Before you can organize your refrigerator, you will need to clean it out completely. If you have a second refrigerator, store your food in it until you’re done to help keep your food fresh in the process. If not, put all of the items that could spoil in a cooler filled with ice. Using a gentle household cleaner, begin at the top of the fridge, and wipe everything clean. Be sure to read your refrigerator manual for specific cleaning instructions as some can only be cleaned with a mild dish soap.
The kitchen storage options for your refrigerator are many and you can get pretty creative with this. Consider some of the following containers to keep your food items fresh and tidy.
- Carafes for liquids.
- Airtight egg bins.
- Stackable, airtight plastic storage containers of various sizes.
- Metal baskets.
- Sealable storage bags for the freezer and the fridge.
Refrigerator Storage Containers
If you are looking for a way to keep your fridge neat and tidy, these refrigerator bins and storage containers could be just what you need.
A carafe is typically used for pouring coffee or storing wine, but you could use them for milk, juice, soda, and any other liquids that you store in your fridge. Using carafes to store your liquids allows you to utilize vertical storage space. Clear carafes make it convenient to see what you have and if you’re running low.
Egg Bins. Whether you buy your eggs fresh from a farmers market, or if you simply don’t like the cardboard cartons, an egg bin is an attractive way to store your eggs. An airtight bin will prevent the eggs from absorbing odors from other foods. And, some egg bins are made of plastic and have a smooth top so they can be stacked.
Stackable Plastic Containers. You can typically purchase stackable plastic storage containers in sets so your refrigerator will look nice and organized. Airtight containers are the best so your food will stay fresh longer. Many airtight plastic containers can be used for freezer storage as well. Buying your food in bulk and putting the extras in these containers in the freezer will get you the most for your money and space. Stackable plastic containers are also good for leftovers in the fridge. Smaller airtight containers can be used for open cheeses and lunch meats.
Metal Baskets. Store all of your condiments in one metal basket. Put your salad dressings in another. This makes it easy to just grab everything you need when you are having burgers or a salad for dinner.
Sealable Storage Bags. To keep your produce as fresh as possible, sealable storage bags are a better option than the bags they come in at the grocery store.
Figure out your shelves and resize them accordingly – based on the largest item in there.
The Refrigerator Layout
The following layout will help you to organize refrigerator storage containers to allow for the freshest food and the most convenient access.
- The refrigerator door should contain all the condiments, dressings, jams and jellies, soy sauce, and other bottled items.
- The top shelf should hold the beverages for easy access. Put beverages that have a later expiration date in the back, and those that expire sooner in the front.
- The deli drawer should contain all your cheeses, lunch meats, and bacon.
- On a middle shelf, line up all the dairy items, from front to back along the side according to the expiration date. This includes yogurt, cottage cheese, and sour cream. This shelf should also contain the egg bin.
- Produce drawers are made to keep light and moisture out. This will prolong the life of your fruits and vegetables. Putting fruit in one bin and vegetables in another bin will be easier for you to grab what you need.
Fresh meat should always be in a sealed container on the bottom shelf. If it ever leaks, it will contaminate anything that is beneath it, which is why it needs to be on the very bottom shelf if possible. If your produce drawers are underneath the bottom shelf, be sure to keep the meat in a plastic container that will catch any leaks.