Do you ever look at Pinterest and see all those amazingly organized refrigerators? Oh, I would love my refrigerator to look like that! Do people really take all that time to do that? How do you maintain it?
Well … yes they do and, believe it or not, it is super easy to maintain. I decided to take on the challenge and set aside an entire day to clean and completely organize my fridge!
What initially made me decide to finally organize my fridge was because I was just getting tired of having produce constantly go bad week after week. This kept happening mainly because I didn’t know exactly what I had in the fridge, since I couldn’t see everything in the fridge!
I can’t tell you how many times I’m craving a salad and look in the fridge and see a head of lettuce and think, “no, I don’t feel like washing that” and eventually just eat something else. I have spent a lot of money buying a variety of produce like bok choy, asparagus, even artichokes and brussel sprouts. These aren’t exactly cheap and when you let them go bad in the fridge … well … you might as well just burn some dollar bills! Think of how much you waste when you do this every week!
The first thing I stopped doing was buying produce from Costco or similar large food warehouses. Unless I was planning on juicing within the next couple of days, I found that most of the bulk purchases from these stores would always go bad. It is just my husband, youngest son and I at home now, and we realize that we just can’t eat the bulk quantities in a week and that is about all the time you have for veggies to stay fresh in the fridge!
The one negative obstacle that I had to deal with in MY fridge is that it is cabinet depth, so it doesn’t go as deep as a normal fridge. This makes it even more difficult because I am constantly cramming and pushing things to the back of the fridge which, again, leaves much of my produce to get lost in the back and rot away.
I read a lot of blogs about organizing refrigerators. I looked at a lot of different ways of organizing on Pinterest too! I drew up on my sketch pad (because that is what I do with every project) exactly what I have in the fridge and where I wanted them to go on each of the shelves. Then I drew up what bins would work, taking into account the measurements so they would fit. I wanted to make sure you can see everything when you open the doors.
I love these OXO containers with the pop-up seal button on top, because they actually keep your vegetables fresh for a longer time. They are pricey if you get them on Amazon or Target, but if you go to the Home Goods store, they are about 30-40% less! So I invested in several of those. On this shelf, I have my carrots, celery (they are behind the broccoli and mushrooms) I also wanted to have fruit for my yogurt so I have blueberries and strawberries. These stackable bins on the right work great for my apples and citrus fruits. Oh, the handled bin above has my garlic, onions and ginger which I use daily.
On this shelf I have this metal basket for my greens. The reusable bags are great for these and here I have my snowpeas, sugar snap peas, kale, lettuce and spinach. I also bought these glass containers to store my cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, peppers, extra celery that have been washed, cut and ready to eat. You can see the minimal depth I have to work with by the egg containers that hang over a bit. This setup has helped me tremendously in maximizing the use of this small space!
I have bins to organize my sparkling water and creamer. The next bin has OXO containers with ground flax seeds and protein power for my smoothies along with my favorite milk Fairlife! The last bin has my coconut water. There literally is no space wasted and with the little space left on the side … I utilized it for my boxed broth and almond milk.
If you have read any of my other blogs, you know I absolutely am in LOVE with lazy susans. I have them everywhere! So why not in the fridge? I use one for my condiments and a double layered one for my jams and all the little things that tend to get lost on the door shelves. These have made things visible and easily accessible. There was a little space left in between, which was perfect for a bottle of my favorite Japanese plum wine!
I have the drawers below labeled for cheeses, breads and pickles. (A side note: since we’re in Arizona, I have found that I can keep my bread longer in the fridge than on my counter.) Within each drawer I have dividers so I keep everything visible and organized. For the side fridge doors, I labeled the shelves for my dressings, sauces and juices.
On the Freezer side I have each shelf organized – with bins for frozen vegetables, frozen left overs and a week’s worth of meat and seafood on the bottom drawers. I do have another refrigerator in the garage which we keep our sodas, water and beer in the refrigerator section and bulk meats in the freezer.
On the side doors of the freezer, I have extra butter, dark chocolates that we love to keep frozen and “skinny” ice cream. I freeze my lemon juice in large bottles and I also have this year’s batch of homemade limoncello. The bottom two shelves I have some pre-packed frozen fruits in these BPA-free reusable bags that we can easily grab to make a quick smoothie.
Since we eat a lot of salads and veggie bowls and I recently started weekly juicing, we tend to go through a lot of fruits and vegetables every week. A tip I learned from another blogger was to get in the habit of washing your vegetables as soon as you get them home from the grocery store. If you have your produce all washed and ready to go, you will more than likely use them. I have since found this to be very, very true!
Now, I have everything washed and in their containers and it literally takes 10 minutes to make a healthy snack, lunch or dinner! It may take a bit more time when you get your groceries home, but it will definitely cut so much time during the rest of the week.
This setup may sound tedious and time consuming, but this has greatly minimized our overspending in groceries, eliminated wasting produce on a weekly basis and has made creating my grocery checklist super easy! The best part of all of this? I would have to say that this has helped the whole family keep the fridge organized, especially since everything is labeled and there is really no excuse of not knowing where to put things!
I hope I have inspired you to organize and love your fridge! Be sure to follow me on Instagram and YouTube too! Let me know if you have any questions on any of the products mentioned (I am NOT sponsored) by leaving me a comment below.