventory is no exception. These are more complex can help with meal planning on the go, or reminding you of what's in the freezer when you're out shopping at the store. High-tech or low-tech, choose whichever option will stick best amongst the chaos of the kitchen.