Do a weekly clean-out/start a fridge inventory:- Remove any spoiled items or items you're unlikely to use.- Make a list of everything remaining in your fridge along with their expiration dates. - As you use items, erase them from your inventory. When you add to your fridge, add to the inventory. In this way, you track what you have and what needs to be eaten.
Use clear containers and bins: Fridge containers will help you group items so nothing gets lost in your newly organized fridge. Remove packaging from items and store them in food storage bins, bags, beeswax wrap, airtight glass containers, stasher bags/reusable silicone bags, etc. This saves space and makes things easier to find. When storing individual items, use stackable ball glass jars and containers. Label the various organizer bins and containers, too, so you always know what is there.
Adjust your shelves: If you start placing the same items/storage containers in the same places each week, adjusting your shelves to fit these will make the most of your refrigerator space. For example, the shelf I use for dairy and eggs is much smaller than the one I use for fresh produce.
Use shelf liners: Shelf liners are amazing for fridge clean-up. If there are any spills or messes, you can just lift out the liner and wipe it off.
How to Organize a Fridge
Top Shelf: The upper shelves have the most consistent temperatures and are great for storing pre-cooked foods.- Leftovers & meal prepped dishes- Ready-to-eat foods- Deli meats/fish
The Middle Shelves: Store items that do well with consistent, cold temperatures.- Milk, cream, cheese (stored together in a food "bin"), butter (this will store in the doors, too, as it doesn't require consistent temperatures), yogurt, eggs, cold drink, etc.
The Lower Shelf: The lower shelves are great for the produce spillover from your crisper drawers.
The Bottom Shelf: Reserve the bottom shelf for all raw meat and seafood as it's the coldest part of your refrigerator and has consistent temperatures. It will also reduce the risk of cross-contamination from any dripping meat/fish.
The Doors: The fridge doors are the warmest part of your fridge and are subject to constant temperature fluctuations as they're opened and closed multiple times throughout the day. Keep:- Condiments (ketchup, mayo, mustard, hot sauce, etc.)- Bottled water and soft drinks- Salad dressings and pickled foods- Butter and spreads (these actually don't require constant cold temperature)- Homemade nut butters and nut flours (if you store them in the refrigerator)
Crisper Drawers: the drawers are best for your fresh produce (veggies and fruits) that require refrigeration. Check the blog post for a complete list.
Before using any of the above refrigerator organization ideas, it's best to give the refrigerator a good clean. Remove all the shelves and drawers and wash them in hot, soapy water.If you have any lingering smells in the refrigerator, place a baking sheet with a thin layer of baking soda (or coffee grounds/oats) into the fridge to help absorb odors. A bowl of white vinegar also works well.Freezer Organization Ideas
Use storage bins for your freezer to separate types of food (veggies, meat, desserts, etc.).
Portion items for easier thawing (i.e., prepare portions of veggies or meat in separate containers).
Store any prepared produce in freezer bags or airtight, stackable containers.
Store items vertically instead of flat to make the most of the space.
Check the blog post for more tips, ideas for how to separate fruit and veggies, and how to store soft herbs and leafy greens!
Recipe on Alphafoodie: https://www.alphafoodie.com/fridge-organization/