Tips to Tidy Up Your Refrigerator
Clean and Efficient
Organizing your fridge ensures that you get to use most of your food before it goes bad. Ever pulled out Tupperware and wondered what was in it and how long it’s been in there? The right storage systems prevent this.
If you have a fridge with a glass door organizing is even more imperative. The Sub-Zero 611G & BI-36UG look great in pictures with stylized food. Sometimes the food is even color coordinated in these photo shoots or there are just a few items on each shelf.
However, how will the door look with your kids’ fingerprints on it? Do you want everyone who walks into your kitchen to know how much soda you drink or that there aren’t any vegetables in the fridge? Here are the steps to a fridge you can be proud to show off.
Map Out Your Fridges’ Cold Spots
Sure it’s common knowledge that vegetables go in the vegetable drawer but do you know what zone of the fridge is best for milk? Real Simple has a fridge map of the best places to store each item so you can rearrange your shelves.
Also read through reviews because some appliances have different sizes and positions of cold spots than others. This is often due to the air circulation within the fridge, which can also be affected by how you organize your refrigerator.
Clean Out Your Fridge
Did you know that salad dressing goes bad? The expiration date may be a lot sooner than you think. Most of the other shelves in your fridge probably just collect a few leftovers but condiments seem to sit around the longest.
Cleaning a fridge is the least fun part of the job, but getting rid of items you don’t use and cleaning the shelves sets the base for the fun part!
Line Your Shelves
It seems like appliance companies are always coming out with new ways to deal with spills. One intricate system are the MicroEtch™ shelves from Whirlpool. Models like GSS26C4XX and GSF26C4EX have this technology.
A Pretty Life in the Suburbs makes it easier if you have a fridge without this kind of technology. She just uses plastic place-mats as shelf liners. This will take away some of the visibility that comes with glass shelves, but it’s cute and it’s inexpensive too.
This way, instead of taking out the entire shelf or climbing halfway into the fridge when there’s a spill, you just take out the place-mat. Wash it in the sink, let it dry and put it back in. Buy a few extra so that you can replace any that become too stained.
Buy Turntables and Shelves
Are you sick of moving all of the random jars that won’t fit into the condiment shelves whenever you need to grab something? Martha Stewart suggests using a Lazy Susan to wrangle these items in. She also uses small wire shelf stands to add an extra layer of storage.
Usually these are for kitchen cupboards and plate organization. If you just have a few shelves and a less expensive fridge this really changes the organization options.
Buy Matching Storage Containers
Wal-Mart seems to be the store of choice for these plastic containers. I bought some for my freezer at the dollar store. The handles are really important. I mistakenly bought baskets with handles on top and it’s always getting in the way and taking up unnecessary space. It even prevents the door from closing.
Buying slide out baskets is much smarter. The cheaper the fridge … like the affordable GE GTH18GBDWW or the Hotpoint HTR16ABSRWW … the more organization you’re going to need. These often have fewer shelves and taller open spaces that may be wasted without additional organizers.
Group Like Items Together
The way you shop is different than the way a lot of the container stores showcase their bins and baskets. Usually it has a bin full of the same jar of vintage jam or lots of cheese. While it looks neat, it isn’t practical for a family.
You can choose to group all of a type of item together or think of how you cook. You could have a bin for condiments, or put all of your sandwich fixings together. This makes it a lot easier on kids too. They can just take out a basket with everything they need for sandwiches, or look through all of the snacks.
Label Your Tupperware
Can’t figure out if those leftovers are still good? Use a dry erase crayon to write on top of your Pyrex lids. Your fridge will also feel a lot more organized if you have a matching set of Tupperware or at least a coordinating color scheme like the blue here in this picture.
Use Coordinating Labels and Colors
Blue and white create a crisp scheme. The larger bins serve to keep like items together but it also hides the unsightly plastic containers that we all have. When you do label items make sure that they are durable and easy to clean.
Also, if you decide to put condiments in separate jars then make sure you include the expiration date on the label. Not only should these jars be pretty, they should be able to preserve your food as well as the original packaging.
The above pin was one of my favorites and I was surprised to read a follow-up post from The Social Home saying that it was too much to keep up with. I guess putting condiments in their own jars would get a little bit tiresome. I love all of the matching containers and that there’s a lot of extra space.
Inexpensive Clutter-Free Refrigerators
If you have cheaper fridges you will usually need more organization. This is also true of top freezer styles which often have the fewest added features. You can still get a cheap fridge like the FFHT1817LS from Frigidaire or GTH18GBDWW from GE. Just add in bins for a few extra dollars that can help prevent some spills on the wire shelves.
Maybe you can’t do everything but tackle your biggest problem areas. Use labels and get a few bins. Instead of a lot of empty juice pitchers try carafes. This helps you find the right system that works for how you shop, your family, and your existing fridge shelves.