The majority of our organizing kitchen requests are directed to either the pantry or the cabinets, but there is one area that *almost always* is in need of some TLC: the fridge.
Regardless of your living situation (busy family, single adult, college kid, roommate, etc.) we have found that the fridge oftentimes becomes a spot of neglect because the mess is behind closed doors (out of sight, out of mind!) and because it just isn’t as high on the priority list as some of the more exposed areas of the home.
For an area that is accessed multiple times per day and is used to store likely hundreds of dollars worth of products in it each month, it seems worthy of a little attention every once in awhile.
Thankfully, it’s a relatively easy spot to organize and the systems are simple to maintain. We chatted with The Washington Post on their Facebook Live yesterday to discuss how to organize a fridge, our favorite products to use, and general tips for how to keep up the systems once they are in place to prevent food waste in the future. We even organized a fridge from start to finish!
So what to do if you are feeling the need to get your fridge organized? Below are a few tips to get your started.
- Keep like with like. Dedicate areas of your fridge for certain types of food so that you know where to find what you're looking, when you're looking for it. Not only will you always know where to find a category, but you’ll also have a visual cue for when it’s time to replace an item in a category or help to prevent buying duplicates on your next grocery run.
- Use clear containers to make your life easier. Put your food in clear containers that fit well on your fridge shelves. Not only will the container make it easy for you to pull in and out of the fridge and help keep your shelves clean, but it will also help you see what you have and remind you to use it.
- Make food easy for everyone to access. When it is difficult to know or see what you have on hand, a lot of times it leads to developing a good amount of wasted food and products because you don’t know where what you need is when you need to use it. When everything in your fridge has a home it is easy to always know where to find the item.
- Make adjustments. When we see fridges that are in a state of chaos we usually come to find out that the client’s method when unloading groceries is to put items where they will fit, which typically results in items being pushed to the back of the fridge (and inevitable expiring) or stacking items that makes it difficult to see what is actually being stored inside. Fridge shelves are adjustable and may need to be tweaked to best fit your needs. Similar to other areas of your home, the vertical space in your fridge often gets wasted but it's full of valuable real estate.
- Check the out-of-sight places regularly. The bottoms of fridge drawers and back shelves can become scary pits for expired foods if they aren't kept up on a regular basis. Before you stop by the grocery store make it a priority to pull out items in each category (and especially the drawers) to keep expiration dates in check and also refresh your mind with what you have already available in your fridge and what needs to be replaced.
We’d love to know: are there any fridge hacks or products that you swear by? Leave your comments below!
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Rachel and Company is a professional organizing firm based in Bethesda, MD, serving clients in the Washington, DC area including: Potomac, Maryland Georgetown, the Palisades, McLean, Arlington, and Alexandria, Virginia.