Updated: Mar 13, 2020
I’m usually quite organised but even my fridge can end up looking overloaded and a bit of a jumbled mess from time to time. My kids are the worst culprits and seem to open the door and just put stuff back anywhere.
Just like other areas of the home, however, there are some significant benefits to having the fridge tidy and organised:
* Visibility is improved and food items are easier to find
* Food wastage is reduced which in turn saves money
* Leftovers are more likely to be used up
* A more consistent temperature will be maintained in the fridge which will keep food safer … if items are quicker and easier to find, the fridge door will be opened for less time
* It’s easier to write a shopping list if everything is easy to see and find
So, with all that in mind, here are 10 simple tips that I use to help keep my fridge more organised:
* Bins, baskets or tubs help to keep similar items together, making it easier to find things thereby keeping the fridge neater for longer. Items that are ideal for this include pop-top juices/milks, cheeses, yoghurts and cold meats. Bins, baskets or tubs can also be used like “pull-out drawers” on shelves that are high and more difficult to reach.
* Keep all fruit and vegetables in the crisper drawers which will save room for other items in the rest of the fridge.
* Use clear, see through containers that are “stackable”. This makes everything instantly visible reducing the likelihood of food items getting “lost” at the back of the fridge and going off or expiring before they can be used. Using stackable containers also means you will maximize the valuable vertical empty space at the top of each shelf. Use square containers in preference to round ones. Square containers eliminate wasted space, stack easily and generally look neater.
* Eliminate as many packets as possible from the fridge. Once a packet of anything has been opened, I tend to transfer it to a Pyrex dish or Tupperware container. This allows me to choose the right size container rather than having a half empty box taking up valuable space.
* Label everything. Good clear labels make it easier to find things, simpler to return them once used and, also encourage everyone to put things back in the correct place.
* Store leftovers at eye level at the front of the shelf. This will ensure that they are highly visible and more likely to be eaten before they go off. This will not only reduce waste and save money but also prevent the leftovers getting “lost” at the back of the fridge taking up valuable space. Also, store leftovers in smaller individual serves which will encourage family members to take them for lunch or simply pop in the microwave to heat and eat when hungry. Leftovers stored in huge containers tend to get ignored.
* Do a weekly clean-out and stock-take. This will help you see what’s in the fridge so you don’t waste money at the supermarket by doubling up, you can dispose of old or expired food items, you can plan to use items that are close to their use by dates and you can clean, tidy and organised before it gets out of control.
* Use the freezer to complement to the fridge. For example, if you only shop once a week but need two or three bottles of milk, store the current bottle in the fridge and freeze the other two. This will extend the usable life of the milk (which will last for up to 3 months in the freezer) and save space in the fridge which will contribute to a more organized fridge.
*Don’t refrigerate food items that can be safely stored at room temperature. Foods like honey, bananas, onions and potatoes, to name a few can be safely stored in a fruit bowl or in the pantry. Keeping them in the fridge uses up valuable space a contributes to a cluttered, untidy look.
*Avoid overloading the fridge. This will make it harder to see things, harder to keep it organised, therefore, potentially leading to waste of both food and money. Cramming the fridge also makes it more difficult for the cold air to adequately circulate throughout and around all food items potentially compromising the quality of your food. Over-cramming the fridge also means it may have to work harder to maintain its temperature, potentially leading to higher electricity costs.
So, tell me … do you struggle to keep your fridge tidy and organised and do you have any other tips you could add to the list?