Have you ever taken out a Tupperware container from the back of your fridge and realized you have a science experiment in your hands? Or knocked over the glass of juice someone placed on the edge of a too-full shelf and ended up with a sticky mess? If you can relate to either of these stories, it’s probably time to get your refrigerator and freezer organized!
Here are some tips to keep your fridge and freezer organized.
One of the main keys in having a well-organized fridge or freezer is to better manage everything that is going in and out of it. But before we get into that, let’s start with a fresh slate. Take everything out of your fridge (yes, everything) and give it a good cleaning. Take everything out of your freezer and let it defrost if needed.
Now start adding things back in that are still fit for human consumption. Throw away any old leftovers, salad dressings that have sat in your fridge for years, anything you have a double of that you don’t need, etc.
Try to eliminate food waste.
Yes, it can be a lot of work. But when you take the time to meal plan, it helps you use up food quicker and not buy so much food in the first place!
Hoofta! The dreaded leftovers…the food you painstakingly put into Tupperware containers with the best intentions, only to throw out most of it at some point down the road. I know my family has been extremely guilty of food waste, and it drives me crazy!
Utilize leftovers as part of your plan. Instead of trying to plan a new meal for each day, have a couple of nights each week that are strictly designated for leftovers. I usually like to cook 2 or 3 days in a row and then have a couple days of leftovers.
The nice thing about this is that you will have a couple leftover options to choose from, so you don’t have to eat the same food in back-to-back dinners. You might repeat the same food in the same week, but it doesn’t have to be two days in a row.
When you make a point to eat up leftovers as part of your meal plan, it will not only help you keep them moving in and out of your fridge more quickly, but it can also help you save some money! When you have a plan ahead of dinner time, you are less likely to stop for fast food or takeout and will be throwing away less food. This will save you money overall.
I would also recommend labeling any leftovers with the date it was made. You can easily just add a piece of tape to the top of the lid and record the date with a marker. This way you will know exactly how old the food is, in case it gets pushed behind something else and isn’t touched for a while.
Keep fruit fresher, longer
Store fruit in glass canning jars when you store it in the fridge. This adds several days to the shelf-life of the fruit. If you cut up the fruit before you add it to the jar (like strawberries for example) this becomes a quick and healthy snack you can reach for.
If you pluck grapes off their vines and store them in lidded jars, they will also last a lot longer. This works well for most kinds of fruits you would normally store in the fridge.
Now that we have tackled the food waste problem, let’s talk about food organization!
Use these space saving ideas for your fridge
Use a water filter instead of bottled water
Not all of us are blessed with access to great tasting drinking water, but bottled water can easily take up a huge amount of space in the fridge. Converting to using a filter and ditching the bottled water is a great way to save some space and save a lot of money!
There are many filter options out there—from ones that attach directly to your tap, to filtered pitchers that can be stored in the fridge, so you always have access to cold drinking water.
Invest in the same brand or size storage containers
Containers that are the same brand or size can easily be stacked on top of each other. They help keep your fridge more organized, while saving space.
Use stackable shelves in your fridge and freezer
Stackable shelves will help you best utilize the space that you have in your fridge. They also make it easier to grab the food you need without moving a bunch of stuff around. You can also buy shelving that is specifically made to store things like soda cans.
Use this space saving ideas for the freezer
Store meat in smaller packages
Oftentimes, it is cheaper to buy meat in bulk. But then you end up having to freeze a lot of it. Instead of trying to squeeze in large packages of meat into the freezer, open the package and place smaller portions of the meat into small zip lock bags. I usually use two bags in order to help keep the meat from getting freezer burnt.
Plus, you can then write the date you placed the meat into the freezer on the outside of the bag. It is much easier to fit smaller bags into the little pockets of space in your freezer than trying to squeeze a larger container in.
How do you keep that freshly cleaned and organized fridge and freezer smelling fresh?
Baking soda helps to absorb the tiny food particles that are floating around in your fridge, so they won’t stick to your other stored items. It also helps eliminate any unpleasant lingering odors in your fridge. For best results, it is recommended to keep an open box of baking soda in both your fridge and freezer. Change it out every 2 to 3 months. Write the change out date on the box if you have a hard time remembering.
When you swap out the boxes, you can use the old baking soda as a non-toxic cleaner. Mix with some water to form a paste to clean your sinks and other surfaces. Just don’t use it to bake! 😊
I hope these tips will help keep your fridge and freezer uncluttered and organized!