“Wait, we had cheese in here after all?” “Oh my gosh, the beef’s gone bad!” Have you said or thought those things? I know I have! Keeping an organized fridge not only helps us see what we have but also saves us money. Our food gets seen and eaten!
Plus, when we keep our refrigerator tidy, we don’t cause accidents and spill food. Has anyone else spilled a jar of sauce reaching over a cluttered shelf? Ugh! If you want a tidier, more organized fridge, keep reading for four clever tips on organizing your fridge in 30 minutes or less!
Tip #1: Consider Temperature Zones
Can I be honest about something? A few years back, I never really paid any attention to where I put stuff in the fridge. (Then again, in my 20s, I subsisted on wine, chocolate, and cereal, which doesn’t require much thought.) Since becoming a mama, trying to lose the baby weight, and managing our family budget, I’ve begun to care much more about where I put stuff in the fridge.
Why? When we utilize the temperature zones in our fridge, our food stays better longer. And if we’re trying to eat more nutritious foods, like fruits and veggies, we want them to last.
Here’s a quick guide to the temperature zones in your fridge:
Top and Middle Shelf: Good Consistent Temperature
Think of the top and middle shelf as old faithful. They maintain a good, steady chill. It’s not the hottest, nor the coldest spot in the fridge.
- Best for eggs, leftovers, and ready to eat foods
- Not for milk or meat
Bottom Shelf: Nice and Cold
The bottom shelf tends to be the coldest spot in the refrigerator. Because of this, you want to use it for things that are very perishable.
- Best for dairy, yogurt, cheese, and meat
- Not for fruit or condiments
Door: Warmest Part of the Fridge
When it comes to temperature, the refrigerator door tends to be the hottest part of the space. Since we open and close the door, this spot’s exposed to outside air more often. Because of that, we need to consider what food we should store on the fridge door.
- Best for condiments and drinks (like soda or beer)
- Also good for butter and cheese, which can be a bit warmer
- Not for milk or eggs, which need a consistent cold
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Tip #2: Use your Crisper Drawers Wisely
Many refrigerators come with drawers for fruits and vegetables. On these drawers, you can usually set the level of humidity you want. It’s best to have one drawer with high humidity and another drawer with low humidity.
High Humidity Drawer
- Best for broccoli, carrots, green beans, peas, and strawberries
Low Humidity Drawer
- Best for apples, pears, peaches, plums, and avocados
It can be tricky to know where the fruits or veggies should go. The rule of thumb I use is this: if the fruit or vegetable has a skin on it, I put it in the low humidity drawer.
Why? The skin would naturally prevent moisture loss. So the fruit wouldn’t need as much moisture in the air. (It’s not a foolproof method, but it works!)
Tip #3: Use Bins and Baskets
Using bins and baskets can help keep our fridge clean and tidy. I’ve included some great affordable options below, using affiliate links so you can click over to the product page to learn more.
Bins and baskets help cluster together similar foods, like fruits, so that they don’t roll around. They also help packets stand up and keep soda cans from rolling around.
I recommend buying clear or transparent bins for two reasons:
- First, when the bins are transparent, we can more easily see what’s inside. This will help us use up what we have and know what we need to buy.
- Second, when the bins become dirty, we can quickly see they need to be cleaned. Because we don’t want our food in dirty bins. Yuck.
Tip #4: Label Categories
If you live with a partner who’s not as organized as you, these labels may come in hand. (Yep, I’m thinking of my husband right now.) Labeling the bins and drawers with words like “fruit” or “cheese” can help those we love to understand our organizational schemes.
Tip #5: Line Shelves
These refrigerator shelf liners are awesome for a few reasons.
- First, they’ll help keep foods from rolling around. The mats have a little more friction which prevents things from sliding.
- Second, they’re much (much!) easier to clean. No more sticky fridge drawers, you guys! (Amen!)
- Third, they’re cute. And as silly as that may be, when space looks nice, I’m more inclined to keep it tidy. Who’s with me on that?