A Dry-Erase Marker Is the Key to a More Organized Fridge

updated Aug 4, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Kkgas/Stocksy

Historically, I haven’t been the most responsible with groceries. My intentions are always good: I plan my meals and then grab all the ingredients (plus a few inevitable extras) from the grocery store. The struggle starts when my feet are in the kitchen. Upon returning home to my two sweet but demanding kids, I haphazardly shove the groceries into the fridge, without much regard for what goes where. Almost always, some amount of food goes spoiled and uneaten, and it’s always the stuff I can’t see. If only there was a way to remind myself what I’d bought, so I that I could keep track of what needs to be eaten. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman

I’ve toyed with the idea of writing down my meals and groceries in a notebook, but that didn’t seem visible enough. (I don’t turn to a notebook when I’m feeling snack-y.) I experimented with writing those same details down on a dry-erase board hanging on the other side of my kitchen. It worked, but I wasn’t in love with the look of having a dry erase board hanging next to my pantry. That’s when I happened upon the idea of writing things down in (or on!) the actual fridge. 

It’s a brilliant tip, really. Why not list the soon-to-go-bad items that you need to eat someplace you’ll actually see when your head is INSIDE the fridge? I’ve heard of this hack tried two ways: with a dry-erase marker on the inside wall of the fridge, or even on the outside. I have a stainless steel fridge that I can’t stick magnets on, so I opted for the latter.

Credit: Ashley Abramson

First, I organized my fridge, following the first-in, first-out rule to make older items more visible. Then, I just grabbed my favorite dry erase marker (purple!), took stock of the fridge, and wrote down anything that needed to be eaten, stat. What made the list, you ask? I focused on food that would likely spoil if not eaten soon, so meats and produce. This week, it was turkey, chipotle chicken burgers, steak, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, and peppers.

As we ate the items, I crossed them off the list with a paper towel (a whiteboard eraser would obviously work, too). The beautiful part is, when the list is dwindling, I know it’s almost time to head to the grocery store again to stock up on new meat and produce. 

I might switch things up next week and make a “what needs to be eaten” list on the inside of the fridge (I’ve also heard of putting these items in a designated basket, if you have room) and list my “groceries to buy” list on the outside of the fridge, so I can snap a picture of it before I go to the store. Either way, I’m keeping a dry erase marker next to the fridge from here on out!