We all know that feeling of opening up our fridge, getting smacked in the face with an odd odor, looking at our poor expired veggies, and well, do I need to continue? I think you get the gist. But if it’s so gross, why are we so quick to do nothing about it? Well just like with anything else we don’t want to deal with, it’s much easier to slam the door and move on than to address the problem. But it’s 2021, which means it’s time for a change. Because organization is proven to improve our happiness and reduce our stress, organization is something we all should improve on! And I don’t know about you, but nothing makes me happier than walking into my kitchen and opening up my aesthetically pleasing fridge, or my friend’s fridges for that matter. It overall just gives a cleaner vibe to your space and presents you in a better light for when your guests come over.
Why organized fridges are the most cost effective
Having an organized fridge means you’ll know exactly what you have in your fridge. While you can try and argue that you know exactly what you have in your messy fridge, there’s a good chance you don’t. And yes, that second bottle of ketchup you just bought but didn’t need proves it. It’s not your fault that you didn’t see that unused ketchup bottle under all the clutter, but it is the reason you should no longer be living that way! You’re spending extra money when you don’t need to be. Being able to see everything in your fridge will be a quick and easy indicator of what you’re missing and what you’re running low on. Lacking easy access to your ingredients will also cost you because when you’ve finally found them, they will most likely be expired. Additionally, if you didn’t already know, we are big contributors to food waste through what we throw away in our own homes alone. Let’s change that!
Just like with everything else in life, you’ve got to start somewhere. But before we get into how to start, I wanted to say that your version of an organized fridge will probably look different from someone else’s and that is OK and NORMAL! The reason for this is because we all have different wants and needs. For example, if you’re someone who loves juices, the top row of your fridge might be a variety of different juices. But if you’re someone who loves sparkling water, it’s less likely that the top row of your fridge will be filled with a variety of juices. So yes, in a way, your fridge is a personal reflection of you through the things you like to drink and eat. But this is also why it may look different than someone else’s. A good place to start your fridge organization is by listing your go-to products. Once you’ve done that, you can begin containing those items and eventually categorize them and then organize them. I will explain this in more detail below.
In order to attain that organized fridge you’ve always wanted, you’re going to want to make sure that each item in your fridge is as easily accessible as the other.
Tip #1: Clean out your fridge and then clean your fridge
Throwing away all the expired items in your fridge is the first step in the right direction, but having a dirty and stained fridge with fresh products is not exactly satisfying. Therefore, be sure you clean out every product in your fridge, even the non-expired products so that every last stain is made visible. This will make cleaning your fridge much easier and quicker. Once you’ve thoroughly scrubbed your fridge clean and kept your non-expired products aside, you’re ready to move on to the next step.
Tip #2: Make a list of your go-to products
What is your typical breakfast food? Or breakfast beverage? Do you make a smoothie every morning? How about lunch? What is your go-to meal? Is it a sandwich? What is your favorite kind of deli meat? Or snack? Is it fruits? Is it veggies? Is it cheese? You need to think about your routine when listing your go-to products. What is it that you eat the most? Drink the most? Snack on the most? Take on the go the most? Asking yourself these questions will help you write a list quickly.
Tip #3: Contain your items
I mentioned above that once you’ve listed your go-to products, you should then start containing them. By containing, I don’t just mean to group the same categorical items together. I also mean to individually contain your products regardless of whether they fall under the same category or not. For example, your vegetables can all go in the same drawer, but they should be individually separated so that they are easily visible and accessible.
Tip #4: Categorize your items
Categorizing is the next step, and your easy indicator to knowing where and what things are. Depending on what you buy more of, you’re going to want to pick a specific place in your fridge for those items. For example, if you buy more vegetables than fruit, it would make the most sense to categorize one of the bigger drawers as your veggie drawer and one of the smaller drawers as your fruit drawer. And let’s not forget about the doors in the fridge because those need to be categorized too! Most people put condiments in their doors, but not everyone is a big condiment person, so it depends. However, it does make the most sense to put bottle shaped products in the doors of the fridge. Once you’ve categorized all the sections in your fridge, it’s time to organize.
Tip #5: Organizing your items
It’s finally time for the fun part, organizing! Organization varies from person to person and depending on how OCD you are, you’ll come up with more efficient and effective ways to organize. I have listed some of my favorite organization products below as well as a small description of what they’re most useful for.
General rules for fridge organization (you don’t have to follow these)
1. Fridge doors are for condiments – not eggs
2. Raw meat, poultry, seafood should go on bottom (the reason for this is because the bottom shelf is the coldest shelf and these foods spoil the easiest)
3. Middle shelf is for dairy
4. High-humidity drawer for veggies
5. Low-humidity drawer for fruits
6. Use deli drawer for cheese and cooked meat
7. Make sure your newer groceries are placed behind your older ones
8. Not everything has to go in the fridge. For example, potatoes, avocados, oranges, and limes could all be left out.
9. Don’t set your refrigerator to its coldest temperature. According to the FDA, 40 degrees is the ideal fridge temperature.
1. Glass food storage containers
Because they’re clear, you can see exactly what’s inside of them. They’re great for storing fresh food, leftovers, etc. The lids seal tightly which keeps the food from spoiling easily.
18 Piece Glass Food Storage Containers with Lids – $32.99
Glass Meal Prep Containers Glass Food Storage Containers with Lids – 2 Compartment – $44.99
24-Piece Superior Glass Food Storage Containers Set – $38.99
2. Fridge bins
The best way to organize your fridge are with these clear bins. Not only can you can see what’s inside them, but they also come in various shapes in sizes to accommodate specific foods.
Set Of 8 Refrigerator Organizer Bins – 4 Large and 4 Small Stackable Fridge Organizers – $31.99
Refrigerator Organizer Bins – $25.99
Plastic Refrigerator Organizer Bins – 4 Piece – $24.99
3. Reusable silicone food storage bags
Not only are these eco-friendly, but they’re also great for left overs, cut up fruits and veggies, keeping your food fresher for longer, and more.
Silicone Food Grade Reusable Storage Bag – $11.99
Silicone Reusable Food Bag, Bundle, Clear – $47.95
12 Pack Dishwasher Safe Reusable Storage Bags – $16.99
4. Fridge labels
Besides being able to see what’s in your fridge, it’s also nice to write down what is in each bin and the date that it’ll expire.
Fridge Storage Organizer Identification Labels – $5.99
155 Cursive Labels – $14.95
Date-It Food Container Sticker Food Labels – $14.95
5. Stackable wine rack
Why waste the space in your fridge putting bottles next to each other when you could invest in a stackable wine rack?
Modular Plastic Wine Rack (3-Pack) Stackable – $18.97
Plastic Free-Standing Water Bottle and Wine Rack Storage – $15.99
Modern Plastic Stackable Vertical Standing Wine Bottle Holder – $24.99
6. Fridge air filter
Even if you have the most aesthetically pleasing fridge in the world, it will go unnoticed if it smells…so make sure you invest in a fridge air filter.
Arm & Hammer Fridge Fresh Refrigerator Air Filter (Pack of 4) – $17.69
7. Clear Jars
Great for storing any kind of food! Additionally, The transparency of the jar makes it easy to see what’s inside.
Glass Regular Mouth Mason Jars, 16 Ounce – $14.99
16 oz. Mason Jars Drinking Glass – 10 Pack – Clear – $28.99
16 oz Clear Glass Water Bottle with Lids, 6 Pack – $20.95
8. Sliding Yogurt Organizer
Don’t take up your fridge space by stacking yogurts on top of each other, invest in a sliding yogurt organizer instead.
Sliding Greek Yogurt Refrigerator Organizer – $9.99