Is Your Refrigerator Running?
Organizing the fridge and freezer has been a challenge of mine, until recently. We have a side-by-side fridge and freezer combo, so the fridge has deep shelves, but they are narrow. The freezer is even more narrow, as it holds our ice cube maker and water dispenser on the door and inside the freezer. I have been waiting for the day for our fridge to give up, so we can get a new one. But that day isn’t coming any time soon, so I am left to organize it in a way that will work for us.
Back in August, I shared my final attempt at organizing our fridge and freezer. I cleared everything out, added some place mats, and designated shelves for specific types of food. Well, my organizational system actually worked! Our fridge and freezer have stayed organized since then. Not every day is totally perfect, but I can say that I can find everything I need, and we have drastically reduced the amount of food that is spoiled from being hidden in the back the fridge.
Since it has taken me years to perfect my side-by-side fridge and freezer organizational system, I wanted to share with you some of the tricks that work for us in keeping our fridge and freezer organized. Hopefully this will help you get a hold of your fridge and freezer situation!
Fridge Shelf Liners
I know this sounds super corny, but fridge shelf liners are the perfect way to keep your fridge organized. The shelf liners help keep the shelves from getting sticky, and makes it super easy to clean up a spill.
I use plastic placemats as shelf liners. I find these at Target, and just cut them to size. I choose light-colored placemats so the light from the fridge would shine through and keep things bright.
I have only been storing my food in bins or Tupperware. It has significantly reduced the amount of clutter that was being kept in my fridge and freezer. When I was leaving the food in the packaging they came in, I wasn’t able to stack the food, so things would get pushed back on the shelves rather quickly. Once the food was in the back of the shelf, it would get lost, or I would forget about it. Ever happen to you? It’s really sad and wasteful, if you think about it!
To get the food organized, I group all like-food item into one bin. I love this bin with the handle because it works wonders for grabbing food out of the fridge. I have all our cheeses in a bin. Our deli meats in another bin. Baking items such as brown sugar and chocolate chips in another bin. And I have a large bin that I use to hold my almonds and cashews, since we buy those in bulk so I can make almond milk and cashew bread. I store those in a bin similar to this one in the back of a shelf.
I use these bins in our freezer. Each shelf is designated for a type of food. I have a shelf for turkey products. I have a shelf for chicken products. I have a shelf for other meats, such as steak. And my last shelf is for bread products. I keep our desserts, like ice cream on the freezer door.
In both the fridge and freezer I labeled ever shelf. I know it sounds super crazy, but it has helped keep things organized for us! I decided to have each shelf be a specific category. The top shelf is for drinks. The next shelf is for left overs and dairy products like cream cheese. I have the drawer for cheese and deli meats. Our third and fourth shelves are used for fruits and veggies. I also have the cashews and almonds bin stored on the fourth shelf. Our fifth shelf is on the bottom, so that holds our meats that I use to make dinner/thaw. In the freezer, I shared how I sorted each shelf.
I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out vinyl letters for each of the shelves. I also found that the chalkboard labels work wonders as well. The chalkboard labels actually have held up the best in the freezer.
This has been a huge help in reducing the clutter in our fridge. I try to do our grocery shopping and meal planning on Sundays. After I plan out our menu, I will run to the store to get everything we need for the week. When I get home, I try to prep as much as I possibly can. I try to get all the fruit washed and stored in Tupperware. I will try to cut onions and store in the fridge if I am using them within the next two days. I take all the veggies out of the bags or containers they came in and put them in Tupperware. And, if I am feeling rather ambitious, I will label the containers using Washi tape or my Name Bubbles write-on labels.
By taking the time right after I get home from the grocery store to prep the food, I noticed a significant difference in how things remained organized in the fridge. I didn’t have to search for food that we needed because I was able to stack the Tupperware on top of each other, so all of the food was stored in the front of the fridge instead of stored all over.
The doors of the fridge and freezer are prime real estate for smaller items that you don’t want to get lost on the shelves. I use my doors to hold our condiments, marinades, and coffee creamers. I labeled each door shelf so everyone knows what items go on each door shelf. This has helped keep us organized as well. I keep the condiments on the very bottom, so the kids can get them and use them with their meals. The coffee creamers are on the top. The middle two hold our marinades, sauces, and pickles.
Now you know how I have kept our side-by-side fridge and freezer organized. I use fridge shelf liners or place mats to keep the shelves clean. I use bins to hold like food items together, so I can find things easily. Label everything, including shelves and doors. Prep your food as soon as you get home from the grocery store, so you aren’t holding onto the packaging that doesn’t stack nicely. Use Tupperware to hold all the food you prepped. And don’t forget about storing things on the doors that you don’t want to get lost on those shelves.
Good luck and happy organizing!