Does your refrigerator scare you? Do you have items hiding in the back that have taken up residency? Are you embarrassed when you have family and friends over and they open your refrigerator? Do you have 10 bottles of salad dressing in the refrigerator door that you never use? If you have answered yes to some or all of these questions, it’s time to organize your refrigerator.
Having an organized refrigerator is beneficial in many ways. It saves you money from going out and buying another jar of say pickles when you already have an open jar hiding in the back. A well organized refrigerator also allows you to keep track of items you use, what you need and what needs to be used up before creepy things begin to grow on it. All you need is maybe an hour of time, a garbage bag, some wipes and maybe fork to eat the last bite of take out sitting in the refrigerator to get this project going. Once you tackle it, you’ll be happy you did.
Start with a clean slate. Yes, that means clear out the refrigerator down to the last crumb. As you remove items, toss items you don’t use as they are only taken up space. Make a mental note, so you don’t waste money buying that item again or maybe buy less or it next time.
Give it a good clean. Wash down the walls, the shelves. Make it sparkle like you just opened it for the first time.
Once your counters are briefly cluttered with items that need a new home, purge anything that you can. For instance, if you have two jars open of the same thing try to pour them all into one.
Take note of things that are open. Now is a good time to try to use these items. Maybe incorporate them into your menu planning so they don’t go to waste.
When replacing items back in the refrigerator, put the oldest up front so you can use it before it goes bad.
In the freezer, toss all items that you need an ice chipper to see what it is, or has been in there for more than ten months. If it has been in there that long, good chance you aren’t going to use it.
Organizing your refrigerator doesn’t just mean the inside, give the outside and top of the refrigerator a good clean too. Remove outdated and unecessary papers.
I like to have my beverages in uniformed containers. I use these Rubbermaid Carafes. They come in 2 quart which is perfect for juice, ice tea, water. They not only look nice, but you can see how much you have left.
Helpful tips ~
The refrigerator door is the warmest spot and the bottom shelf is the coldest spot. A good thing to keep in mind when storing your food.
Keep a list of leftovers on the outside of the refrigerator with the date to remind family members.
Place healthy items that you need to eat in the front of the refrigerator. You are more likely to grab for what is in front of you.
Have a system in place. Use the top shelf for beverages, middle shelf for unprepared foods, bottom shelf for leftovers. Use the first drawer for fruits and vegetables and the second drawers for bottle waters and cans. Keep all your condiments on the side door.
The key to an organized refrigerator is to maintain it weekly. The best time to do that is before you go grocery shopping when there is the least amount of stuff in the refrigerator. This will also give you a chance to take inventory and menu plan on what needs to be used. While arranging and making room for items on your grocery list, give it a quick wipe down so you are always staying on top of it.
You can find more tips and ideas in Jennifer Ford Berry’s book Organize Now!: A Week-by-Week Guide to Simplify Your Space and Your Life