6 Steps for Easy Refrigerator Organization

6 Steps for Easy Refrigerator Organization

The kitchen is the heart of your home, serving as the hub for your family’s cooking, baking, and snacking needs, so proper refrigerator organization is a must. A well-organized fridge will help you locate things for easier cooking in addition to keeping food fresher. What’s the best way to start your fridge organization? These 6 simple steps will get you moving in the right direction.

Clean it out

The first thing you need to do is take everything out so you can clean and really take inventory of your needs. Organization and cleaning go hand in hand: you need to clean to organize well, while having an organized fridge will make it easier to clean. As you go, toss out anything that is obviously old or that you are sure you won’t eat. Then read labels and make sure no expiration dates have passed.

While you have everything out, take time to give your fridge the deep scrub it needs. You can begin by removing anything that can be taken out—shelves and drawers—and moving them to the sink to wash. Fill a bowl with a few squirts of dish soap and warm water, then grab a sponge or microfiber cloth and get to work! Scrub all surface areas, making sure to get into hard-to-reach corners and places where the glass meets the frame. Don’t forget to wipe down the walls and inside the door, especially in nooks and crannies where crumbs and other spills can hide.

After you complete the inside of the fridge, move on to the stuff you took out. You can use the same bowl of soapy water and use additional water from the faucet for easier rinsing. Some pieces might need extra time to soak.

Arrange your shelves

Before you begin putting everything back in, think about the types of food you buy and the arrangement that makes most sense to you. Many people just keep the same fridge layout that comes standard, but most fridges these days allow for customization. Adjust the side shelves to fit your condiments; move the inner shelves to fit your family’s lifestyle. This might even mean moving a shelf up to make room for large bottles, leaving you space to store shorter items like sour cream and dips on the shelf above. You may even find that removing a shelf entirely will free up the space you need. Do whatever works for you.

Buy accessories

Though many fridges these days come equipped with specialty areas for certain foods—a nook for eggs and butter, for example—you can and should shop for additional accessories to help you further organize. Containers and plastic bins can help you compartmentalize areas that will make it easier for everyone to pull things out and put them away. Plus, they can make it even easier to clean—if something spills, you only have to worry about cleaning out the container, not wiping up a mess that has expanded to the rest of the fridge.

The same can be said for using plastic liners for your refrigerator drawers or shelf liner for the shelves. Things sometimes leak, even if we make every effort to prevent that, and having a liner means you simply replace it with a new layer instead of having to scrub stuck-on spills.

Are cans of soda or bottles of wine taking up too much space in your fridge? Consider a can holder, that saves room by efficiently stacking the cans together, or a wine bottle holder, that holds bottles on their side so you can keep them in tighter areas, such as the small space underneath the ice maker, instead of valuable areas where you need to store bigger items.

Don’t limit your use of bins and accessories to open areas. Use them in your produce drawers so that you can take fruits and vegetables out of the plastic bags you get at the grocery store, which can interfere with proper humidity levels.

Are you tired of your food absorbing odors? Eggs and open butter are particularly susceptible, so look into containers to hold open butter and an egg holder.

Group items together

When you have items that generally go together, such as peanut butter and jelly or ketchup and mustard, it makes sense to store them together. They will be easier to find and simpler to put away. To make food retrieval even more seamless, you could use plastic bins to group like foods together. This way, you simply have to pull the bin out when you are ready to make lunch or serve burgers for dinner.

Fridges come with crisper drawers for fruits and vegetables that allow you to set the humidity levels. Does this really matter? Yes! In general, most of your vegetables should go in the high humidity drawer while most of your fruits will do best in the low humidity drawer. Things that do best in the low humidity drawer include apples, avocados, blueberries, citrus fruit, grapes, green onions, kiwi fruit, melons, okra, peaches, pears, and plums. Items that do better with high humidity include asparagus, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, green beans, leafy greens, peas, peppers, spinach, summer squash, and zucchini.

Label things

Once you have everything back in the fridge, organized neatly into your new storage containers, you may want to invest in some labels so that everyone understands that there is now a designated place for everything. Since your needs might shift depending on the meal plan for the week, you may want to invest is some erasable labels, which allow for customization yet also give you the power to change your mind. You may want to label baskets, doors, and drawers. Dry erase tape works great for this.

Storage tips and tricks

While you should utilize the best organization system that works for you, there are certain tips and tricks that will help keep your refrigerator as fresh and useful as can be. Though many people keep their milk on the door for convenience, it really does best in the middle of the fridge, where the temperature is consistent. The same is true for eggs, and if you use a reusable egg holder, you’ll be able to stack things on top of it!

Keep all the food in your fridge safe by storing raw meat on the bottom shelf to prevent accidental spills. And to avoid having to rummage through things to reach things shoved in the back of the fridge, use a lazy susan. Finally, make sure your sparkling-fresh fridge keeps smelling that way with an odor absorber. The common cure is baking soda, but many people claim that activated charcoal works even better. You can find activated charcoal online or at your local pet or aquarium store.

Kitchen organization doesn’t just look nice; it leads to a happier, healthier, and more relaxed time in your home!

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6 Steps for Easy Refrigerator Organization

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