I try to keep my home fairly organized, but my refrigerator seems to get messy quicker than most areas. Between my leftovers and the food I forget to toss, my cluttered fridge makes finding what I need a difficult task.
That’s why my refrigerator is one of the first things I’m tackling during my January organizing challenge. Does yours need a little help as well? If so, you’ll be able to find some of my favorite tips, tricks and products to organize your fridge in no time.
*post includes affiliate links
Easy Refrigerator Organization Tips
In October of 2019, I was invited to the TODAY Show to do a segment on fridge organization. It was so much fun to help everyone get their refrigerators in tip-top shape! You can check out the video below to see a few of my tips.
Storing Food In Your Fridge
When storing and organizing your food in the refrigerator, you want to make sure things are accessible and placed in an optimal area. For example, milk, dairy and eggs should be stored in the middle, whereas meats should be on the bottom shelf. When it comes to condiments and pasteurized juices, the best place to put them is in the door.
Have a drawer filled with fruits and vegetables? Instead of putting everything together, they should both go in separate bins. Keeping fruits and veggies apart is helpful because some fruits produce ethylene. It’s necessary for ripening, but it can also cause other items to spoil quickly. If you don’t have space for bins, simply use a drawer separator to keep things in the right spot.
When you bring fruits and vegetables home from the store, don’t wash your items until they’re ready to eat. And don’t keep them in their original store bags because they’ll over-ripen. But if you want to store them in one way or another, you can invest in plasticware that’s designed to keep food fresher for longer.
Tackling Refrigerator Odors
No one likes to be hit with a horrible stench when opening the fridge door. Unfortunately, this happens more than I’d like to admit! To combat this issue, use baking soda (in a bowl or in the open cardboard container) or an activated charcoal sachet. They both absorb bad odors, leaving you with a fresh-smelling fridge.
If the inside of your refrigerator looks a bit dirty, you can clean it just like you’d clean your countertops. Just make sure you’re using a non-toxic or natural cleaner. Vinegar and lemon juice also work great!
If you’d like to avoid sticky situations in the first place, you can line your shelves with adhesive sheets or wax paper for easy clean-up.
Unique Ways To Store Food
If you have a lot of items in your fridge, keeping them organized can seem impossible. That’s why you want to optimize the space you have by using unique storage items.
I like to keep my condiments and jellies on a lazy susan. That way, I can reach everything with the turn of the table! If you get one that has multiple sections, you can group similar items together for a more organized space.
Another tip is to use magnetic containers. Sure, the surface area of your refrigerator might be limited, but the inside walls of your fridge are actually magnetic — meaning you can optimize space vertically. I like to use magnetic spice jars on the outside of my refrigerator and magnetic shelves on the inside. They don’t hold anything too heavy, but they’re great for those little things that don’t have their own “designated area” of their own.
In terms of larger containers, I like using clear bins to store food. That way, I always know what’s inside and what items are getting close to their expiration date.
And if you liked my advice, you can shop for some of my favorite refrigerator organization products I referenced in the segment. Just click on the images in the collage below to find my favs!
Favorite Refrigerator Organization Products
Since my appearance on the show, I’ve played around with a few more organization hacks that I want to share with you.
Keep Things Organized
This 3 Tier Spice Rack Organizer is the ultimate space-saving refrigerator organization product. In addition to a place for spices and bottles, it has a bar where you can hold paper or kitchen towels. I don’t recommend putting this one inside the fridge but it should work perfectly on the outside.
No matter how well you organize your fridge, your shelves will look cluttered if you don’t optimize the space inside. That’s where this Helper Shelf Set will come in handy. They essentially create more surface area on your shelves — allowing you to dedicate each one to a different category of items.
One of the simplest things you can do in terms of refrigerator organization is to label your leftovers. I found these Labels from Hearthmark that are reusable for long-term storage. Each time you throw a new dish in the fridge, write on one of these labels with the name of the food and the date so you know what you have on hand (and when to toss it!).
Where are all my wine lovers? Because this convenient Wine Holder will certainly come in handy for your chilled drinks. My favorite part about these is that they’re stackable to allow for more space for other products.
Keep Things Fresh
I don’t own this Refrigerator Purifier, but the technology seems super interesting and helpful. This little device from PureAir is designed to sanitize the inside of your fridge by using ionization and ozone technology. When you turn it on and place it on a shelf, it destroys bacteria and obnoxious odors.
It’s also smaller than a soda can which won’t take up much space!
I feel like tomatoes expire overnight, which is an issue when you only need to use half of a tomato for a recipe. Luckily, I found this Tomato and Onion Stay Fresh Container which is crafted to keep your veggies fresh for longer. It’s also dishwasher safe and BPA-free.
Whether you keep individually wrapped or bulk cheese slices in the house, this Sliced Cheese Stay Fresh Container will come in handy. It’s the perfect size for conveniently-packaged cheese and it keeps the cheese air-tight for a longer shelf life.
When you need to make a quick lunch or throw a snack together in a hurry, it’s accessible and convenient.
Nothing beats a cold glass of lemon water during the summer months. And this Fresh Flip Lemon Pod is great for storing lemon slices or lemon halves. But if you’re not much of a lemon person, this container also comes in handy for other citrus fruits.
Thanks again for checking into DAY 3 of my organization challenge! This one is a bit more complicated, but I promise you that a clean fridge will take some weight off of your shoulders.
From my home to yours,