Simple Tips to Help You Organize Your Fridge

A cluttered fridge makes it harder to prepare meals and even draw up your grocery list, because you have no idea what you have on hand. Luckily a messy fridge is easy to fix. Here’s how to organize your refrigerator.

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A disorganized refrigerator is a disaster. You can’t see what foods you’ve got stashed inside, which means some items will spoil and need to be tossed, wasting money. A cluttered fridge also makes it more time-consuming to prepare meals and even draw up your grocery list, as you have no idea what foods you have on hand. Why is there one apple on every shelf?

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Luckily, a messy fridge is easy to fix. Here’s how to organize your refrigerator.

Plus, here’s how to clean a fridge and keep it sparkling.

Make Sure to Store Your Food in the Proper Spot

To properly organize your refrigerator, you need to know which foods should go where. The door is the warmest part of the fridge, so it’s the place for low-spoilage foods such as condiments. The bottom shelf is the coldest, so put raw meat, poultry and fish there. The middle shelves have the most consistent temps, so that’s where to stash deli meats, soft cheeses, eggs and other items that need to be cold, but aren’t prone to quick spoilage.

Is your fridge broken? Here’s how to fix it.

Adjust Your Shelves

Are you constantly trying to cram larger items into too-small spaces, or do you have a lot of wasted space above small containers? Determine the general heights of the items you repeatedly buy, then adjust the shelf heights accordingly.

Use Clear Refrigerator Organization Bins

Group together like items — jams and jellies, yogurt and cream cheese, cans of sparkling water — and place the items in clear bins. You can easily see your food this way, and the bins will keep everything in neat rows. Stack bins whenever possible. Buy these clear storage containers now on Amazon.

Use a Stackable Wine Rack to Hold Bigger Bottles

If you typically have several larger bottles in your fridge such as wine, juice or lemonade, place them on their sides in a wine rack. Here are some stackable bins on Amazon.

Create an “Eat Me First” Bin

Before you add newly-purchased food to your fridge, gather items reaching their expiration date and toss into a bin labeled “Eat Me First.” Place the bin front and center in the fridge. Food already spoiled? Here’s how to clean a stinky fridge.

Label Your Shelves and Drawers

It’s tempting to shove items back in the fridge without thought, but that invites chaos. Instead, indicate where items go by labeling your shelves and drawers. You can purchase attractive, erasable, removable, waterproof labels on Amazon.

Want to organize the rest of your home? Here are our best 40 life hacks for organizing your home.

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Melanie Radzicki McManus
Melanie Radzicki McManus is an outdoors enthusiast specializing in travel. She has won many awards for her writing, most notably four prestigious Lowell Thomas Awards, considered the Pultizers of travel writing. McManus is the author of "Thousand-Miler: Adventures Hiking the Ice Age Trail." Her work has appeared in Backpacker, the Chicago Tribune, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, How Stuff Works and dozens of other publications.