A clean and organized fridge is the quickest way to save money on your grocery bill, cut down on food waste, and make mealtimes easy. Today, I will walk you through my journey to a clean fridge! Here is how to organize your refrigerator…
By nature, I am not a very organized person in the traditional sense. I would say that I am an expert at organized chaos. I tend to organize in piles and am the first to admit that I am the one in the household to loose track of things. My sister-in-law is probably the most organized person I have met in my life! She thrives on organization and has always hoped to rub off on me. Well, this year, she got her wish!
Several months ago, I became fed up with the state of our kitchen. Our kitchen is very small, but definitely manageable. One of our biggest pain points was our fridge! I was tired of throwing out outdated food and buying more than we needed at the grocery store. Things were constantly getting lost in the back of the fridge never to be seen again until it was too late.
I caught myself at the grocery store wondering, “do we have any yogurt that’s in date”, or “how many carrots do I have in the drawers of the fridge”? Inevitably, I would end up with 10 yogurts and 25 carrots and couldn’t get through them all before they began to go bad.
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Along came Katie
One day, I reached my limit and gave my sister-in-law, Katie, a call. She couldn’t believe her ears! I was ready to get organized and the best place to start was our refrigerator. Katie warned me of the cost of materials, but I was ready to invest in my sanity! She came over as soon as she was able we got started.
Katie taught me that the number one thing you want to do before investing in the containers for your refrigerator is measure. Measure the width of the interior and the height between each shelf inside. Take an inventory of the items that you have regularly in your refrigerator and write them down. Take note of your pain points and make a list of things that you would like to bring more order to inside your refrigerator. Divide your refrigerator into categories. I came up with the following categories:
- Sandwiches (for my husband’s daily sandwich making)
Shopping for supplies to organize your refrigerator
Katie taught me that wen you are shopping for the containers to organize with, you should buy more than you think you will need and return what you don’t use. For my refrigerator, we got a mix of clear drawers, stackable boxes with lids, an egg tray, open topped bins, and long skinny containers. We made sure to get containers that weren’t too tall for the shelves and to get a variety of containers to try out. Be sure to go with your measuring tape to check measurements.
We went between two different stores. Most of the containers were purchased at the container store, but we also ran by Costco because they usually have a great set of containers for organizing your refrigerator. We managed to get the last box of organizers that they had and actually ended up using them!
What we bought to organize my refrigerator
For the top shelf, I ended up going with an 18 egg box with a lid in case we ever wanted to stack things on top of them. We got two lidded berry boxes, skinny containers for yogurt and snacks, and a large open divided container for cheese. I separate the cheeses into shredded cheeses at the front because I use them more, and blocks of cheese at the back for chessboards and snacking.
For the second shelf I got a skinny open container for sandwich making items for my husband, honey mustard, cheese, and turkey meat. A large open container for spreads and dips, and then we left an open space and labeled the shelf for leftovers.
On the bottom shelf we ended up with a drawer for meats, lunch meats, sausages, pepperoni, etc. We also got a large open container for pre-made meals and left an open space on the bottom shelf for raw meats.
Built in fridge storage:
There is a small skinny drawer that is built in to our fridge that we use for tortillas, we use the large bottom drawer for vegetables, and the smaller built in drawer at the bottom for fruit. We use the shelves that are built in to the door for condiments, milk, sauces, cooking ingredients, garnishes, and butter.
Links to products to organize your refrigerator
How this has changed my day to day life
The main takeaway that I have from this experience is my new found ability to purchase only what I need at the grocery store. I can easily see what is in my refrigerator and see what we are running low on. We are better at eating all of our leftovers. I rarely waste produce because it is no longer lost in the back of the refrigerator. And, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but, wow, putting away my groceries is FUN! It’s the craziest thing in the world.
I highly recommend doing this to your own fridge at home. This has been so easy to maintain and I can’t speak highly enough about this experience! It does cost a little up front, but believe me… IT IS WORTH IT! Thank you Katie for changing my life and helping me to realize that an organized fridge is a great way to destress your life!
Where can I get your fridge labels?
Good news! I sell these labels in my Etsy shop! Click the link below to find them!
Recipes to fill your fridge!
Check out some of my recipes to put those newly found ingredients to good use!