Organizing the Refrigerator with Budget Friendly Baskets

While I was waiting for my thrifted rug to dry, I decided I would clean out the refrigerator. As most of you know, I fancy myself more of a baker than a chef so I’m not actually in the kitchen that often. But each morning when I reach into the refrigerator to grab my favorite coffee creamer I’ve noticed how untidy it’s becoming. Given that my schedule has been kind of crazy lately, I’m committed more than ever to corralling the clutter before it gets out of control. Even in the refrigerator. This is a quick shot of the refrigerator before:

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I know, right? What the what! Super unorganized. Step one was to take out the contents of the refrigerator and give the shelves and drawers a good cleaning.

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I also took this time to read labels and throw out any food/sauce/dressing that had expired. Someone at this house has a serious pickle problem but I’m not naming names.

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Next I took vinyl placemats from the Dollar Tree and lined each shelf. This is the first time I’ve ever used a shelf liners in the refrigerator. To be totally honest, I didn’t realize how many drips and spills actually occurred on the shelves. Imagine my surprise when I was scraping off bits of coffee creamer that had been “handled” after a recent “explosion.” Now all I have to do is take the liners out and place them right into the dishwasher or sink with hot soapy water if something like that happens in the future.

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After everything had been cleaned and lined, I placed the items that were left back on the shelf and grouped like items together.

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It still looked cluttered to me.

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So I went into the most uncluttered space in the entire kitchen…the pantry and I saw baskets. Lots and lots of glorious baskets.

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Baskets can be expensive especially if you need a lot of them. I went online and searched for sales on baskets in my area. One of them was having a 50% off sale plus they offered a 20% off coupon. Score! I bought 6 seagrass baskets for $20.50.

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and labeled each basket with a mini chalkboards.

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Don’t sweat it if you don’t have mini chalkboards on hand. Labels made out of pretty paper tied with jute will look just as good.

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I’m hoping this organized system will help us make healthier food choices. For example, grabbing a bag of carrots that have already been proportioned and placed in the snacks basket instead of grabbing a bag of chips. I’m also excited to see if we use up our leftovers faster. The person that has the pickle problem also has boxes of leftovers problems, just saying.

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It’s hard believe this is the same refrigerator…one more time…before

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and after…grand total $28.50…worth every penny.

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Many blessings,

CoCo

Comments

    • says

      I was totally embarrassed to post that picture, Angie! The baskets are great because we only buy what we need to fill the baskets for our weekly menu which means the food doesn’t go to waste and we no longer keep a lot of leftovers. It’s really been nice so far. Hugs, Coco

  1. says

    I love this! I love me some baskets. However mine tend to become junk drawers all over the house. You’ve got it looking awesome, I don’t know if I could keep looking this good. Mine too is a similar image as the “before”

    • says

      Thank you, Michelle! I love baskets too. They’ve worked out really well in the pantry so far and I’m hoping they’ll be a big help in the refrigerator too. I swear staying organized feels like a full time job sometimes 🙂 Hope your day has been a fun one, CoCo

  2. Kay says

    Love this idea! I did this, but I used plastic baskets from Dollar Tree so I could wash them as needed. I haven’t used shelf liners, so back to Dollar Tree….

    • says

      Thank you so much, Kay! I started out using baskets from the Dollar Tree but I couldn’t find the bigger size I needed so I picked these baskets up at Joanns. The shelf liners have been a big help already. I swear I don’t know where all of the syrup drips come from! Hope your day has been a happy one, CoCo

  3. says

    Def stealing the vinyl placemat shelf liner idea! I use plex fridge bins, but somehow stuff still gets spilled on the shelves ~ go figure. Great organization hack CoCo, all while waiting for the rug to dry 🙂 Bwg ~~~

    • says

      Thank you, Bobbi! I think the turning point for the vinyl placemats was all that time I spent scrubbing dried syrup off the shelves ha ha I all but ran to the store. Hope your day was an awesome one, CoCo

    • says

      ha ha you’re so funny, Amy! It was getting so cluttered I couldn’t tell what I had and what I needed. For example, clearly we did not need any more pickles 🙂 I think the snack basket has been the most helpful. I know you work hard and from home too so it’s nice to have proportioned snacks to grab and go. I seem to eat less cupcakes that way. Sending you big hugs, CoCo

  4. says

    CoCo, I’m at the hall of shame with Angie, my fridge is the before or worse also…lol. It looks amazing with the baskets and you probably feel like your going to Pottery Barn every time you open your fridge. Brilliant. xo Lisa

    • says

      ha ha you’re cracking me up Lisa with that “hall of shame” business. Honestly, it’s made a huge difference. If we don’t have room for it in the basket we don’t buy it. This new system has really helped to cut down on the amount of food we’re buying and amount that’s gone to waste because we haven’t been able to eat it in time. It makes me feel so much better. Hugs, coco