A messy refrigerator usually leads to the wasting of food and bad eating choices. Taking some time to clean and organize your refrigerator can be just the reset you need to start wasting less groceries, which puts more money in your pockets and it will make meal planning, packing lunches and finding what you need so much easier!
Welcome to day 2 of the 4 Week Cleaning and Organizing Challenge! If you haven't joined the challenge yet, it's never too late to start. You can start any time by downloading or printing the free Printable Cleaning and Organizing Checklist and reading all about it HERE! All of the days of the challenge will be listed there if you'd like to follow along.
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Today is all about getting your refrigerator clean and organized. Keeping your refrigerator clean and organized can be tough, especially since you have to fit so much into such a small space. This post is filled with information showing how to clean and organize your refrigerator so it's easier to keep clean, find what you need, meal plan and pack lunches!
How to Clean Your Refrigerator
Cleaning your refrigerator seems like a daunting task, but it can actually be pretty therapeutic and doesn't take a ton of time. The first thing you need to do is take everything out. I like to make three different piles when cleaning out my refrigerator.
- packaged foods like condiments and ready made foods
- fresh fruits and vegetables
- outdated and expired food items (including condiments)
Once this is done, it will be easier to put things away after you clean your refrigerator. Check out my post showing How to Deep Clean a Refrigerator in 15 Minutes HERE to get your refrigerator clean, then come back for refrigerator organization and how to clean the outside of your refrigerator and keep it smudge free!
How to Organize Your Refrigerator
I like to break things up in my refrigerator so meal planning, cooking and lunch packing are easy. It's so much easier to do these things when you can see everything your have in your refrigerator, and that can be tough because things are typically stacked in front of other things. The key for me was to start by getting rid of the crisper drawers in my refrigerator. This may sound a bit strange, but I could never really see what was in those drawers, and typically by the time I did find what was in them, those items would be rotten or mushy. To make my refrigerator work better for me, I invested in some clear plastic bins and clear food storage containers.
I love that instead of just pulling the original crisper drawers open a bit, I can pull these bins all the way out of my refrigerator when prepping meals, unloading groceries, packing lunches or looking for a snack. You can also use a chalkboard marker to label them if you like. I like a more clean look, so I skipped labeling all of them.
Tips for Organizing Your Refrigerator
- Get rid of anything you aren't going to use (including expired items)
- Separate items in to "like" groups. For example, group vegetables together, condiments together, etc...
- Use clear storage bins to corral like items.
- Place sandwich ingredients in one bin or drawer together
- Pre-portion snacks so they can be accessed quickly for on the go meals and packed lunches.
- Store leftovers and cut fruits and vegetables in clear, stackable containers.
- Keep a list of what items you have/need to purchase on a dry erase board on the refrigerator.
- Plan a menu to make sure you only have what you will use in your refrigerator and reduce waste.
Refrigerator Organization Items
I am sharing these links to Amazon if you are interested in ordering any of the items. I found some of my storage containers at Target, Homegoods, TJ Maxx and Marshalls for less expensive, but also want to make it easy for you to find them if you don't have access to those stores or the items are hard to find!
- Clear Plastic Storage Bins (various sizes)
- Clear Plastic Storage Bins (large)
- Egg Storage Container
- Clear Glass Food Storage Containers
- Clear Plastic Food Storage Containers
- Glass Jars
How to Clean a Stainless Steel Refrigerator
If you have a stainless steel refrigerator like I do, then you know it can be a real pain to keep it clean. You only need some vinegar and olive oil to clean, then shine your refrigerator to get it clean then keep it from smudging easily. Check out my post on How to Clean and Keep Your Stainless Steel Refrigerator and Keep it Smudge Free HERE!
I hope this information will help you get your refrigerator cleaned and organized to make life a little easier for you!