If you’re like most people, your refrigerator is a mess. It’s cluttered and full of things you don’t need. And it can be tough to find anything when you need it.
This can lead to frustration and wasted time. But with a little bit of organization, you can have a fridge that is neat and tidy, and that makes life a lot easier.
In this article, we will discuss 9 simple steps for organizing your fridge. By following these tips, you can create a system that works for you and makes keeping your food organized easy!
What is Refrigerator organization?
Refrigerator organization is the process of creating a system to keep your fridge organized. This can include creating storage solutions, labeling items, and decluttering regularly. You will want to have easy access to your most used items while keeping them fresh and cold.
Another way to organize your fridge is to think of how certain items need to be stored to keep them fresh longer. Items like fruits and vegetables will need to be stored differently than condiments or juice boxes, as they need a specific level of oxygen and humidity to last longer.
Why is it important?
A fridge that is well-organized can save you time and money and cut down on food waste. When you know where everything is, you are less likely to forget about items and let them expire.
Storage bins are a great idea to get things more organized, however, you may also want to take things a step further and use stackable bins or lazy susans to give you more space.
How to have an organized fridge in 9 simple steps
Below is our simple 9-step guide to the perfect organized fridge.
Step 1) Empty the refrigerator shelves and doors
The first step in this process is to have an empty fridge to start with, as it is very difficult to organize your storage space with a full fridge. So, start by taking everything out of the fridge and setting it on a nearby counter.
Step 2) Separate Foods Into Categories
Next, you will want to separate your food items into different categories. The different categories I use to organize my fridge include:
- Fruits and veggies
- Meat and Seafood
- Condiments (anything bottled or jarred)
- Snacks (cheese, Lunchables)
- Canned drinks or juice boxes
- Dairy (milk, eggs, yogurt)
Step 3) Recycle Unneeded Packaging
Removing packaging and recycling it right away is a great idea for anyone who wants to ensure they are being economical with their home organization. You can put your food into glass mason jars, clear storage bins, plastic wrap, or even Tupperware to still keep food fresh and add a pop of color to your fridge as you will be able to see what you have more easily.
Step 4) Toss Expired Food
Once everything is out in the open, you have the perfect opportunity to check labels and expiration dates. You may be surprised at how many of your less frequently used condiments have already expired. If you are into composting you can toss food waste into the compost pile, otherwise empty it out, and recycle the container if you can.
Step 5) Clean and line the shelves
The next step to a perfectly organized fridge is to clean the top shelf and middle shelf really well, and don’t forget to pop out the shelves on the refrigerator door and rinse them off too. Once your entire fridge is sparkling you can line the shelves and drawers with a good quality fridge liner. Once you have given everything a quick wipe down, you can move on to the next step below.
Step 6) Add storage containers and fridge bins
Consider investing in some stackable bins to save space, and help organize your fruit, vegetables, and other items in your own fridge. Even eggs can be placed in special bins and cans can be stored in drink trays. You can check out the container store online to get some great refrigerator storage inspiration for your own fridge.
Some of the organization products I have in my fridge include:
- Stackable bins
- Mason jars
- Egg storage containers
- Plastic drawers
- Lazy susans
- Bins specifically for cans
- Fruit containers
- Organization trays
- Snack bins
Step 7) Store Food In The Right Place
If you want to keep your food fresh and prevent food waste be sure to consider where you are placing your groceries when you bring them home, and if they would last longer if they were moved to a new spot in the fridge. Some ideas for proper food storage in the refrigerator include:
- Store milk and dairy drinks in the back of the fridge (not inside the refrigerator door).
- Keep ethylene-producing fruits in a separate drawer from veggies.
- Always keep meats and seafood on the bottom shelf (to prevent cross-contamination).
- Utilize the “FIFO” (first in first out) method that professional chefs recommend.
- Choose a specific spot for water bottles that is easy for you to grab.
- Utilize your freezer as much as possible
- Separate items in drawers with separators
- Stack food items and bins when you can
Step 8) Label Compartments and Bins
If you want your fridge to stay perfectly organized, be sure to label everything. This will help you remember where things go and make it easier for others in your household to find what they are looking for and put things away properly.
Step 9) Return The Food
Congratulations it is now time to return the food to the fridge. Now that you have everything sorted and stored in an easily accessible way, it is time to put all of the food back into the fridge. Be sure to put like items together so that you can easily find what you are looking for later on.
Where should I store meat and seafood?
You should always store meat and seafood on the bottom shelf of your fridge to prevent cross-contamination as the liquids from the meats can drip onto other foods if they are stored higher in the refrigerator.
How can I store condiments?
You can store condiments in mason jars and place them in the refrigerator door, you can also get a lazy Susan to place condiments on the shelf of your fridge.
What is the best way to store leftovers?
The best way to store leftovers is to place them in a clear container and place them on the middle shelf of the fridge where you will be able to easily see what you have made and reheat it. You should do whatever makes sense for you and your family and saves time with easy access.
What foods go in the crisper drawers?
The crisper drawers are for fruits and vegetables. You will want to ensure you place them in the correct drawers to prevent your food from spoiling unnecessarily.
What goes on the top shelf of the refrigerator?
The top shelf of the fridge is for items that last longer or you want to keep out of reach of kids. This is where I like to place eggs, protein shakes, or even canned sodas.
What should be stored in the bottom drawer of the fridge?
The bottom drawer of the fridge is for meats and seafood only and should be cleaned out frequently to avoid the growth of bacteria in your refrigerator.
How can I remove a bad smell from my refrigerator?
You can place an open container of baking soda in your fridge to help control odors from spoiled foods, as it will absorb the odors over time.
What is the FIFO (first in, first out) method?
The FIFO method is a professional chef-recommended way of organizing your fridge where you place new items in the back and older items in the front so that you are more likely to eat the older food before it spoils.
How should I store my fresh herbs?
The best way to store herbs is to place them in a glass of water on the windowsill. This will allow them to get the sunlight they need to stay fresh. You can also place them in a container with wet paper towels on any shelf of the fridge.
What fruits produce the most ethylene?
The fruits that produce the most ethylene are apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, cantaloupes, honeydews, kiwis, mangoes, nectarines, papayas, peaches, pears, plums, and tomatoes.
What is the best way to store cheese?
Cheese should be kept in the fridge on a plate or cutting board with some airflow so that it does not sweat and become moldy.
What is the best way to store bread?
Bread should be stored in a cool, dry place such as the fridge or freezer. If you are going to eat the bread within a few days, the fridge is the best place for it. If you are not going to eat the bread within a few days, the freezer is the best place to store it.
By following these simple steps, you can easily organize your fridge and keep it that way. A well-organized fridge will help you save time and money by preventing food waste and making it easier to find what you need. So, what are you waiting for? Start organizing your fridge today! Happy Organizing!