We have all seen those Pinterest-perfect-looking refrigerators and freezers that are a work of art when opening the doors. They are color-coded, functional, and organized to every inch of space available. And it makes sense because everyone is going in and out of the fridge for food and drinks.
We want to take advantage of fridge features and storage space. Easier said than done because it’s natural to try and throw milk just about anywhere it will fit. But with a system, everyone has a home and no more clutter! Let’s not wait any longer!
Common Questions We Will Address
While the concepts will be the same no matter what fridge size you have, adjustments will always need to be made to fit your unique design. Nevertheless, these questions are always asked and will be addressed throughout the guide.
- How do I organize my refrigerator like a chef?
- How do I organize my fridge to reduce food waste?
- How do I organize my refrigerator for better food storage?
Of course, there are many more questions than this but all of these essentially address the design and plan of food storage. Want to make your fridge easily accessible so you can whip up great concoctions? Tired of throwing out leftovers? Feel like it’s all cluttered? Don’t worry these tips will solve all of that.
The first thing you want to do before starting any actionable steps is read this guide from top to bottom. You may want to plan where your food groups will go before you take all your items out of the fridge to clean.
Map It Out
First, we need to understand our drive and freezer to have an action plan. Some fridges and freezers are divided up into quadrants. Others have customizable shelves and storage so you can maximize your storage depending on what you have for groceries that week.
What should go on the top shelf of the fridge?
The fridge’s top shelf is usually the largest space and has little to no restrictions. The top is likely to have shelving for larger objects, whereas the bottom of the drive section will have drawers and more storage bins.
Here is a table where the most common organization is displayed. However, some fridges may have the opposite (unlikely) with drawers on top.
Top of Fridge
Bottom of Fridge
Good for large items or tall items
Good for food groups
Dairy, vegetables, fruit
But milk is dairy. So where does milk go in the fridge? And eggs are dairy as well. So where should eggs go in the fridge? Well, check out to see when you open the fridge and if there is side storage. If there is a special place for eggs and butter, it will be noticeable.
Sometimes the side storage also allows for things like drinks and condiments. Anything that is easily perishable (vegetables) should go in containers. This answers what should be stored in the bottom drawer of a fridge.
Make Basic Food Group Sections
While looking at storage in your fridge, make a mental note of what makes the most sense for certain groups to go where. Some things like large bottles can not fit. So placing items that can only go in selective places will be key to efficient storage use.
- Miscellaneous (Ex: Herbs)
Fridge Ideas That Make Sense:
With everything noted here, your food groups and drinks should have the most used items in the front of the section and the least used in the back. Ex: milk that is used every morning should take priority over a beer that may be drunk on the weekend.
- Drinks and bottles should go inside storage or in open spaces. Keep your drinks together. This is the best way to organize a fridge door because it opens up space on the inside.
- Veggies that aren’t cooked or cut into storage containers can go in larger bins. However, if you can prep the vegetables and place them into Tupperware, they can go into an open space. This leaves drawers open for items that can’t fit into Tupperware.
- Butter and condiments likely can go into the side storage. If there is no butter section, you can place it with dairy in a section on the top half. This excludes dairy cold cuts.
- Cold cuts need airtight storage, and items such as cheese and sliced ham should be given priority in the bins. This is how to organize a fridge with containers because they were made for foods that need to be kept fresh.
- Fruit that can stay outside saves you space on the inside. Berries and similar fruit can be placed inside one of the storage bins to keep them as fresh as possible.
- Meats and fish can be placed in open space but is also best organized, prepped, and put in Tupperware.
Store packaging typically does not go great with each other. This is why when you buy your own storage for drinks and food, things tend to fit together better. Glass storage is one of the best options because it is safe, free of toxins, and clear. Seeing what is in your fridge is essential. Glass Tupperware is also the answer to organizing a fridge without bins.
It doesn’t matter whether you want to know how to organize a small refrigerator or how to organize a french door refrigerator. These rules can be applied across the board.
Note Your Inventory
Now is the time to open up your fridge. Take inventory of everything you have and place them in food groups. You should also organize your items by expiration date once they are in their respective groups. Before we place them back, it is time for a quick clean-up.
Note: Place all items in their group. They may end up separated in some special cases in the fridge but for now, keep them together.
Clean It Up
There is nothing worse than organizing a fridge to see if there are stains from condiments that leave a sticky residue in the drawers. Or to see that you have expired items in the back and now need to take everything out again.
What you Need:
- Non-toxic cleaning wipes or product spray
- A sponge or cloth for washing
- A cloth for drying.
Here are a few basic organized fridge ideas to start the process.
- Consolidate the items in your fridge by removing all expired items. Truly go through every item (even in your freezer).
- Next, you can complete clearing your fridge by putting products on a table or kitchen counters clear from the space. If you are worried about things like dairy going bad, fill a large bucket or container with some ice cubes to keep them cool.
- Wipe down everything and thoroughly scrub any sticky areas. Everything should be squeaky clean.
Putting It All Back:
Considering everything listed above, it is time to consider your specific fridge’s storage design. Place your items that are least perishable in the back of their categories. Place the most used items at the front and center, so you don’t have to re-organize every time you take something in and out.
Once the main categories are sorted, you may be left with a few miscellaneous items that don’t seem to fit perfectly. Now you can place things that make the most sense in odd spaces. Herbs may only fit into the side door or in an open space.
How To Organize Freezer
The project should not end at the refrigerator. The freezer is equally important to have organized, or else you will be dealing with problems such as freezer burn. Meat can go bad in there as well! Since things can last longer, it can be a little easier to organize.
Note: Not much has to be worried about if you have slidable freezer drawers since everything is so easily accessible.
General Tips and Tricks
- The larger the square or rectangle is, the closer it should go to the bottom of the pile. Think pizza boxes The opposite creates holes and gaps in space. Consider it a jigsaw puzzle.
- Foods that are going to be eaten first should go to the top of the pile if it makes sense for storage purposes.
- Frozen meat should be kept together; if there are bins or storage sections, place them here. They aren’t going to fit well with more geometric-shaped containers and storage.
- If you have side door storage, this is great for frozen bags, ice cream, ice packs, and more odd-shaped items. If you have a top-shelf ice cream and taller items can also go here.
- Items that have freezer burn or expiration dates can be tossed out to make more storage space!
Your freezer doesn’t need too much stress and planning. Awkward items should go together, and the rest is like playing Tetris. But keep in mind you don’t want to take everything out and leave it out. Quickly put things back in as you don’t want to let things like meat defrost and then put it back in too many times.
Experimenting A Little
The general rules of organizing your fridge like a pro are easy to incorporate into any fridge and freezer. But since each unit is going to have slightly different storage, different designs are going to occur. It may take a little time to experiment with where certain food groups fit best. The only way to figure this out is to go through the process.
Not all fridges need to be perfect as long as it is functional and organized. Color coordination is cool but not always realistic. If you find a better way to do it the second time, you can change your method, But you don’t need to spend hours taking things in and out of your fridge. The general methods work for everyone!