If you ask me, one thing that helps you save time and money in the kitchen is to keep things organized. And when it comes to organizing in the kitchen, at the top of most people’s list is pantry or cabinet organization. But don’t forget one of the most used areas in your kitchen and that is an organized refrigerator!
It’s easy to organize your refrigerator if you keep these Simple Six Tips to Organize Your Refrigerator tips in mind:
Do a deep clean. That means, taking everything out, shelf by shelf. As you go, decide if the food is still edible and toss the rest. Compost produce that is past it’s prime.
Wipe down the shelves with warm soapy water and dry. No matter how careful you are, invariably food can drizzle out or spill down the side of a container onto a refrigerator shelf. Clean it all up so you’re ready to reload.
Check dates and decide what stays and what goes. If a food item is past its expiration, it’s best to throw it out. Can’t remember how old something is? Throw it out. Moving forward, one thing I like to do is write the date (just month and year usually) on the label of the bottle or jar (or whatever) so you can see for next time how long it takes you to use it up. This will also help you find out how quickly your family uses up a certain ingredient and you can adjust your purchase next time for maximum savings. I personally choose to buy a smaller container at a slightly higher price than to buy a large container and then have to throw out half of it because it goes bad before we use it up.
Create food zones. It might seem silly to have zones in your refrigerator, but this is helps me not only remember where things belong, but it’s helpful to other family members and guests who are helping out in the kitchen. You can even use actual labels for the shelves so everyone should know where things go! There are some cute repositionable ones that can make it look nicer too. I like to use these erasable ones–they are perfect for my freezer too! Take note of the height of your items that will go back in so that you can group like items adjust shelf heights if necessary. Another idea is to use bins or plastic baskets to organize items by group. For example, you can keep your entire sandwich making condiments in a bin and when it’s time to make sandwiches, you can pull it out and have everything handy for all preferences without having to open the refrigerator several times.
Label leftovers. This might seem like an unnecessary step, but if you have a family, letting everyone know what’s in there and when it was made helps older leftovers get used up first.
Mark your calendar to make kitchen area cleaning a regular task. I like to clean out my refrigerator weekly, before garbage collection day. Making a meal plan to use up what you’ve got on hand before heading to the grocery store really helps you to use up leftovers too. Plus, it will keep you from discovering slimy, moving science projects. Am I right?
With these Refrigerator Organizing Tips and also my How to Organize Your Freezer Ideas and Six Tips to Organize Your Freezer that will help you get your whole kitchen in order to help you save more time and money and cook up some delicious meals for your family. What are some of your favorite kitchen organization tips?
I originally shared my well organized refrigerator at TidyMom here.