Having an Organized Fridge is a Pretty Cool Idea


While one of the coolest spots in your house is the fridge, you’re probably not too happy when someone stands there with the door open for what seems like eternity. Wasted energy isn’t the only issue at hand. There are wasted food dollars, wasted time in food preparation and frazzled nerves on hot summer days. Who knew refrigerator disorganization caused so many issues?

Actually, you probably knew that, but you just didn’t ever put it into words.

Money: Older ingredients and leftovers get shoved to the back of the fridge, lost in its depth never to reappear--at least until they are green and fuzzy and undesirable. How big is your monthly grocery bill?

Time: You take things out, put them back and move them around. The hardest part of cooking is simply getting started. Sometimes, you end up going to the store—yet again--because something you just knew you already had has suddenly disappeared.

Nerves: You’re hot. You’re tired. You’ve got an easy recipe that takes 15 minutes, so it says. Why does it take you so much longer? All you want is to sit down with an ice cold iced tea.

The solution to refrigerator chaos is pretty simple. It’s actually pretty cool to have an organized fridge.

Checklist for an Organized Fridge

Inside the door: Think of it as a game. The more expiration dates you find, the more space you win. Remove all of your bottles from the door. Collect up any strays on shelves. Clean as you go. Look at expiration or use-by dates, discarding expired foods. Next, sort the bottles by putting like foods and condiments together. Organize all salad dressings in the same space as you return them to the fridge. Combine duplicate foods and condiments into one container, where applicable.

Hidden in the drawers: Dump all contents from bins and drawers. Clean them and the surface around them thoroughly. Throw away spoiled produce or outdated food. Return fresh produce and fruit to the correct bins. Many fridges have two produce bins. It is a great idea to save one for dinner ingredients that you’d prefer family members not snack on. Use the other bin to hold fruits and vegetables, like carrot sticks. Separating them will prevent some of the mystery disappearances of dinner ingredients.

Excavate the shelves: Remove all items. Wipe shelves off thoroughly with a warm, soapy rag or sponge. Before returning the items to the shelves, think about the height of the shelves. Refrigerator shelving is adjustable, but seldom do many adjust the height of the shelves. Have you maximized the amount of space you have? Raising or lowering shelves could help maximize shelving.

Would you really eat that? Make sure the food you keep is still edible. This is the portion of the project that will make your life easier. As you put the food back, divide it by frequency of use. Place beverages in one area and recipe ingredients in another. Stack leftovers to one side or on one shelf. Put all the snack foods together. You are naturally prone to use whatever is toward the front of the refrigerator. It also makes it easier to see what you lack or have too much of.

Label the shelves: Use labels to mark the snack areas, the dinner ingredients and so on. Your family will not only know what they can snack on, but what is off limits. It also makes it easier to unload groceries.

Organizing your fridge is a pretty cool idea. You save food, time and money?