The refrigerator is probably one of the hardest parts of our homes to keep organized. It's kind of like a closet in that we can just put stuff in there and close the doors. Tempting as that is, keeping your fridge organized will pay off in many ways, including:
- Less food waste. Think of all the food that gets pushed to the back and is found months (years?) later and gets tossed.
- Saving money. Since you aren't wasting food you'll save dough by not having to buy something you already have.
- Cooking more. If you know what you have and make a plan, cooking will be less stressful and easier to tackle after a long day. Cooking more at home will likely save you money as well.
|I like to keep the outside of my fridge clear. It gives the illusion of being organized- in the same way making a bed does.|
Organizing the fridge should be an ongoing process but it all starts with the basics. A few times a year I really get in there and clean, take everything out, wash out the drawers, etc. A weekly (the night before the trash is picked up) clean out keeps things pretty organized. When it's done weekly I seldom find mystery food pushed to the back.
I also go through everything in the fridge right before I go to the grocery store. I'm in there peeking around to see what I need to buy so if I find something that needs to go it's easy just to toss it.
I try to group like items together in the fridge and freezer. Above you will notice my cheese drawer - I keep snack type cheeses up front so little people can easily grab a snack. The way I group things goes something like this:
- Produce (anything in a container too large for the drawer sits on the shelf directly above the drawer).
- Bread products/tortillas
- Coffee/cream cheese (quite a combo, I know)
- Cheese (see above)
- Deli meats
- Any produce that doesn't fit in the drawer
- Anything else
|Freezer on the bottom - I'm a fan!|
We have a refrigerator/freezer in the garage where we keep any over flow, beer and bottle water.
Just as with organizing the rest of your home, you will need to find a system that works for you. We are a family of three so my refrigerator organization is pretty simple.
One thing I've seen people do is use plastic containers in their fridge for smaller items or like items (sandwich making supplies for example). Buy square or rectangle containers so they will fit well together in the fridge, saving space.