We’re sharing tips and tricks for how to organize your refrigerator today!
For nearly 7 years, we used budget-friendly baskets to organize our refrigerator. It took some getting used to in the beginning, but for the most part, it worked out really well.
So well, In fact, almost every time someone new came to our house and saw we were using baskets in the refrigerator, they would ask the same two questions…
- 1.) Do the baskets actually work?
- 2.) Would they work for us?
Once the pandemic arrived and we started making and eating all 3 meals at home though, I knew we would have to make a change.
Especially, if we wanted to keep the refrigerator as neat and tidy and efficient as possible.
It took a while before I was able to come up with a system we could easily maintain. But now that we’ve upgraded from baskets to clear containers it’s been a welcome change.
Here’s a look at how we keep the refrigerator organized with clear containers and how to decide if they’re right for you too…
Step 1: Throw Away Expired Food
Before you start organizing the refrigerator you’ll want to make sure to have trash bags on hand in case you need to throw away any expired food or condiments.
You’ll also want to make sure your dining room or breakfast nook table is cleared off. That way, you can corral food items without having to clutter up your kitchen counters.
Step 2: Categorize Food Items
After you’ve thrown away the things that have expired, place like items together on the table.
For example, place all of your vegetables together, all the dairy together, the condiments together…you get the idea.
This will help you determine how many baskets or containers you actually need.
Step 3: Clean Your Refrigerator
Once you have all the items out of the refrigerator, wipe down the shelves, drawers, and bins with warm soapy water until they are completely clean and dry.
Step 4: Consider DIY Shelf Liners
These shelf liners are actually plastic placemats I bought at The Dollar Store and upcycled with marble contact paper using this simple DIY drawer and shelf liner idea.
Not only are these shelf liners budget-friendly they can also be easily wiped down and cleaned.
Step 5: Create Zones
One of the easiest ways to organize your refrigerator is by creating zones for each shelf.
For example, one side of our top shelf is used for leftovers. They’re front and center so we’re sure to eat them first. The second half of the shelf is used for breakfast and dairy-related items.
The second shelf is used for fruits, and veggies.
And the third shelf is the designated drink zone.
The small drawer is used for deli meats and cheeses and the bottom two drawers hold salad and other meal prep goodies.
Step 6: Determine How Many Baskets or Clear Containers You Need
I know it can be hard to determine how many baskets or clear containers you need. But once you organize the refrigerator into zones, it will get a lot easier.
Add only the number of baskets or clear containers that are best suited for your *current lifestyle,* (*and that you’ll easily be able to maintain)
Step 7: Leave Some Room for Flexibility
As with all organization systems, leave some room for flexibility.
Especially, if you have a large family, are hosting a dinner party, and need to store extra groceries, or shop in bulk on a regular basis.
Step 8: Consider Organizing Your Condiments By Meal
Whenever possible, organize your condiments by meal.
This will help make things more efficient if you have busy mornings and are packing lunches, or on nights when you don’t feel like cooking.
Step 9: Label
I haven’t started labeling these clear containers yet because I want to make sure each zone works well for us.
There was much discussion about making the second shelf a “fruit only” shelf instead of a “fruits and veggies” shelf.
That said, we used labels when we had the baskets. They not only helped us find things easily, but they also helped when we were putting items away after a trip to the grocery store.
Things to Keep in Mind…
Organizing your refrigerator with baskets or clear containers will work if you….
- meal plan
- only buy those grocery items you’re going to actually use during the week (i.e. not in large bulk)
- don’t keep a lot of leftovers
- are willing to decant items that come individually wrapped
- want to save time and money
- are willing to take a few minutes each week to evaluate and maintain your organizational system
Another thing to keep in mind is that organizing is not a “one size fits all” sort of endeavor. The key to living a clutter-free lifestyle is at its heart, as basic as:
But it’s also about being mindful of the items you’re bringing into your home, as well as, finding the right system for you and your family.
A system that is easy to maintain and serves your needs.
Organize Your Refrigerator With These Products We Found On Amazon…
(Amazon affiliate links have been provided for your convenience. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Any sales made through such links will support us with a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read our full disclosure policy here)
- **Items we currently have and use
- ***Items we have but haven’t started using yet
I hope these tips and tricks for how to organize your refrigerator have helped. Let us know your favorite way to stay organized!Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.