How to Be Someone Who Always Has an Impossibly Organized Fridge
It’s one thing to have a clean house, to keep the spaces that are occupied by people in relative order, cushions arranged neatly on the couch, remotes lined like soldiers in trays on the coffee table, bathrooms wiped down and well-stocked, floors free of dust bunnies and tracked-in dirt.
It’s another thing entirely to keep those spaces that are conveniently located behind closed doors in a similar state of order. I’m not just talking about the master bedroom, but also the areas in your kitchen — your cabinets and drawers, the area underneath your sink, your refrigerator and your freezer — that guests will probably never see.
Having these kinds of spaces decluttered and organized isn’t for show, it’s for life. It means maintaining the contents of these areas in a state that best serves you and your household. This is especially true of your refrigerator.
An orderly fridge is a pleasure to look into, has the potential to save you money by reducing waste, and makes cooking far more efficient.
Here are 8 simple ways to be one of those people with a fridge interior that’s consistently beautiful and functional.
1. Wipe up spills as soon as they happen.
Don’t let spills sit in the fridge. They’ll get harder to clean the longer they sit and will get other items in the fridge dirty too. Use a damp rag to wipe them up immediately. The same goes for crumbs.
2. Always make sure containers are clean before putting them back in the fridge.
Do you tend to, say, set the milk jug on a dirty counter and put it back in the fridge without giving it a swipe first? Or return your condiments to their spot in your fridge door without wiping down the lid? If the answer is yes, your fridge shelves are going to get dirty quickly. Make it a habit to never put anything in the fridge unless you know it’s clean.
3. Take inventory of what you have before you go shopping.
Before you go shopping, go over the contents of your fridge. Toss expired items and take note of what you need to use soon. This way, you’ll cut down on wasting food, avoid buying duplicates, and create room for the new items you’ll be putting inside.
4. Label your shelves and bins.
Labeling reminds you and informs others of where things belong. By keeping items categorized within your fridge, you’ll know where to find things and where to put them away. This cuts down on digging around for items, on nagging others to put things where they belong, and on others asking you were the mustard is! In addition to labeling shelves, label drawers, door bins, and any organizers you’ve added. To minimize the door bin condiment graveyard predicament, consider labeling the shelves with descriptors like “sweet,” “savory,” and “spicy.”
5. Store your leftovers at eye level.
Keeping food you need to eat in this space helps ensure that you don’t forget to eat what you’ve already prepared before it goes bad. Add soon-to-be-expired produce to the leftovers shelf when you need to use it fast.
6. Make use of the freezer.
Rather than trying to remember that you have two loaves of bread to eat before the week is up, put almost-too-old leftovers or produce in the freezer. Don’t forget to label them first!
Related: Here’s How Long Bread Will Last in the Freezer (and How to Store It)
7. Keep small items corralled.
Whether it’s snack-sized hummus packages or sticks of string cheese, if they’re not contained, they’re going to clutter up your fridge. Keep them together and make use of vertical space at the same time by storing them in clear stackable storage bins like these.
8. Schedule a deep clean about once a week.
Cleaning out your fridge seems like a huge chore, but it can be done in less than half an hour, especially if you do it regularly and are vigilant about going through the fridge and cleaning up smaller messes as they happen.
Are you one of those people with an impossibly clean/organized fridge at all times? What are your secrets? Add them in the comments below!