There’s something oddly soothing about a spick-and-span refrigerator. Don’t just take our word for it; scroll through the 42,000-plus Instagram posts tagged #FridgeGoals. Color-coded produce, perfectly aligned La Croix, drawers stocked with leafy greens—this is peak tidiness. But where’s the freezer love?
“Your freezer is one of those hidden spaces that is far too easy to neglect,” says professional organizer Shira Gill (@shiragill). Open up your own icebox and you’ll likely find it overflowing with frostbitten veggies, expired leftovers, and foods you will never eat. The good news? It only takes a matter of minutes (10 max!) to transform this overlooked spot. Follow Gill’s seven steps, below, and your freezer will be looking cool in no time.
Step 1: Start Fresh
Remove every single item from your freezer down to the last Popsicle, using the kitchen counter or dining table as a staging area. “Ditch anything that’s expired or past its prime,” says Gill. “Remember that most food can be composted, and all cardboard packaging can be recycled.”
Step 2: Leave Room for Food
The biggest clutter culprit? Too many ice cube trays. “Most households can survive with one or two,” says Gill, adding that the number is even less if your refrigerator has a built-in maker. Kicking your stockpile to the curb will make room for the things that matter most, like pints of Halo Top or tomorrow night’s dinner.
Step 3: Defrost
If you’re feeling especially motivated, let the entire space defrost so you’re not stacking things back on top of ice chunks. Wipe down the shelves, getting into the nooks and crannies with a wet rag and a dash of household cleaner.
Step 4: Corral by Category
While it’s important to consider food safety when dividing up space in the refrigerator—dairy and meat will last longer on bottom shelves, where it’s cooler—it’s okay to think in broad terms for the freezer. Consider how you snack throughout the day. “Assign one area for leftovers (think: frozen soups or veggies), one for frozen treats (ice cream, Popsicles, smoothie ingredients), and one for grab-and-go frozen dinners,” shares Gill.
Step 5: Group Like Items in Bins
Scrap the soggy cardboard boxes and clumsy freezer bags for transparent storage baskets. Not only will they keep your frozen fruits from mixing with your ice cream sandwiches, but they’ll free up a ton of room. “Alternatively, small, stackable food storage containers can help maximize space,” suggests Gill. Not to mention, those lidded boxes can be easily transferred from the refrigerator to the freezer (and vice versa).
Step 6: Put a Name to It
A labeling system will make it a cinch to find what you’re looking for. Buy reusable dry-erase labels or write the contents and date stored on pieces of masking or painter’s tape.
Step 7: Hit the Grocery Store
The secret upside to giving your freezer a once-over? It might just inspire your next meal. “This clean-out is a great opportunity to get more intentional with what you’re eating and what you bring into your home,” says Gill. “To eliminate unnecessary waste, make sure to peek in your fridge and freezer before you run to the store, and only ever shop with a list so you’re not doubling up on things you already have.”
We’re ready for you, Instagram. Bring on the #FreezerGoals.