Call me crazy but I feel so much more at ease when my refrigerator is clean & organized. It’s not even some OCD tendency either, I just love the feeling of knowing what food I have and that it isn’t going to waste. It pains to me to throw food away for obvious reasons, so keeping an organized fridge is kinda necessary to avoid wastage, keep things sanitary, and plan out your meals. It wasn’t until I discovered the key to fridge organization that I realized just what a difference it makes.
I can almost go as far to say that it has saved me money (??). Not proven, but I feel good about that statement. To elaborate, there was this streak of store runs, which happen once or twice per week, that I kept buying yellow mustard. No effing clue WHY, but I kept doing it. Meanwhile, I was making a Dijon-based chicken marinade one night and when I went to grab it I discovered 5 bottles of yellow mustard. No Dijon in sight. *Sigh*
Needless to say, I had to give it away like candy on Halloween anytime people came over because it was clearly going to expire before I ever went through that much mustard. I mean, do you get my point?
Also, while this post is about fridge organization, the same principals can be applied to your pantry, which is where I kept the damn mustard. But let’s get back to the fridge.
FRIDGE ORGANIZATION TIPS:
-Bins. OMG bins. The way I became privy to bins is quite funny, actually. I was kinda over all my usual favorite aisles at Home Goods and started perusing the random kitchen aisles. I saw some clear bins and thought I should get some for my eggs. We go through 3 dozen eggs each week and the cartons were taking up SO much space. It wasn’t long before I was scouring Home Goods, The Container Store, and TJ Maxx for more.
Bins are a great way to keep your food organized. Typically I would shove cream cheese, pickles, etc. to the back of a shelf and they would get lost somewhere back there. I would either buy it again not realizing I already have some, or it would go unused and expire. No bueno. The bins have helped me keep tabs of what I have, and being able to see your food really does help out when it comes time to cooking.
*Tip: You will save tons of space on egg cartons by putting them into a bin. And as you can see my overflowing egg bin, it will hold a lot.
-Seasonal condiment cleanings. While it sounds obvious, I found myself not doing this unless I was moving and cleaning out the fridge. Since most condiments and such hold for a few months you can get away with this every 3ish months. Look at dates and toss anything expired.
-Weekly food cleanings. I’ve made this part of my routine anytime I grocery shop. I toss any old or wilted produce, wipe down the shelves, and reorganize. It doesn’t have to be a huge time-sucker, just make it part of your fridge maintenance so it doesn’t build up to something gross.
-Limit the amount of food. For me, this works. I don’t buy more stuff than I have space for. Period. Unless I’m hosting a dinner / party there is no reason my fridge needs to be bursting with food that will inevitably go unused. My fridge door used to be piled with jars on top of jars and it’s just overwhelming. I’m also guilty of using half a jar of sauce and putting it into the fridge for “next time.” The thing is, next time I will not be using that half-used jar, I’ll most likely use a new one. Toss all those half-used jars (if you’re like me). They are taking up way too much space.
-Use pitchers. I love to have cold, crisp water on hand, but storing water bottles takes up too much space. I bought 2 glass pitchers / sealed bottles that I just refill instead. Definitely helps save space and it looks cute on the dinner table.
Hope you find these tips helpful. Sometimes these things seem obvious but making yourself aware helps. If you want more organization tips let me know in the comments below!