Refrigerator Organization Ideas To Save Time and Money
If you’re like most people, chances are your refrigerator typically looks like a science experiment. You stare inside each time you open the door, struggling to find what you’re looking for and letting out cold air. You probably have cans and jars of food that expired months ago or things in bags you can no longer identify. [Read: Air Fryer for Beginners (Ultimate Guide + 21 Air Fryer Appliance Tips)]
Not to worry! We’re here to help you organize your refrigerator with five simple fridge ideas to save you time and money.
1. Empty Your Refrigerator and Give it a Good Cleaning
The first order of business is to remove everything from your fridge. This will give you the chance to throw away anything spoiled or past its expiration date. If you have a lot of cleaning to do, place the perishables in a cooler filled with ice to keep them chilled while you work. [Read: 5 Baby Closet Organization Tips to Create a Sweet Space!]
Next, clean and disinfect every surface inside the fridge, which will reduce the chances of contamination, using disinfecting wipes or spray. Remove all drawers and soak them in hot soapy water. Before you start organizing your fridge, put in a deodorizer such as an open box of baking soda – it should have a date indicating when it needs to be replaced.
This may seem like a lot of work, but take heart! Once you’re organized, you only need to do this once or twice a year.
2. Make the Best Use of The Upper Shelves
Your fridge’s upper shelves are in the refrigerator’s warmest zone. They are also its highest point, so it’s the best place for drinks, dairy products, ready-to-eat foods, and already-cooked foods such as yogurt, cheese, and leftovers. Make sure not to place raw meats or anything that can leak or drip on the upper shelves.
The doors are also in a warmer zone, so use them for less perishable items such as butter, sauces, ketchup, mustard, and other condiments, salad dressing, soda, and wine.
3. Refrigerator Organization Ideas – Middle Shelves and Drawers
This section of your fridge is the most temperature-controlled. That makes it great for eggs, drinks, and prepared foods you don’t have room for on the top shelves and fruit that doesn’t fit into the drawers. [Read: 5 Top Rated Air Fryers | Which One is Right For You?]
Crisper drawers hold in humidity, making them an excellent choice to store fruits and vegetables. Make sure you keep them separate. You can go out and buy drawer dividers, which are typically used for clothes drawers, to keep the food in your crispers even more separated and organized.
4. Use Your Lower Shelves to Your Advantage
The lower shelves, and the back of the bottom shelf, in particular, are the coolest zone of the fridge. It’s the best place for milk and other perishable dairy products and raw ingredients such as meats, poultry, and seafood.
Use cookie sheets to divide shelves into “zones” so it’s easier to locate and access items.
5. Refrigerator Organization Ideas – 10 Valuable Tips
Now that you know where in your refrigerator to place food items, here are 10 tips for the best organization:
|Owner’s Manual:||For optimal safety, always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for food storage. Not all refrigerators are built the same.|
|Turntable||Consider using a turntable to keep your food items accessible. Easy-glide organizers provide access to multiple items in just a spin. High sides keep things safely in place while spinning. Most have clear plastic that allows you to view labels easily.|
|Hanging Baskets||You can attach small hanging baskets to the sides using suction cups, magnets, or an undershelf hanging basket bin. They are perfect for small items such as leftover cheeses.|
|Curtain Rings||Curtain ring clips make the perfect accessory for hanging bagged food – just clip them on and hang your shredded cheese and leftover lettuce.|
|Cookie Sheets||Use rimmed cookie sheets to divide shelves into “zones” so it’s easier to locate and access items.|
|Clear Bins||These can also help you create zones for better organization. They are great for containing loose items like apples and citrus fruit. Choose a brand made specifically for refrigerators.|
|Food Storage Containers||Available in plastic or glass, buy containers that stack easily and allow you to see the contents. Shallow rather than tall ones make items more visible.|
|Manage Leftovers||Follow the “first in, first out” rule by putting new items in the back of the fridge, so older food gets used up first.|
|Consider How You Cook||When unloading your groceries, place the food you use most often in the front and center of your shelves and items you don’t use that much in corners.|
|Food Safety||Visit Foodsafety.gov for the latest news, alerts, and tips on safely handling and storing food to prevent food poisoning. The following list is an excerpt from the official website of the United States government:|
1. Clean: “Wash hands, utensils, and surfaces often. Germs can spread and survive in many places.”
2. Separate: “Raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs can spread illness-causing bacteria to ready to eat foods, so keep them separate.”
3. Cook: “Cook to the right temperature. Ensure that foods are cooked safely by always using a food thermometer.”
4. Chill: “Refrigerate promptly. Bacteria that cause food poisoning multiply quickest between 40°F and 140°F.”
If you make a small investment in the right accessories for your refrigerator and follow our tips, “you will be amazed at how much time you save when it’s time to prepare a meal or even just grab a snack.” And it will feel great knowing you are saving money (skipping the spoiled food cycle). [Read: Boho Dorm Room | 9 Design Tips to Happiness (#4 is our Favorite)!]
We hope you’ve enjoyed this post, 5 Refrigerator Organization Ideas | How to Organize Like a Pro. We’d love to know if you incorporate any of these tips into your own lives.
Please let us know in the comments!