12 tips for a more organised fridge, according to professionals

francois schnell/FlickrOrganising your fridge doesn’t have to be difficult.
  • Organising your fridge can save you time and money.
  • Some tips for organising your fridge include using clear storage boxes and labels.
  • Ultimately, you need to figure out what you need most often from your fridge to decide how you’d like to organise it.

A disorganized fridge can make it hard to find what you need while also making it extra easy for your food to go to waste. But according to professional organisers, Lisa Zaslow and Julie Morgenstern, organising your fridge can take less than an hour and you can reap the benefits every day.

Here are some expert tips for organising your fridge, whether you live alone or with multiple people.

Make a plan.

iStockThink about how you use the refrigerator.

Do you want to keep everything to make lunches together in one spot or would you prefer the fridge be organised by food group? “For any organising project, you want to think about storing different things in places that make sense,” Zaslow told INSIDER. “You’ll always know the top shelf is for leftovers, for example.”

Decide where you’d like items to be once everything is cleaned out.

Remove everything from the fridge.

iStockIf it’s wilted, toss it.

Morgenstern suggests grabbing a trash bag and recycling bin and being prepared to throw things away. She said to toss any food you don’t feel safe eating, even if you paid a lot of money for it. You’ll also want to check expiration dates.

Place everything you plan to keep on the counter, grouping items together according to your new organisation plan.

Wipe the fridge down with a cloth and a mixture of baking soda and water.

iStockIt will remove built-up gunk.

To keep things moving swiftly, Morgenstern recommends creating a simple cleaner with just baking soda and water. Do a quick wipe down of the shelves and walls of the fridge. You won’t need to scrub, but the cleaner will still any built-up gunk.

Remove features you don’t need.

iStockYou may not actually use your egg shelf.

The shelves in most refrigerators can be adjusted or removed. If you have an egg insert in the door or a cheese drawer that you just won’t use, take them out.

“Adjust the shelves in your fridge. If you buy a lot of things in tall bottles, move the shelves around to make room,” Zaslow told INSIDER. “And read your manual! There might be cool features you aren’t aware of.”

Keep items that need to stay cold on the shelves.

Guy Montag/FlickrMilk shouldn’t be stored in the shelf on the door.

Temperature-sensitive items, such as eggs and milk, should find a home on the shelves, where the temperature remains colder and more stable than in a place like the door.

Place meats on the lowest shelf.

Getty Images/William Thomas CainIt will make it easier to clean your fridge when the packaging drips.

There’s nothing worse than placing meat in the fridge only to find it leaked all over the shelves below it a few hours later.

“Think about gravity,” Zaslow told INSIDER. “Store raw meat on the lowest shelf in case it drips and to prevent contaminating things. The bottom shelves are the coolest shelves, so that is proper place to store [meat].”

Put items that can withstand varied temperatures in the door.

ShutterstockCondiments can be stored in the door.

Every time you open the refrigerator door, the temperature of the ingredients in the door starts rising. These temperature fluctuations are not good for dairy or eggs, but it is a great storage space for condiments.

“You want to store things that don’t need to be kept super cool – like condiments, bottled water, jams, and jellies – in the door,” Zaslow told INSIDER.

Healthy snacks, fresh produce, and leftovers that need to be used should be kept at eye level.

Glenn Price/ShutterstockTry to put healthy snacks at eye level.

Morgenstern suggests keeping healthy snacks at eye level so you’ll be more likely to reach for them. It’s also more likely that you will use up leftovers if they are easy to see.

Read More: 10 foods you should stop buying if you want to save money

Create labels for different segments in the fridge.

ShutterstockIt can help a crowded fridge feel more organised.

When it comes to keeping the fridge organised, especially in a multi-person household, labels are key.

Both professional organisers say that you might organise the fridge to meet the system in your mind, but your family or housemates might not understand it. Labels can guide everyone to where each item goes, keeping your fridge organised for longer.

Try using clear refrigerator bins to keep items organised.

iStockIt makes it easier to see which foods you have.

Morgenstern and Zaslow are both fans of using clear storage containers to organise a fridge.

“They come in many different shapes, so you can use them to subdivide stuff in the fridge,” Morgenstern told INSIDER. “Lunch fixings could all go into a fridge bin and the whole bin can come out when it is time to make lunches.”

Use a wipe-off board to keep track of what is in the fridge.

Zach Welty/FlickrYou can write down foods that will expire soon.

A simple wipe-off board and some magnetic markers are a great addition to the front of a fridge, said Zaslow and Morgenstern. When you put leftovers or fresh produce in the fridge, write down what the food is and the date you added it to the fridge.

When you use something, simply wipe it off the board. This way, you can easily see which food is the oldest and should be used first.

Focus on keeping it organised each time you go grocery shopping.

Justin Sullivan/GettyIt’s all about developing good organizational habits.

Before each grocery shopping trip, take a moment to clean out the fridge and quickly place anything that is in the wrong spot in its correct home.

Morgenstern advises cleaning the fridge each time you shop for groceries. Toss items that have spoiled and give the shelves a quick wipe down before purchasing more food.

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