Want to know how to organize a refrigerator? Here are some simple tips and ideas to keep everything in its place.

How to organize a refrigerator

Just when I was running out of places to organize in the house?

I found the refrigerator.

If you’ve never organized the refrigerator before—let me be the first to encourage you to step onboard the refrigerator organizing train.

Toot toot.

There is nothing, and I mean nothing, that brings me as much joy as I get every time I open up this silver door.

The shelves behind it look like they stepped out of an episode of Tik Tok.

And now?

My shelves stay clean.

My produce lasts SO MUCH longer.

My salad dressing is ready to shimmy and shake.

Here’s how I did it (and the BEST products to get your fridge organized, too).

How to organize a refrigerator drinks

How to Organize a Refrigerator

1. Start with the cleanout

YOU CAN DO THIS.

Yes.

Yes, you CAN.

Set a timer and start with 30 minutes. Then get started:

  • take everything out of one shelf and set it on the counter
  • check for expired items and things that need to be tossed
  • wipe down the shelf completely with a microfiber cloth
  • I even wrapped a q-tip around the microfiber cloth to get the edges clean, too
  • I started with one shelf and 30 minutes, but it was so much fun I just kept going—if you only have time for one shelf, just clean that one out and stop there and come back for the other shelves later

(total aside: if you aren’t using microfiber cloths—you should look at getting on that train, too. They have CHANGED my cleaning routine completely. I just add a little bit of water to them and wipe everything down without cleaner. You can wipe down the outside of a stainless fridge like mine without any streaks and then turn around and wipe down the countertops. These are my favorites and they have almost 50,000 reviews.)

How to organize a refrigerator inside

2. Group like items

Plan out what you need to store in your fridge in zones.

Your fridge is different than ours. You have to figure out what works for your life and your cooking and eating.

Here are a few suggested zones:

  • tall drinks (milk, orange juice, soda)
  • shorter bottles and cans (water, soda, sparkling water)
  • butter
  • cheeses
  • meats
  • vegetables
  • fruits
  • condiments (mayonnaise, mustard, honey, ketchup, bbq sauce)
  • leftovers

If you have a “zone” or a place where everything goes, you’ll know how to adjust your shelving and bins.

How to organize a refrigerator containers

How to organize a refrigerator vegetables

3. Remove packaging and use clear bins instead

Removing the packaging helps reduce clutter in the fridge and keep it so much better organized.

We have a LOT of fruits and vegetables in our fridge. My husband likes them and it’s such a great way to have easy snacks at the ready.

As soon as they come home from the grocery store, I remove them from the wrapping and wash them and add them to clear bins. It’s what keeps me on track with snacks and eating healthy.

I LOVE these clear food storage bins. They come in a variety of sizes and the lid pushes down to keep the air out and they snap in place.

You can see them here and here.

  • they are super sturdy plastic that’s BPA free
  • they come in 4.7 and 3.2 cup sizes (both are featured in this picture)
  • the fruits and vegetables stay fresher so much longer in these containers
  • I can tell at a glance what I have
  • I take them with me in the car to snack on

4. Add extra drawers

These drawers are kind of a game-changer.

They snap in place onto your existing shelves and add extra storage immediately.

You can see them for under $20 here.

The clear drawer units come with adjustable grids, too, for the drawers.

I added the grids to one of the drawers to see if I would actually use it and filled it with ketchup packets and salsa packets and salad dressing containers.

I’m not sure if I’ll keep it or get more use out of it as just a drawer.

The drawers are super sturdy and easy to add to your existing shelves. Just make sure you untwist the screws to extend the length to fit your shelves securely. They have a mechanism in the drawers to keep them snug on the shelves to allow the drawers to pull in and out smoothly.

5. Use clear bins to organize other items

The basic tenet of any organizing project is to keep a place for everything and keep everything in its place.

I ordered several different sets of bins to see which ones I liked best:

6. Line your bins

Now that everything is clean and organized, one of the easiest ways to keep it clean is to add clear, transparent bin liners.

You can see them here.

You simply cut them to fit the bins in the fridge and they help to keep the bins clean.

My fridge shelves stay SO MUCH cleaner now that I have everything in clear bins and food storage containers.

Here are a few more tips to keep your refrigerator a clean, mean food machine:

  • make sure left-overs and perishables are stored in the front of the fridge
  • keep fruits and vegetables in separate containers
  • keep milk and eggs in the main fridge where it’s cooler rather than the door
  • store items that are more stable in the door, like jams and condiments
  • use the bottom shelf to store meats
  • a lazy susan is a great way to keep smaller items organized

 

I’ve linked all my favorite ways to keep the fridge organized here:

Let me know if you have any fridge organizing tips.

It takes a village to drive this train. 🙂

disclosure: affiliate links are used in this post

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Comments

  1. Image for JC JC

    You are so inspirational! Your clear containers ARE a game changer! I've got a similar 18 egg clear container and I love it. It's a small joy in life that makes a noticeable difference. Who knew egg containers could make us smile.😉 I've got a french door fridge and you'd think I'd have all the room in the world, but I'm still needing to work on the configuration. We have lots of nuts, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds etc. and I have those in wide mouth 32 oz jars. That seems to work. Now I just need to organize everything else around it! Thanks for the links and ideas to keep this space easy, workable, and time saving!

  2. Image for patricia patricia

    I need to organize my fridge better. One tip that really works: if you're not going to use all of your celery right away, wrap the rest in aluminum foil. It will last for a month! It really does. And if you're feeling the urge to garden, you can cut off the root end and plant it. It will regrow celery and you can clip off a stalk as needed. Replanting the root ends also works with green onions. Depending on how much light your kitchen gets, you can grow veggies right on your window shelf.

    1. Image for Kris Kris

      Great tip for celery storage. I had no idea. I've stopped buying celery because that was the one item I couldn't seem to keep up with. It always turned to soup in my fridge. Ick.

    2. Image for Kris Kris

      Great tip with the celery. Maybe I'll start buying it again .... I got tired of it turning into a soupy mess in my veggie bin.

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      I have two at the bottom that I didn't photograph! That's where I keep meats and cheese because it's the coldest part of the fridge. :)

  3. Image for Lyn Lyn

    I did the same thing to my frig right after Christmas. I'm a foodie at heart, and it makes organizing so easy. Also, it might be a stretch to say this, but using microfiber cloths is life changing! Every evening after dinner I do what I call my kitchen wipe down - everything from stainless appliances, granite counters, and finally my sink - I have a variety of scented cleansers and the job is almost a pleasure.

    1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

      Barbara, It's in the bottom drawer! I just didn't photograph it! I keep everything down there because it's the coldest part of the fridge! happy day! KariAnne

  4. Image for Kris Kris

    I just bought microfiber cloths! I used them while cleaning the bathroom today. Love that they are washable and reusable. I'll have to try them on my fridge--I did a big kitchen clean-up in February (the kind where you are on your hands and knees scrubbing) and I have been planning to scrub out my fridge soon--this may be the week.

  5. Image for Michele Pagliei Michele Pagliei

    I have ordered the Rubbermaid storage containers and I am obsessed with them! They are awesome. Did you know that if you submerge your lemons and limes in water they last a lot longer? You can use the larger Rubbermaid storage containers!

  6. Image for Sandra Gooselaw Sandra Gooselaw

    I love your frig. organizing ideas!! Wondering if you use the plastic or glass containers from Rubbermaid. Excited to redo my frig.

    1. Image for Ann C Ann C

      In case KariAnne doesn’t see your question: she stated they were plastic. I was curious too because I thought everyone was ditching plastic to be earth friendly, but glass containers if full of food can be too heavy with arthritic wrists. I love how long she says food lasts too. Big +! In my book!

      1. Image for KariAnne Wood KariAnne Wood

        They are plastic. The plastic is BPA free! It's hard plastic, not the soft plastic of a lot of storage containers!

  7. Image for Jo Jo

    Great topic, I booked mark several items for later purchase! So many wonderful ideas for storage and keeping everything neat & tidy. Timely topic for me as I need a new refrigerator.

  8. Image for Jodena Beale Jodena Beale

    Is the inside of your refrigerator really tall? You have a lot of storage space up and down. Mine has two drawers from middle down. Freezer on bottom drawer. It looks great though. After starting on my walk in closet today,(which would have scared freddie Kreuger to open it) to see a refrigerator post almost made me shake. Lol. Thank you again lovely lady.

  9. Image for Denise Denise

    Girl, the organizational tips are awesome. However, let's just mention how cute you look in your eyelet, beautiful, manicured nails, and darling jewelry while organizing your fridge. When I clean my fridge, I look like a hot mess! Keep doing what you're doing. You're an inspiration to so many.

  10. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    Love these ideas. I had trouble with the hard plastic containers-they cracked at the handle area :(. You look beautiful cleaning the fridge :)

  11. Image for Stephanie Stephanie

    LOVE all your organizational skills….and your WIBWednesday shares! Gotta ask you a silly question……where did you buy your remade chicken salad with the cranberries, celery, & pecans?!? I’m a McKinneyite, too, and MEED to get some! Big Hugs, Stephanie

  12. Image for kim kim

    Although this looks nice, there is a lot of wasted space. And I would definitely not want to have to move a stack of 3 containers to get to the bottom one. I don't understand why you don't put the shelf back in and have a stack of 2 containers on it.

  13. Image for KellieZ KellieZ

    I smiled when I saw a refrigerator that no longer holds enough food to feed hungry teens :) Those sliding drawers would have saved me so much money when I broke the glass and frame of my sliding drawer shelf when cleaning it last year. I had to order replacement parts from the LG factory. These are such great ways to easily incorporate more healthy food into our day. Especially when it's more convenient to grab and go.

  14. Image for Winnie Winnie

    I ordered the refrigerator drawers as soon as I read your post! They arrived quickly, were super easy to install and I *love* them!! Thanks so much for sharing!!

Comments are closed.