My fridge can be a scary place some days! But with a few tried and true systems, I can mostly keep it under control and serving me well. Let me share with you my best tips for how to organize your fridge.
I gotta say, with all this staying at home time these past few months, my fridge has been getting a workout.
We’ve gotten drive-thru a few times, but really, we are enjoying the simplicity of eating at home.
[Don’t worry! I’m getting a break here and there with a frozen pizza or cold cut sandwiches. 😉 Plus, I love being in the kitchen, so it’s not drudgery for me!]
So let me share with you a few tips for how I keep my fridge organized and what makes me able to tell someone exactly (almost) where to find things.
Click here for more Cheap Organization Hacks for Homemakers.
How to Get (and Keep) Your Fridge Organized
Before you arrive at an organized fridge, you’re going to have to do a deep clean. Don’t worry! You don’t have to do this all in one day!
Just pick a shelf or a drawer and clean. Throw out what’s bad. Combine the six open bottles of mustard. Pull out the shelf or drawer and wash it up in the sink.
Do this one shelf or drawer at a time until you’ve hit every shelf and you actually know what you have in your fridge.
How to Organize Your Fridge
1. Use the same container every time. For the foods you always have in the fridge, put them in the same container. Whether you have multiples of the same container or just wash it before refilling, this will eliminate a lot of search time.
Plus, it helps my husband and to know exactly what container to look for.
For example, my sliced cheese is always in the same container. When my husband needs a quick snack, he always knows what it’s stored in so he finds it easily.
2. Store in the same place. Every time you put something back in the fridge, put it back in the same place or at least the same shelf.
This way if I’m in the other room, I can holler to my husband what shelf the jelly is on. Or what corner of the drawer the string cheese is because I have learned how to organize my fridge.
I know, not everyone who’s in the fridge will do this. That’s why it’s important for you to do a quick re-arrange while you are prepping supper or whenever you are multitasking in the kitchen.
3. Designated shelves. Leftovers happen after most every meal. Having a specific shelf that stores leftovers only keeps me rotating through them so they don’t go to waste.
My husband knows the leftovers are only stored on the middle shelf so when he needs a snack, he knows exactly where to find the leftover burgers or pizza.
For me, this system is especially important because I have so many things that are always in the fridge. I always have a running jar of applesauce, pickles, red beets, dilly beans and olives. Keeping them all on the same shelf all the time lets me easily grab and go when I set out a meal.
4. Glass containers. Most of my leftover containers are glass with a plastic lid. I love these because they can be popped in the oven or microwave without transferring to another container.
You can also see exactly what’s in each container.
Jars are also great for storage. I keep most fresh cut veggies in glass jars because they take less space and are easy to spot.
Soups and gravy are also great to store in jars.
Read more on How to Reuse Leftover Food.
5. Lazy Susan. Lazy Susans aren’t just for the table or cupboard! Put one in your fridge to hold condiments, medications or other like items. Even better, find one with edges so things don’t go flying off.
6. Baskets. Keeping similar items grouped together will make your life so much easier. When you are organizing your fridge, use these long, skinny baskets. They allow you to simply pull them out and see what is stored at the back of your fridge.
Use them for grouping condiments, lunch meats, fruits or veggies! You can also keep some of your healthy convenience foods in these containers for quick snacks to grab.
7. Spot clean. Cleaning isn’t organizing, but I feel they go hand in hand. At least once a day as I’m putting a meal away, I take a wet dish rag and spot clean shelves.
Where my milk gets kept is a daily wipe down because it’s messy. The other shelves get wiped down here and there as needed.
Don’t forget to wipe down the door handle, too.
You may be thinking, “Sure, this works for her, she only has 3 people in and out of her fridge.”
Actually, many of these tips on how to organize your fridge I got from my mother-in-law who lives on the main farm and has all the guys in and out of her kitchen all day.
Yes, it will take some work to implement these systems, but it will be so worth it! Especially once your whole household is trained in this.
How to Maintain Your Organized Fridge
There will certainly be some people who can’t understand how sanity-saving an organized fridge is for you so they won’t adhere to your systems.
You will save yourself a lot of headache to just accept this fact.
Because the fridge is mainly your space, take ownership of it no matter who disregards your systems!
Every meal you are prepping, take a minute to put things where you want them in your fridge. Just like you spot clean the fridge once a day, you will have to do a quick shuffle every day.
Doing this quick re-arrange will help you remember what you have in your fridge, as well! Leftovers won’t be forgotten and tortillas won’t go stale.
Keep your sanity and look forward to meal prep when you learn how to organize your fridge with these seven simple systems.