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Have you heard of the day “National Clean Out Your Fridge Day”? If you are not, then you need to know that it is celebrated every year on November 15th. This national day is celebrated as a reminder to maintain a clean refrigerator for health and safety reasons as well, so if you are excited, then you can learn some organizing refrigerator ideas. 

A well-organized fridge gives you the feeling of confidence when opening the door that nothing is going to be a mess. There are chances where you open it to find some snacks and then close it as you find nothing. But then the next day you might find it in the back of the fridge. 

Sometimes you never notice a few foods that would have become too old to eat. So let’s put an end to these types of problems with effective organizing refrigerator ideas. 

how to clean a refrigerator

Importance of organizing a fridge

You might not bother about having an organized fridge and sometimes it would not even be on your to-do list. I am sure that, maybe after reading this article, you will get to know the importance of cleaning and organizing them. 

A proper organization of a fridge can help you maintain efficiency and safety. Moreover, it helps to reduce food waste. I am sure that organizing items in your refrigerator and freezer are not going to be exciting. Of course, the equipment inside the fridge will work well on its own, but the truth is it will work better when the food inside is well organized. 

Other than that, there are many reasons why you need to consider organizing refrigerator ideas. 

The overfilled fridge can be worse

Every time you open the refrigerator door, you worry about something falling out. When you fill every space of your fridge with food, it can block air vents, reduce energy efficiency, lead to forgetting food, and obstruct airflow. Aim for a fridge that’s two-thirds full.

This leads to food waste

It is found that Americans spend $161.6 billion a year on food that goes to waste. Messed-up refrigerators are one of the reasons for this. So to combat food waste, you need to make sure that you know what is in your fridge. Try to have a “Eat me first” in your refrigerator organizing bins for the food items that will go bad soon. So that you can prevent food waste. 

Increase in germs 

This is the most important reason you need to keep your fridge clean because it can lead to food poisoning. A clean and organized fridge will help to keep the germs away. Piling up groceries without finishing the ones that have been stored already will cause the old vegetables and fruits to decay and make space for germs to start breeding. Even food spilled inside will lead to germs. 

Organizing refrigerator ideas

Having an organized fridge will make you feel great every time you open the door, as well as when you’re trying to get a meal put together, it saves time. If you feel it to be a hard task, follow these easy steps to do it effectively. 

Clean and discard

organizing refrigerator ideas

This is the first step in organizing your fridge and freezer where you need to take inventory and discard out-of-date items or items you will not likely use.

Remove every item of food and toss anything old or expired. Then, remove every shelf and drawer to wash separately. Use warm, soapy water and wash the shelves and drawers in the sink or bathtub. Remove any caked-on food or grease using a rag or non-abrasive sponge. 

Plan the structure

The first step to organizing your refrigerator is to plan where to store items. Consider what items are best and organize the fridge so it can be easy to access. Understand the warm and cold zones of the refrigerators and create a system. You can keep healthy snacks at the eye level of children. 

The warmest parts of a fridge are the door and the top shelf, the middle shelf is colder and the coldest is the bottom shelf. 

Refrigerator organizing bins

Refrigerator organizing bins

When it comes to organizing refrigerator ideas, it is important to have clear and different-sized containers. It would save you time. A variety of organized bins will keep your fridge clean and make it easy to see what you need to pick up on your next grocery run. 

Try to use one bin for fruits and another for vegetables and then separate the yogurts from the cheese. Use airtight bins to store leftovers and cut-up fruit or veggies. Use fridge bins with handles for condiments, snacks, and things you access daily. 

The flexibility of incorporating bins depends on how big your fridge is. With specialized containers, there is always a way to optimize space. 

Label them 

Once you organize the food into bins, you need to label them. Labels will help to identify what is in each container, also through labels you can know and use them for expiration dates and to help everyone in the family know where each item belongs. Simply label a bin for ‘Fruits’ or ‘Snacks for Kids. That’s it. 

You can also feel free to color-code your bins. With labels, you can easily mark which container goes on which day. Another organizing refrigerator idea is separating your labeled bins by family member names. So that the daily lunches can be kept in your container to quickly grab on your way to work and do the same for your kids. 

Try using a chalk marker, instead of sticking-on labels that can peel off or get stained with food. Chalk makers can be written on plastic smoothly and it can be wiped off with water. This is perfect for fridge containers that might get used for different items depending on your needs.

Other than that, label the leftovers you put in your refrigerator with the date it was stored, so you can reduce food waste.

Adjust the shelves

In order to place the most food shopping into your refrigerator arrange the items of similar heights on the same shelves. When you store items with different height side by side, you will not be able to store many items. 

If you organize by height,  the shelves can then be adjusted, while eliminating any wasted space. This is best for foods of the same type, so do not just because raw meat is the same height as cooked ham, do not put it side by side. 

Organize soda cans 

If you want to store water bottles, soda cans, or beer cans in the refrigerator, you can consider a can dispenser or a bottle that allows you to stack bottles or cans in a small space while providing easy access to a cold beverage.

Or you can lay them sideways and on top of each other so that you will have more space for delicious leftovers. You can place your drinks in a bin to access them easily if you are not keen on using stackable can storage. 

One of the organizing refrigerator ideas is to buy cans in refrigerator-friendly boxes. These would be designed to open from the end and allow multiple cans to be squeezed into a small footprint. Or else you can get specialist refrigerator racks, in universal sizes to fit standard appliances that are designed to stack wine bottles and any other round bottles, on top of each other.

Use Shelf Liners

This can protect your shelves from spills and help prevent bacteria and odors as they can be wipeable, you can cut them to size and they’re cushioned so they’re gentle on fruits and veggies.

Avoid odor contamination

organizing fridge with diary products

There are some foods, that can spoil the taste of others. To prevent them, it is better to wrap and seal those smelly foods before storing them in the refrigerator. For example, there are strong-smelling cheeses that should be kept contained in a diary compartment if you have one in your refrigerator or an airtight one. 

Foods that are prone to odor contamination should be kept with lids tightly sealed on them. Other than that, less stinky cheese like Port Salut or Cheddar can be kept on the middle shelf with other dairy items. 

Keep it clean

One of the best things to consider in organizing refrigerator ideas is to keep it clean. Keep a schedule for regular cleaning. Do this just before your next grocery shop is due. So that any spills or stains will be less and the task will not take long. You will also not come across expired products in the back. 

Keeping your fridge clean will help to reduce odors, bacteria, and mold. There are specialized refrigerator liners to make it easier and line the drawers and shelves with kitchen rolls. 

Organize your foods

a reminder of leftovers when organizing the refrigerator

Fruits and veggies

These should be kept near the front. Because fruits and veggies make well-balanced snacks and keeping them out in the back of the fridge will make them dried up and old and you will not be able to enjoy them. Place the fruits and vegetables in the front of the refrigerator and organize them in one section, so that you will always know where to grab them even in a rush to prepare food. 

You will know which fruits and veggies have stocked. Or else you can put them on the fridge door. Place them in a lower bin and replace them with your fruits. So they will be on display and you won’t forget about them.

Leftovers

Leftovers are kept with the intention of eating them later on but sometimes they get hidden underneath boxes of sodas and become old quickly. Therefore your leftovers should be kept on the middle shelf so that they are easy to take. The middle shelf is the second coldest zone and the temperature stays constant. 

Since the idea is to eat your leftovers throughout the week, the middle shelf is the easiest way to remember them. Other than that grab-and-go foods, snacks, desserts, and dairies like yogurt, sour cream, cheeses, and other prepared meals can be kept on the middle shelf. Uncovered items such as berries and eggs can also go on the top and middle shelves.

Meat

This should be kept on the bottom because this is the coldest part of the fridge, accommodating large, heavy items. Meat including chicken, Steak, and seafood all need to be stored and kept separate from other groceries. You can use reusable bags to keep meat fresh. Other than that you can even use beer bottles and soda cans. 

Chicken breasts are better to keep separate so that they don’t become dried out over time. If you place them on your bottom shelf or in a separate drawer, your meat would be organized in the refrigerator. This is better as it prevents cross-contamination in case the package leaks. try storing your meat in designated clear bins, so the possible leaks are contained in one area and can be easily cleaned. 

Condiments

Condiments can be placed in the door compartments. But it is better if you can organize them in one of your lower drawers. you won’t be searching for the perfect condiment to go with lunch on daily basis and you would know if you want ketchup or hot sauce before looking for it. And also herbs and dressings have a longer shelf-life and need not be kept directly in your line of sight.

Drinks

This should be on the top. Because drinks like sodas are in cans, there is not too much to worry about. Placing them on the lower or middle shelf is also better. 

Final thoughts

Organizing refrigerator ideas involves a clear layout plan, a categorized system, and the usage of the right organizing products. Your fridge should become a pleasing as well as a well-organized closet. You need to know what products belong to what fridge zones and avoid food waste. You can do this by following long-term tips so you can help save money and keep the fridge in the proper way.

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