Want to know how to organize a refrigerator? Here are some simple tips and ideas to keep everything in its place.
Just when I was running out of places to organize in the house?
I found the refrigerator.
If you’ve never organized the refrigerator before—let me be the first to encourage you to step onboard the refrigerator organizing train.
There is nothing, and I mean nothing, that brings me as much joy as I get every time I open up this silver door.
The shelves behind it look like they stepped out of an episode of Tik Tok.
My shelves stay clean.
My produce lasts SO MUCH longer.
My salad dressing is ready to shimmy and shake.
Here’s how I did it (and the BEST products to get your fridge organized, too).
How to Organize a Refrigerator
1. Start with the cleanout
YOU CAN DO THIS.
Yes, you CAN.
Set a timer and start with 30 minutes. Then get started:
- take everything out of one shelf and set it on the counter
- check for expired items and things that need to be tossed
- wipe down the shelf completely with a microfiber cloth
- I even wrapped a q-tip around the microfiber cloth to get the edges clean, too
- I started with one shelf and 30 minutes, but it was so much fun I just kept going—if you only have time for one shelf, just clean that one out and stop there and come back for the other shelves later
(total aside: if you aren’t using microfiber cloths—you should look at getting on that train, too. They have CHANGED my cleaning routine completely. I just add a little bit of water to them and wipe everything down without cleaner. You can wipe down the outside of a stainless fridge like mine without any streaks and then turn around and wipe down the countertops. These are my favorites and they have almost 50,000 reviews.)
2. Group like items
Plan out what you need to store in your fridge in zones.
Your fridge is different than ours. You have to figure out what works for your life and your cooking and eating.
Here are a few suggested zones:
- tall drinks (milk, orange juice, soda)
- shorter bottles and cans (water, soda, sparkling water)
- condiments (mayonnaise, mustard, honey, ketchup, bbq sauce)
If you have a “zone” or a place where everything goes, you’ll know how to adjust your shelving and bins.
3. Remove packaging and use clear bins instead
Removing the packaging helps reduce clutter in the fridge and keep it so much better organized.
We have a LOT of fruits and vegetables in our fridge. My husband likes them and it’s such a great way to have easy snacks at the ready.
As soon as they come home from the grocery store, I remove them from the wrapping and wash them and add them to clear bins. It’s what keeps me on track with snacks and eating healthy.
I LOVE these clear food storage bins. They come in a variety of sizes and the lid pushes down to keep the air out and they snap in place.
- they are super sturdy plastic that’s BPA free
- they come in 4.7 and 3.2 cup sizes (both are featured in this picture)
- the fruits and vegetables stay fresher so much longer in these containers
- I can tell at a glance what I have
- I take them with me in the car to snack on
4. Add extra drawers
These drawers are kind of a game-changer.
They snap in place onto your existing shelves and add extra storage immediately.
You can see them for under $20 here.
The clear drawer units come with adjustable grids, too, for the drawers.
I added the grids to one of the drawers to see if I would actually use it and filled it with ketchup packets and salsa packets and salad dressing containers.
I’m not sure if I’ll keep it or get more use out of it as just a drawer.
The drawers are super sturdy and easy to add to your existing shelves. Just make sure you untwist the screws to extend the length to fit your shelves securely. They have a mechanism in the drawers to keep them snug on the shelves to allow the drawers to pull in and out smoothly.
5. Use clear bins to organize other items
The basic tenet of any organizing project is to keep a place for everything and keep everything in its place.
I ordered several different sets of bins to see which ones I liked best:
- I found this can organizer with a lid that I have on order
- I found this clear egg holder for the fridge that I have on order
- these are the bins I have in the fridge right now that come in a set with medium and large bins
- I have this berry keeper to keep berries fresh
- these clear bins have dividers to keep snacks and other items organized
6. Line your bins
Now that everything is clean and organized, one of the easiest ways to keep it clean is to add clear, transparent bin liners.
You simply cut them to fit the bins in the fridge and they help to keep the bins clean.
My fridge shelves stay SO MUCH cleaner now that I have everything in clear bins and food storage containers.
Here are a few more tips to keep your refrigerator a clean, mean food machine:
- make sure left-overs and perishables are stored in the front of the fridge
- keep fruits and vegetables in separate containers
- keep milk and eggs in the main fridge where it’s cooler rather than the door
- store items that are more stable in the door, like jams and condiments
- use the bottom shelf to store meats
- a lazy susan is a great way to keep smaller items organized
I’ve linked all my favorite ways to keep the fridge organized here:
- this can organizer
- these food storage containers here and here
- these microfiber cloths
- this clear egg holder
- these clear drawer units
- this set with medium and large clear bins
- this berry keeper to keep berries fresh
- these clear bins with dividers to keep snacks and other items organized
Let me know if you have any fridge organizing tips.
It takes a village to drive this train.
disclosure: affiliate links are used in this post