How to Organize a Refrigerator – So it Functions for your Home

How to Organize a Refrigerator – So it Functions for your Home

An organized refrigerator can feel like an oxymoron – the contents change daily, multiple people are most likely accessing the refrigerator, and its contents are just waiting to expire on you. I find that with an organizing system in place for the refrigerator, it’s so much easier to find food, use food before it expires, and keep it clean.

organized refrigerator - clean mama

A clean and organized refrigerator is not only is nice to look at but it also helps make cooking, meal planning and prepping a little easier. Put this task on a weekly schedule (I do this on Fridays) with your menu planning and grocery shopping and your refrigerator will be clean and it’ll be easy to see what you have on hand.

cleaning cloth kit

When you’re ready to organize the refrigerator it’s going to be helpful to empty and clean it. Take everything out and check dates and decide if there is anything that you aren’t going to use.

Toss anything with expired expiration dates and anything that is past its prime. Bring your garbage can over to the fridge if you need to. Want to see how I deep clean our refrigerator? Head to this post. 

Once your refrigerator is clean and empty, think through the zones of your refrigerator. All refrigerators are different but it’s going to set up zones. These zones will use the drawers, shelves and compartments to keep your refrigerator neat and tidy. You can think about them or maybe you already have some in mind that need tweaking.

QUICK TIP: Don’t be afraid to adjust shelves to fit larger or smaller items – that’s the beauty of using zones in your refrigerator!

Start with what’s most likely in place in your refrigerator:

  • condiments – I separate these out by savory (mayo, mustard, etc.) and sweet (syrup, jam, etc.)
  • butter/spreads
  • fruits – I use clear bins inside these drawers to divide up produce
  • vegetables
  • deli meats/cheeses

Next up, decide where you’re going to keep these items:

  • beverages – these go on the top shelf for easy access
  • meat – I use a quarter sheet pan that I can wash to store any raw meat packages
  • eggs & dairy – yogurt, sour cream, etc.
  • leftovers – this changes daily but we definitely utilize this space for daily leftovers
  • flex & meal prep – creating space to accommodate for ever-changing food is SO helpful! I pair this with meal prep

Once you have your zones determined, it’s time to put everything back in its place. Remember that you can change these zones as often as is needed to make your refrigerator work for you and your home. When I took this picture I laughed because it looks pretty bare – within a day, it will all be filled up. Again, it’s an ebb and flow and so helpful to keep that in mind as you organize your refrigerator.

If you feel like you could use a reset, join my Whole Home Reset Course – it’s brand new and intro-priced and we start this Friday! Find out more here.

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