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How to Organize the Refrigerator

by Contributing Author

Learn how to organize your fridge like a pro with these easy tips and stay neat and organized on a budget.

Organized refrigerator, open to see contents

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working on some organizational issues in my kitchen. Starting with the pantry, last week I straightened out the area under the kitchen sink. Today I wanted to take an area prone to black holes of clutter and clutter: the refrigerator.

Not only are refrigerators of different sizes and shapes, but we also have different dietary needs, food preferences, and shopping habits, so organizing your refrigerator can be a challenge.

Share what strategies work for you at the moment. Some ideas may work and some may not, and that’s okay! The best organizational system is the one that meets your family’s needs!

Organized pantry with decanted baking items, pasta and spices

Get our free organization guide. 7 easy starting points!

In this quick guide, we’ll show you seven simple, practical ways to get started on your overwhelming organizational project. (And once you start, you can keep the momentum going until it’s done!)

Organize your refrigerator step by step

Before I show you how I organized my fridge, I would like to give you a quick rundown of the steps that go into doing it that way. completes a clean and organized refrigerator.

take everything out

I want to start from scratch! Once you know what you’re dealing with, it becomes much easier to start the organizing process. I keep all my food in a cooler while I work to keep it from spoiling.

throw away expired food

I’m going to put out everything, so I’m going to check the expiration date, and I’m going to throw away the expired things. This removes a lot of the clutter and allows you to safely eat everything in your fridge.


Once you have just the items you plan to store, divide your groceries into groups (prepared foods, condiments, dairy, snacks, meats, fruits, vegetables). This will give you an idea of ​​where each category fits best in your refrigerator and what containers and compartments you will need to store your things.


Now is the perfect time to keep your refrigerator clean and shiny. Cleaning everything at once can be a bit tedious (especially in small kitchens), so I like to take out one shelf at a time.


When you’re ready to fill up the fridge again, you don’t want it to sit longer than necessary, so add the meat first. Fruits and vegetables are returned to designated drawers. Then place drinks, snacks, leftovers, bread, etc. on the top and middle shelves. Finish the organizing process by returning the condiments to the door.

Organize your fridge: watch the video

How can I organize my refrigerator like a pro?

This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure here for more details.

Now that we’ve covered the refrigerator organization process, let’s take a little tour. Here’s how I restocked my fridge after cleaning and decluttering…

white kitchen with big island

We are not really a “stockpile” family. I’ve tried it in the past and it felt like we forgot what we had and wasted more food that way. Just shopping once every 10 days to 2 weeks and keeping that amount of food at home will do the trick.

Open french door fridge organized with bins

You’ll notice that working in the refrigerator is different from other spaces, and that’s the lack of labeling. For some reason, I used to feel like refrigerator labels were visually cluttered and hindered my flexibility, so I’m usually the “label everything” type of girl, but in the fridge I didn’t like them. skip the

refrigerator cabinet

Introducing some of the introduced systems!

snack tissue

First, I have a shelf that is mostly boys’ domain.

Fridge snacks organized in clear bins

There are two types of cheese sticks and they actually come in pickle jars! I was about to throw the jar when I realized it was the perfect size for a cheese stick.

i also have small transparent bottle Currently holding an apple slice. It may be yogurt or other snacks that boys can easily grab for themselves. another clear bin Holds several small drink pouches. In fact, it’s the perfect size for just one box full of pouches and takes up less space than a box.

There is space for adults to drink too! The fridge has one drawer just the right size for a can, so it’s always stocked with Donnie’s favorite Lacroix.

Canned drinks in a small drawer of the refrigerator

I A small tray for drinks of my choice, now Cherry Coke Zero. I lifted one of the shelves to fit the milk behind the refrigerator so it could keep it cooler than the door.

Organized refrigerator top, middle and bottom shelves

At that time, there was a tight spot between the top shelf and the top of the refrigerator, so it was the perfect place to slide the bread and bagels. I know, but we don’t eat a lot of bread and it lasts a long time here. I don’t mean to!

Tips for storing cooked food

Store cooked meats, leftovers and snacks on the top or middle shelf. This helps us see what’s available (yay for reducing food waste!) but it’s also a warmer zone. You don’t have to worry about temperature with regards to bacterial growth (compared to raw food).

Organizing lunch meat and cheese

I love that this refrigerator has a nice big deli drawer.But it was driving me a little crazy because everything was floating out there and I always felt like things were lost. These clear trays

Open drawer with meat and cheese

I might have done a little happy dance when I happened to realize it fit perfectly! It has cheese on one side and meat on the other. The acrylic tray also incorporates a small “wall”. You can separate the sliced ​​cheese and lunch meat from the hot dog/pepperoni.

Tips for Safely Storing Meat

I like to wrap the meat and chicken separately in case it leaks. down refrigerator prevent cross-contamination likewise. If you store different meats in one area, put fish on top, then red meat, chicken and poultry on the bottom. This rule also applies to freezer organization.

french door refrigerator mechanism

Finally, the condiments are stored on the door shelf. Divided by type, sandwich condiments, salad dressing, sauce on one side…

The French door refrigerator is open and condiments are organized

… Butter and seasoning on the other side.

Butter, lemon juice and cheese behind the refrigerator door

Tips for storing seasonings

Refrigerator doors are divided into smaller compartments for easy viewing, so size isn’t the only thing that’s perfect for storing condiments. Additionally, these items contain the most preservatives, least likely to rotand the the door is the warmest part of the refrigerator.

When I decided to change the refrigerator to French doors, the freezer was the most difficult part. I imagined it was this deep hole into which all of our stuff was randomly thrown. I made it. And I didn’t even need to add my own bin.

Freezer organization

Top view of an organized freezer drawer with boxed meals

The upper part of the drawer holds boxed food. Breakfast items are on one side and lunch or dinner type foods are on the other. The small slot in the middle is perfect for ice packs.

Bottom of freezer drawer with frozen meat

Below that is meat, with pork on one side and two stacks on the other side, one for chicken and one for beef. I put frozen vegetables in the middle part. Finally, there is a slot specially made to hold a pizza box. If your freezer isn’t already divided like ours, you can put a few bins inside to easily separate different types of food.

tidying up the fridge

That’s our little fridge tour! If you’ve been working with a small fridge space, I’ve written all about how I organized a small fridge in my previous home in this post.

If you’re interested, check out the Full Kitchen Organization Tour. Organize every nook and cranny, even the junk drawers!

Refrigerator organization: frequently asked questions

If you found this post helpful, pin and save the image below so you can easily find it later.

The best way to organize your refrigerator

[Psssttt… You can also find our best tips and tricks for organizing every single room of the house in this post!]

If you have a better system for organizing your fridge or freezer, let us know in the comments.

Abbie Lawson, Just a Girl and Her Blog

This post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure here for more details.

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