Updated: Feb 18
This step by step plan will walk you through how to design and maintain a beautiful fridge organization system that will last.
Step 1: Plan ahead. Find containers that maximize the depth of your fridge. I like acrylic bins like these because they are easy to clean and keep everything visible but contained. Find inspiration pictures that you think match your lifestyle and food preferences and take notes of what you want to implement in your new system.
It helps to plan what types of labels you are going to use (if any). If you are using preprinted labels it will help to know what categories have already been defined. If you want custom labels like the ones sold in our shop, they will need to be ordered once your project is complete.
Decide the day you are going to tackle your project and either go grocery shopping or pick up an order so that your fridge will be well stocked and everything will have a place. Fridges function best with air ventilation when they are not empty, but also not more than 2/3 full. So do a normal grocery trip...don't go crazy.
Step 2: Take everything out, throw out expired foods or items that haven't been used in a long time. I like doing an overhaul when my fridge is mostly empty. It is easier to take everything out and make room for the fresh new groceries. Wipe down and disinfect every surface. I like to add my own deoderizer of baking soda and lavender essential oil in a shaker bottle.
Step 3: Create zones based on where foods are best kept in fridge. When you have zones and a system in place, your food will last longer because it was planned to go where it will get the longest life. It will also be easy to find whatever you need, meal prep will be easier and money is also saved when you know exactly what you have.
-Milk and eggs in the center because that is where it is the coldest.
-Less perishable items (sauces, dressings, water, etc.) on the doors. Keeping water on the doors also helps to regulate the temperature in the fridge.
-Meat on the bottom where it is coldest and also where meat won't drip on anything else
-Separate fruits that emit ethylene gas (apples, pears, stone fruits, avocados, and tomatoes) from vegetables (and strawberries) that prefer humidity
-Keep leftovers front and center so they are not forgotten
Step 5: Decant items used regularly. Our family decants eggs, flaxseed, chia seeds, and yogurt. Getting rid of the packaging not only saves space but keeps things visible.
Step 4: LABEL. You can use custom labels, pre made labels, or even a dry erase marker, but make your zones official and keep everyone on the same page.
Other awesome ideas not shown in this example, but that could work great for a different fridge or family:
-designate an "eat first" bin for items that are close to expiring and you don't want to forget about
-you could also have a "school lunch" bin for pre cut snacks ready to grab and go in the morning.
-put paper towels on the bottom of your produce drawers to pick up any drips, or anything else unpleasant
-use a lazy susan if you have more sauces and bottles/jars of things than can easily fit in the door
I hope you find these tips helpful! They have made all the difference for my family!
Jen is the founder of Reset Your Nest, the leading designer organizing company based out of Salt Lake City, Utah. She is a professional organizer and designer who believes that function and design can meet to create beautifully customized spaces that are easy to maintain.