Is your refrigerator a chaotic mess with items haphazardly crammed inside? Do you often find yourself wasting food because it gets lost in the abyss of your fridge? It’s time to take control and transform your refrigerator into an organized oasis of freshness. Follow these steps and tips to optimize your fridge space and keep your food fresh for longer.
*Note that it might be helpful to get measurements of all your shelves/drawers and order all of your containers, shelf liner or mats, and any other organization materials you need a few days before starting this project.
1. Empty and Clean
- Start by removing everything from your refrigerator. This is your chance to check for expired items and give your fridge a thorough cleaning. Wipe down shelves and drawers with a mixture of water and vinegar to eliminate odors and bacteria.
2. Place Shelf Liner or Mats on Shelves/Drawers
- Now that your shelves and drawers are clean, it’s time to put the shelf liner or mats down. This will make wiping down the fridge easier, and cleaning up any accidental leaks or spills.
3. Categorize Items
- Group similar items together. For example, condiments, keep dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and meats in separate sections. This makes it easier to find what you need.
4. Use Clear Containers
- Invest in clear containers to store grouped items in. For example; Different fruits, vegetables, snacks, and other small items that you buy often. Make sure to label these to make inventory and maintaining organization a snap.
5. Prioritize Placement
- Store items that need to be used sooner, like fresh produce, at eye level. This way, you’ll be more likely to grab them for quick meals or snacks.
6. Utilize Door Storage
- The refrigerator door is best for items with longer shelf lives, such as condiments, dressings, and beverages. Keep in mind that the door is the warmest part of the fridge, so avoid storing perishables like milk or eggs there.
7. Label and Date
- Label containers with the date you prepared the food to help you keep track of freshness. Use labels or masking tape and a marker for easy identification.
8. Create Zones
- Designate specific zones for specific foods. For instance, have a breakfast zone with yogurt, milk, and eggs, and a snack zone with pre-cut fruits and healthy snacks. Make sure to keep the snacks and other items that kids reach for at a comfortable level for them to get themselves.
9. Invest in other Fridge Organizers
- Consider using fridge organizers, such as lazy Susans, to maximize space and keep items accessible. These can be especially helpful for smaller fridges. This also really helps with cleaning and inventory.
10. Keep an Inventory
- Maintain a simple inventory list on the fridge or your phone. This helps you track what you have and what needs to be replenished on your next grocery trip.
11. Teach the Family
- Educate your family members on the new organization system and encourage them to follow it. This ensures everyone plays a role in maintaining order.
With these steps and tips, your refrigerator will become a well-organized, food-saving machine. You’ll spend less time searching for items and reduce food waste, ultimately saving you money and making meal preparation a breeze. Happy organizing!