How to Organize Your Fridge and Freezer
If you've been thinking about how to organize your fridge and freezer, look no further. We've rounded up our top tips to go from chaos to calm behind those frosty doors.
Organize your fridge or freezer, not both at the same time
You won't want cold items sitting out longer than necessary. Pick either the fridge or freezer to start with and save the other for a different day. You don't want to over-commit by taking on too much at once.
If you shop for organizing products without knowing the interior dimensions of your fridge and freezer, your organizing plan may not come together. You can search up your refrigerator model online and see if it's provided for you, or just grab a tape measure and get to work. You'll be measuring the shelf length, width and height. Take photos and note details. Are the shelves adjustable? Are there are irregular shapes that stick out? You'll want to buy products accordingly.
Shop for supplies
With measurements in hand, get supplies that fit your spaces. Consider organizing products like turntables for condiments and separate bins for meat, fruits, yogurt or snacks. Shallow fridge drawers might benefit from shallow drawer organizers. A turntable might hold sauces and syrups. I like to use items with a lip or side on them so messy or leaky items stay contained. I also prefer clear items so everything is visible.
If this overwhelming, consider The Container Store's online measuring tool. Just enter in your dimensions under the filter tab and products that fit your space will appear. You can also narrow down by material, so you can pull up organizing products that are appropriate for a fridge or freezer such as acrylic or plastic.
Make sure to save some empty space for leftovers!
Because items are cold, you'll need to move quickly. Two (or more) people can get the job done faster. Divide tasks ahead of time so you aren't duplicating efforts. For example, while one person is emptying the fridge, another can be reviewing expiration dates and tossing food that's spoiled.
Pull everything out
That's right...everything. As you take things out, place them in groups. Prepare painter's tape with category names as temporary labels in advance. Some categories you may use include dairy, condiments, sauces, eggs, meat, fruits, vegetables, leftovers and drinks. You can use your kitchen counter or even sink as a drop-zone for most items, but a cooler might be helpful for highly perishable foods like dairy, eggs or meat. Don't forget to wipe down the interior once the fridge or freezer is empty.
Once everything is out and categorized, take a look at what you have (and what you don't). Four bottles of half-used ranch dressing? A Costco-sized jar of pickles that no one likes? No milk even though your family eats cereal almost daily? Discard duplicates, foods you won't eat and expired items. Add a labeled strip of painters tape to hold space for items you're out of at the moment but usually have on hand.
Add your organizing supplies
Because you measured and shopped in advance, you're ready to lay out your design. Think in zones, storing like items with like items. I recommend adding food into the organizing containers after you've confirmed that the layout works. That way, if your organizing product doesn't quite fit the way you hoped, you don't have to unload it. Don't forget that most fridge shelves are adjustable so you can get the fit you need.
Make sure everyone knows where to put things away. Those categories you grouped things in will become the categories for your labels. Pro tip: use a dry towel to wipe off any cold bins you'll be labeling. The condensation will prevent the labels from sticking.
Here's a link to the labeler we use: Labeler
The labeling tape will hold up to fridge and freezer conditions. The color, size and fonts are very easy to customize as well.
Was this info useful to you? If you'd like more help organizing your home, we'd love to help. Just fill out the Contact form on my website for your complementary consultation to get started!