See ideas for how you can create an effective refrigerator organization system for a French door fridge; includes ways to organize a bottom freezer, inexpensive containers that work, and space saving methods for maximizing each shelf.
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Just like so many of you, I follow organization accounts on Pinterest/Instagram that create these gorgeous, color-coordinated fridges that look straight out of a magazine. Everything is perfectly lined up, in rainbow order of course, and neatly labeled. There isn’t a thing out of place.
Guess what? That’s not what you’re getting in this refrigerator organization post. I have a family; that family eats. Therefore, it just flat out doesn’t work to expect my fridge to look like those…and you probably shouldn’t expect that in your own home either. Instead, I focus on intentional organization that works for my family and is easy for us to maintain.
I’ve used the following refrigerator organization tips to make keeping everything neat and tidy so easy!
1. Start your refrigerator organization by determining what you use the most and make that the easiest to access.
Before you start organizing a fridge, take an inventory of what your family will need the most. In our family, we definitely use drinks and condiments the most often (meaning, that’s what we need to pull out of the fridge the most often). I also like for the fruits and veggies to be easily accessible for quick lunches and snacks. So, those are the items that we decided to put in the doors and bottom drawers of the refrigerator.
I follow kind of a similar theory in my pantry; if it’s accessible, we’re more likely to eat it. That’s why I like to make the produce reachable for kids; I notice that they are so much more likely to pick it for a snack if they can get it themselves. Same goes for water bottles in the doors; they’re much easier to grab than drink pouches or juice.
2. Separate foods by type; have a designated place for every category.
Once you determine what needs to be most accessible, divide all of the foods in your fridge into categories. You might have to take it out to organize into categories (kind of like I did with our pantry organization project).
This is going to look a little different for every family; if you’re not a big freezer meal cooker, you probably don’t need a freezer meal thawing spot! If you don’t use a lot of disposable drinks or condiments, the door storage might be better used for jars or snacks. Make it work for you.
In our family, we cook with a freezer meal almost daily; having a spot to safely thaw the meals before cooking that night is important for us. I try to reserve the shortest shelf for that (however, leftovers often get stored there too). I also like to keep a spot of just leftovers in the fridge so everyone in the family knows what needs to be eaten. And, the pretty obvious spot for taller drink containers (like milk and juice) is the one tall shelf we have.
We probably need to access the dairy products the least often, so those are stored at the top of the fridge (and pushed back as far as possible to keep them nice and cool).
Once jars are open, most have to be stored in the fridge. I try to limit the amount of open jars to just what fits on this Lazy Susan. This one little tool is super inexpensive and has gone such a long way in organization our fridge and maximizing the space in those awkward corners. Instead of having to dig through jars to find what you need, simply give this a spin!
After years of storing meats and cheeses in one of the fridge drawers, I finally moved them out a few months ago. I separated them into these clear bins and I love it so much more than having everything thrown into one unorganized mess.
Here’s a better look at the side. They’re easy to pull out if needed and blend into the fridge perfectly!
3. Use the storage your refrigerator already gives you to your benefit.
There’s no point in reinventing the wheel! Most every fridge has a spot for fruit and veggie storage…it’s typically even humidity-controlled for each item. Use it!
I didn’t really know how I would like this section of our fridge; it’s a two-part door organization that basically gives you two different door shelves and opens from both the inside and outside of the fridge. I have to say…I absolutely love it! Like I mentioned earlier, we need to access condiments a lot; having that little door outside of the main fridge door makes it really easy to grab condiments.
We have a freezer drawer, which totally intimidated me at first. The thought of having to organize that big, deep space doesn’t sound easy; but our freezer has these big dividers that work perfectly for us. The two main things in our refrigerator’s freezer (not our deep freezer) are a) smoothie supplies and b) convenience foods, so we just use that divider to make two sections.
A few sweet treats are on the top drawer of the freezer, along with a container that allows us to organize freezer packs so conveniently. This came with the fridge too; I think it’s meant for ice storage, but we don’t typically need lots of extra ice, so we repurposed it. Nothing wrong with making a space work for you!
(Just for full disclosure, this is our deep freezer; we use it to store less-accessed items, like freezer meals, frozen veggies/meats for future dinners, and even a few pans of my cinnamon rolls for easy weekend breakfasts).
4. Divide bigger areas into easier-to-use parts.
(This picture was taken about a week later than the others; totally forgot to snap one while I was taking the first set! That’s why everything is different.)
When we got our fridge, this drawer was one big section and was so difficult to keep organized. I tried just keeping everything in sections, but it always rolled back together. Problem solved though: I found these drawer dividers on Amazon that have been the perfect solution. They allow us to adjust the width of the sections as needed, but at the same time, stay in place really well. I also used them in the top drawer of our freezer; you can see them in the picture above. Having smaller sections to organize makes it so much easier to keep everything in place!
5. Have a designated cleaning day to dedicate to refrigerator organization and cleaning.
Of course, this doesn’t stay this way on it’s own. Doing the initial organization is important, but following the steps to keeping it organized might be just as important.
Once a week, Journey to Clean (my cleaning system) has its users organize and clean the fridge. That includes throwing out old foods, making sure everything is in its place, restocking/making note of what needs to be stocked, wiping spills, and cleaning crumbs. It maybe takes me 10 minutes a week, but is absolutely crucial in keeping the fridge nice and tidy.
Not too scary, right? Following just a few simple steps can keep any fridge functional and organized!
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