What does the inside of your refrigerator look like? Packed to the brim? In need of a good clean? Unknown containers of food hiding in the back? Just about everyone can likely agree that their kitchen could use a little love when it comes to fridge organization and cleanliness.
Not only does refrigerator organization save time when you’re finding ingredients and making dinner; it can prevent food waste and help your refrigerator operate more efficiently. So, what are you waiting for? Jump right in and give your fridge a good clean. Then start organizing!
How to Organize Your Refrigerator
- Use bins: One of the biggest problems with a standard-size fridge is the fact that it’s easy to forget about the items hiding in the back. Use bins that are the depth of your fridge so you can easily organize the smaller items that are easy to lose track of. Label the bins for quick access to what’s inside.
- Keep track of items that may spoil soon: Set aside one bin or an area in the fridge for items you expect to spoil soon. Check this area when you start cooking or are reaching for a snack to make sure nothing goes bad before you can eat it.
- Label everything: Labeling food will help you keep track of what’s in your refrigerator and how long it’s been there – taking the guesswork out of leftovers. We recommend keeping painter’s tape and a permanent marker near the fridge for labeling. Painter’s tape comes off containers easily for simple cleanup. Take a cue from professional kitchens, and be sure to date your labels so you won’t have to remember which day you made chili for dinner.
- Organize like the pros: Professional kitchens organize refrigerator space in two ways. First, they keep what needs to be used first closer to the front of the fridge. If you keep multiple containers of one product in the fridge, organize based on the sell-by dates, with the closest dates in the front. Second, they organize based on what will actually be cooked – meat and other raw items to be cooked are kept at the bottom of the fridge so any accidental leaks don’t contaminate something that won’t be cooked. Keep drinks and anything meant to be eaten without cooking at a higher level.
- Line the shelves for easy cleaning: Line your fridge shelves with plastic wrap or fridge mats for easy fridge cleanup. Just remove and replace plastic wrap or wash the mats in the sink.
- Know your fridge zones: The center is the coldest section of the fridge, so use this space to store your most perishable items. The door storage is always a little warmer than the rest of the fridge, meaning you should save that space for the least perishable items.
- Use the freezer: A lot of leftovers can easily be frozen, so if you know it might be a while before you’ll eat something, put it in the freezer. Don’t forget to label and date it so you’ll remember what’s inside that container!
- Clean it out regularly: At least once a month, set aside some time to go through the refrigerator and get rid of anything that has gone bad or that you know you won’t use in time.
Fridge Organization Planning
When making a plan for fridge organization, it’s important to involve everyone who lives in your home. If everyone is on board, it’s more likely your hard work will pay off and the fridge will remain organized for the long haul. Consider making a fridge chart to show your family members where everything belongs; soon everyone will know the layout. Finally, mark your calendar for regular fridge organization and cleaning.
Is your fridge not the only thing in need of a clean? If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the state of your kitchen or other rooms, ask your local Molly Maid about a custom cleaning plan that’s just right for your household.