Lifestyle

Spring cleaning: 3 tips for organizing the refrigerator

March 30, 2016

The fridge can be a real situation in our home. We aren’t good about eating left overs, but we also hate to throw away food… so you can imagine how that turns out! In order to keep a tidy fridge, we really have to make a conscious effort. I recently set out on a mission to organize our fridge for good — and discovered a few helpful tips along the way!

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1. Rearrange the shelves.
This is probably a no-brainer for most, but I always forget that fridge shelves can be very easily moved around! When I really started assessing the situation in our fridge, I realized there was a lot of wasted space. Adjusting shelf height to better correspond with items on the shelves made a big difference and gave us back some much needed real-estate.

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2. Arrange your food items strategically.
I recently did quite a bit of research on where items in our fridge really belong. Until then, I had no clue and had been stashing things in all of the wrong places! Here is a cheat sheet I assembled to help better navigate the fridge scene:

Dairy: Most dairy items (like milk and yogurt) do better where it’s coldest — for most fridges, this is the bottom shelf, as far back as you can go. (Previously, we made the mistake of storing our milk in the door, which apparently is the worst place you can store milk. Oops!)
Eggs: Eggs don’t need to be as cold as some other items, so they do best on a middle shelf, where the temperature is most consistent.
Raw meat: Raw meat needs to be kept super cold, so it should also go on the bottom shelf. This also prevents your entire fridge from being contaminated if the juices from the meat leak. (Gross!)
Deli meats: If you have a shallow deli drawer, that’s the best place for deli meats. Otherwise, try to fit them on your bottom shelf.
Fruit: If you can adjust the humidity on your crisper, fruit does best in low humidity. (Another mistake we  made!)
Veggies: Veggies tend to do best in high humidity, so if you have two adjustable crispers/drawers, separate your fruits and veggies. (If not, don’t sweat it!)
Cheese: Generally, cheese doesn’t need to be as cold. Soft cheese can go in the dairy compartment on the door. We usually stick all of our cheese in the deli drawer though, because we don’t typically have enough deli meat to fill the space.
Butter: Butter can go in the dairy compartment on the door.
Condiments: Condiments tend to have preservatives in them, so they do fine in the door (the warmest place in the fridge).
Soda and other non-juice beverages: If they’ll fit in the door, that’s a good place for them. Otherwise — top shelf is fine, too.
Juice: Unpasteurized juice should be stored on the bottom shelf, but if it’s pasteurized, it can go in the door.
Left overs: If the food has already been cooked, the top shelf is a good spot for it.
Baking soda (for freshness): Since it doesn’t need to be very accessible, I stick our baking soda in the back corner on the top shelf.

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3. Containers are totally optional, but definitely more visually-appealing.
Depending on the style of your fridge, containers can actually help organize your food. My sister-in-law uses little bins to hold baby food and yogurt, which allows her to get rid of the bulky packaging they often come in. I use a few containers, too: a small dish for baking soda (simply because it’s more visually-appealing than the orange box), a tray for raw meat (to keep juices from dripping), stackable wine holders, a bowl for grapes (we eat them more if they are washed and ready to go), a Lazy Susan for dairy items, and a holder for eggs. Even though there are much cuter egg holders out there, I opted for this clear one because it has a lid so we can stack other things on it if needed. It also has a dry erase spot for an expiration date, which I love!

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So there you have it — a couple of tips that helped tame the monster that is our refrigerator. Any other tips for fridge organization?! I’d love to hear!

Lazy Susan for fridge (similar)
Egg holder
Stackable wine rack
Tray for raw meat (similar)
Mixing bowls (grapes, baking soda)

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1 Comment

  • Reply Sarah Graves March 30, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    What fabulous ideas! If only our fridge could actually look like this. I am now inspired to drag everything out and begin again. I am sorry your hubby is not a left over guy. We have not idea how he got that way as his dad and I will eat leftovers for days!!!
    Great job Abby!

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