Whether you're preparing to host a feast for the holidays (20-pound turkey, anyone?) or just staying in and cooking more, I know one thing is true: Your freezer is looking pretty full right now.
Another thing I know? Money is tight this year, or at least better spent on gifts and rounds of warm drinks than uni-tasking organizers that promise — and fail to deliver — a neater, tidier freezer.
Instead, use what you have! Here are 6 smart hacks to make the most of what you already have.
1. Make DIY magnetic containers
If you have small amounts of food to freeze and store — a handful of chopped onions or herbs, for example — throw them into some magnetic jars and stick them to the inside of the freezer where there's space (like on the "ceiling" or along gaps on the walls). You can buy ready-made magnetic storage, or DIY it by gluing craft magnets to small food storage containters.
2. Freeze things flat
You can fit more — and see more — this way than storing things in bulky plastic food storage containers that you may not fill all the way. Just add your stuff to a plastic bag and let it freeze laying flat for a while. Once it's set, move it to a bin where all your food can get stored like handy little files.
3. Turn plastic magazine files on their side
Instead of buying brand new uni-tasking freezer organizer shelves, you can make it work with a few plastic magazine file organizers. Just turn them on their side and stash them in the corner of your freezer.
4. Lose the boxes
Irregular cardboard boxes are the enemy of a tidy freezer. Take separately-packaged things out of their boxes and stash them together in modular plastic bins instead to free up space and keep things uniform and organized.
5. Store your half-used bags on binder clips
For any freezer food stored loosely in bulk plastic bags, binder clips are your best friend. But instead of clipping them on and letting the bags pile up on your freezer shelves, clip the binder clip around your wire freezer shelves first. You're keeping bags closed tight, but also filling up the free space right below your shelves.
6. Keep a freezer inventory on the side of the freezer
When you need to store things double-deep (and who doesn't?) the worst sin you can commit is forgetting what you have. Luckily there's a simple solution to this problem: Write it down. Instead of keeping a paper list, you can use a dry erase marker or grease pencil to jot down your freezer inventory right on the inside of the freezer door or walls.