We are wrapping up organizing the kitchen this week by focusing on the refrigerator. I love using a detailed grocery list, zones, and storage containers to maximize every bit of space and organization for the fridge. I'm excited to share this post, and I hope that you use these practical tips. I promise they will make your heart so happy each time you open your refrigerator to find it neat, orderly, and systematic.
Before starting with the organization tips, I wanted to share how I make my weekly grocery list. Producing a weekly grocery list is significant because it helps not to cause disorder in your fridge. Also, a cluttered fridge will reduce airflow and make you most likely waste food.
Here is a quick video of how to make a weekly grocery list. This strategy helps me to be efficient at the grocery store and to save money. I also use it if I'm ordering groceries online. If you put a few minutes into making your list, it will save you hours trying to figure out what to buy in the store or ordering online.
Grocery List Procedure:
First, make a menu for your week, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for each day.
Then create a list with these five sections: produce, shelves, cold, meats, and household.
Using your menu, make your grocery list.
Then go to the fridge and pantry and scratch off any items that you already have.
Now you are ready to shop for the week!
Weekly Tip: Every week, when I put up groceries, I go through the fridge and throw away any produce, fruit, or condiments that have expired. A quick clean-out each week helps to keep the refrigerator in order.
Now that we have discussed the grocery list and weekly clean-outs let's get to the tips of how to organize your refrigerator!
Four Easy Tips to Organize Your Refridgerator
Tip One: Deep Clean the Fridge
Like the pantry, it's essential to go through the entire refrigerator, wash the shelves, and throw away any expired foods. This process will take some time, but it's worth it. Also, while you are taking items out of the fridge, organize them into categories. Separating food into groups will make it much easier when putting it back into the refrigerator.
Tip Two: Create Zones in Your Fridge
I would suggest organizing and labeling shelves, so everyone in the family knows where to put items.
Top Shelf: Dairy and drink shelf. This shelf holds butter, milk, coffee creamer, and other items we consume, such as lemonade and tea.
Second Shelf: Bottled water, cokes, and sports drinks.
Third Shelf: Fruit and Packaged Snacks. It's a debate on if you should or should not cut up fruit before eating it. You will have to decide for your family what to do; however, in our family, if the fruit is not cut, then we don't eat it. Therefore, I cut our fruit and put it in Lock and Locks. Lock and Locks keep the fruit sealed and airtight.
(Sorry for the conversation...Caden and I were talking while I was filming.)
These are the Lock & Locks I use. My mom bought them for me, and I absolutely love them. I usually put watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, etc... in them. They also work well with leftover too. Click on the picture for the link.
Fourth Shelf: Meat and Eggs. Always keep meat and eggs on the bottom shelf. Just in case your meat links or an egg breaks, you don't want it to get on the other food in the refrigerator.
Random Tip: I read to cover your meat shelf with clingwrap. The covering is to make clean up easier if any meat products leak. Since not all the meat items I purchased fit in baskets, I did cover the meat shelf. I'll do anything to not have to clean! Ha!
Doors: Condiments and One Milk Gallon. I have read that it's not good to put milk on the shelves of your refrigerator door because it is one of the warmest places in the fridge. I would suggest observing the temperature in your fridge. Luckily, our fridge does not have issues with temperature, so we put one gallon of milk in the door. We do this so it's easy for the boys to get milk and the rest of the space for condiments.
I also categorize the shelves in the door. The top shelf is for salad dressings, the middle is for condiments, and the bottom is for the sweets such as syrups and jams.
If you don't have enough room in the door, adding a tray or lazy susan in the fridge to put condiments in may help as well.
Drawers: Vegetables and Fruits. When researching this post, I found that it's essential NOT to mix your fruits and vegetables. For newer fridges, they have two drawers, one for the veggies and one for fruits. Separating is vital because the vegetable drawer creates high humidity for produce. The fruit drawer makes low moisture so that fruits will rot slower. If you mixed your fruits and vegetables, they would be at the wrong temperature and spoiler faster.
Tip Three: Use Trays or Baskets
Like my kitchen drawers and pantry, I love using these white baskets from the Dollar Store to help organize the fridge. I put them in my veggie drawer to keep veggies separated, and the same with the fruit drawer. Giving items in the refrigerator a "home" will help the entire family keep the fridge organized, and if vegetables spoil, it makes clean up much more manageable.
Tip Four: Face All Labels Forward
I saw this years ago on a TV show, and at first, I thought the gentleman was a little over the top with his organization. Well, I started doing it, and now I'm pretty adamant about keeping the labels forward. I even have the boys trained to keep them forward too! So, why do I do it? Yall, it helps so much with making the fridge look systematic and orderly. It is very pleasing to the eye and also allows you to see all items quickly. I promise, if you start, you won't go back!
I hope you can take away a few ideas to help you arrange and keep your fridge organized. I would love to learn from you! If you have any suggestions or ideas on how to keep refrigerators orderly, please comment below or DM me at @theoldrivernest on Instagram. I would love to hear from you or see pictures.
Well, that's a wrap with the kitchen. Next week we will start working on the master closet. Whoo-hoo!
Happy organizing, friend!