If you're anything like me, your fridge is almost always in a constant state of disarray. Try as I may, I can't seem to find an organizational strategy that will stick. Leftovers kept to one shelf? Tried that. Condiments on the door? Tried that. Lucky for me (and probably you) the internet is an untapped well of ideas from other people who happen to be much better at organizing.
Here are some of the most ingenious storage solutions you should steal.
1. Keep raw meats in a separate bin.
Even if you're not typically squeamish or germaphobic, it probably still grosses you out a bit when a package of uncooked meat leaks onto your fridge shelves. To prevent cross-contamination between raw meats and, well, everything else, try this tip we previously wrote about and keep those packages in a separate bin.
See the whole post: Put a Separate Bin in Your Fridge for Meat
2. Put condiments on a lazy Susan.
For easy access to everyday essentials like mustard, mayo, ketchup, and more, keep your go-to condiments on a lazy Susan. Not only will the system encourage you to properly return the items once you're done using them, but the easy (and fun!) spinning motion lets you get what you need, exactly when you need it. No more reaching to the back of the fridge and knocking down dozens of bottles along the way.
Check out more ideas: Kitchen Organizers at Martha Stewart
3. Take advantage of the walls with magnetic tins.
This ingenious solution, dreamed up by Ursula Carmona, the blogger behind Home Made by Carmona, utilizes the untapped wall space in your fridge. Simply attach magnetic disks to the bottom of smaller storage canisters and fill them with bitsy fridge-friendly items like olives, walnuts, and crumbled feta.
See the whole post: How To Make Custom DIY Magnet Tins at Tatertots and Jello
4. Steal file boxes from your office.
We love finding ideas that capitalize on new ways to use stuff you probably have already in another part of your home. In this instance, it's your office! Megan, the blogger behind The Homes I Have Made, put file holders from Target to work in her fridge to corral everything from herbs to snack packs.
See what else she likes to use: My 7 Favorite Baskets for Organizing Your Home at The Homes I Have Made
5. And grab a binder clip.
If your fridge has wire shelves and you have a bunch of bottled water or other drinks, you might want to grab a binder clip while you're in your office. This idea comes from Flickr user Matthew Perry: Just slip the clip through some of the wires on the shelf and it'll act as a wedge to hold stacked bottles in place.
6. Reuse egg cartons to organize the fridge door.
Another condiment hack! We've already discussed how annoying all those pesky bottles can be, but that increases tenfold when you're trying to store them upside down to eek out every last drop. But pro chef and Food Network star Alton Brown has found a solution in an unlikely place: egg cartons! When you're done with a carton, separate the top and bottom and use one to line the bottom of the shelf on your fridge's door, then store condiments mouth-side down.
Read more about it: Alton Brown Helped Me Get My Fridge Organized. Here's How.
7. Label e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.
Unless you live alone, chances are you're not the only one going in and out of your fridge. Help everyone from your partner to your kiddos to guests find the proper place to return items with organized (and pretty!) labels. We love these downloadable designs from the blog Clean & Scentsible.
Steal the designs: Free Printable Fridge Labels from Clean & Scentscible
8. Create a snack stack.
If you (or your family?) happen to be a big snacker, then this idea is one you should steal. Keep those snacks (think: cheese sticks, baby carrots, small containers of hummus, etc.) from floating around all willy-nilly by placing a small set of storage drawers in your fridge, like Kristen at Pinning with Purpose did. Typically used for things like jewelry or toiletries, a small drawer set is actually the perfect size to house mini snacks without being too tall to fit between shelves.
See the whole post: Refrigerator Snack Box from Pinning with Purpose
9. Try out an "eat me first" box.
It's a sad day when you clean out your fridge, only to realize how many forgotten items have expired and gone to waste. Avoid that scenario with this clever solution from Yuka Yoneda at Closettee — a fridge "triage" area. Fill a shoe box with any items that are on their last legs and convince everyone in your house to reach for those things before anything else in the fridge.
Read more: Could a Fridge Triage Box Help You Stop Wasting Food and Money? from Closettee
10. Hang all those baggies.
Instead of keeping bags of shredded cheese and leftovers in a sad, unorganized pile, why not install a pull-out unit designed to hang those items concisely and neatly? We love this version, which easily mounts onto the underside of an above shelf with industrial-strength adhesive and can hang up to 19 bags.
Buy: Zip n Store Fridge Pullout Unit, $30
11. And all those bottles of beer!
First launched on Kickstarter, BottleLoft is another brilliant product that hangs things and frees up limited shelf space. Made with industrial-strength magnets (each one is capable of holding 3.6 pounds!), you simply attach the strip to the bottom of a shelf or the fridge's ceiling, then hang any bottle with a magnetic cap.
Buy: BottleLoft, $38 for two strips at Uncommon Goods
12. Pick up some drawer dividers.
They're not just for your silverware drawer: Turns out, those expandable dividers are great for the produce drawer, too. Wendy over at Enjoy This Beautiful Day had an aha moment and restored order in her once-chaotic crisper.
Read more: New Year's Organizing at Enjoy This Beautiful Day
What are your brilliant hacks for organizing your fridge?