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How to Organize the Refrigerator

Over the past few weeks I have been tackling some of the organization trouble spots in our kitchen! I started out with our pantry, then last week I straightened out the area under the kitchen sink, and today I wanted to take on an area that can easily turn into a black hole of clutter and mess: the refrigerator!

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Refrigerator organization can be tough because not only does everyone have a different size and shape of fridge, but dietary needs are different, food preferences are different, shopping habits are different, etc. I’m going to share what strategies are working for us right now– some of the ideas may work for you and others may not, and that’s okay! The best organization system will be the one that meets your family’s needs!

Organized pantry with decanted baking items, pasta, and spices

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How to Organize the Refrigerator

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Home Organization- How to Organize the Refrigerator, Fridge Organization, Kitchen Organization, Food Organization, Organized Refrigerator, Freezer Organizing, Organize, How to Get Organized

We are not really a “stockpile” family at all. I have tried it in the past, and I felt like I would end up forgetting what we had and we ended up wasting more food that way. So for us, it works to shop once every 10 days to two weeks or so, and just keep that amount of food in the house.

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Something that you’ll notice that I do differently in the refrigerator than in some of my other spaces is that I don’t label. For some reason, labels in the fridge have felt like visual clutter to me and hindered flexibility, so while I’m usually a “label all the things” type of girl, I skip them in the fridge.

Home Organization- How to Organize the Refrigerator, Fridge Organization, Kitchen Organization, Food Organization, Organized Refrigerator, Freezer Organizing, Organize, How to Get Organized

Let’s take a look at some of the systems we have set up! First, I have a shelf that is mostly the boys’ domain. I try to keep some quick and easy snack items right up front and within their reach so they can help themselves.

Home Organization- How to Organize the Refrigerator, Fridge Organization, Kitchen Organization, Food Organization, Organized Refrigerator, Freezer Organizing, Organize, How to Get Organized

We have two types of cheese sticks, and I actually have them in pickle jars! I was about to toss the jars when I realized that they were the perfect size for the cheese sticks, so I cleaned them up, removed the label, and I had some free storage!

I also have a little clear bin that I got from Target that is currently holding apple slices. Sometimes it will be yogurt or another snack that the boys can easily grab for themselves. Another clear bin holds some little drink pouches– it is actually the perfect size to hold exactly one box full of the pouches, and it takes up less space than the box does.

The grown ups have space for their drinks too! There is one drawer in the fridge that is the perfect size for cans, so we always have it stocked with LaCroix, which is Donnie’s favorite.

Home Organization- How to Organize the Refrigerator, Fridge Organization, Kitchen Organization, Food Organization, Organized Refrigerator, Freezer Organizing, Organize, How to Get Organized

I have a little tray for my drink of choice, which is currently Cherry Coke Zero, and I bumped up one of the shelves so we could fit our milk toward the back of the refrigerator to keep it colder than it would be in the door.

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Since we then just had a narrow spot between the top shelf and the top of the fridge, it was the perfect place to slide our bread and bagels. I know not everyone likes to keep bread in the fridge, but we don’t eat a ton of it and it lasts longer in here. I’ve been storing ours in the fridge for about 10 years now, and it has worked well for us, so I’m not going to mess with a good system!

I love that this fridge has a nice big deli drawer, but it was driving me a little crazy because everything was just floating around in there and I always felt like things were getting lost. Then I stumbled upon these clear trays

Home Organization- How to Organize the Refrigerator, Fridge Organization, Kitchen Organization, Food Organization, Organized Refrigerator, Freezer Organizing, Organize, How to Get Organized

I may have done a little happy dance when I realized that they happened to be a perfect fit! We have cheeses on one side and meats on the other. There’s even a little “wall” built into the acrylic trays so I can separate shredded cheese from sliced and lunch meat from the hot dogs/pepperoni.

Finally, our condiments are stored in the shelves on the door, and I have them divided up by type– sandwich condiments, salad dressings, and sauces on one side…

Home Organization- How to Organize the Refrigerator, Fridge Organization, Kitchen Organization, Food Organization, Organized Refrigerator, Freezer Organizing, Organize, How to Get Organized

…and butter and seasonings on the other side.

Home Organization- How to Organize the Refrigerator, Fridge Organization, Kitchen Organization, Food Organization, Organized Refrigerator, Freezer Organizing, Organize, How to Get Organized

When we first decided on the French door style of refrigerator, I was most nervous about the freezer. I pictured it being this deep pit with all of our stuff thrown in there kind of randomly. BUT we were able to find one that had some good organization systems already built in, and I didn’t even have to add any bins of my own!

Home Organization- How to Organize the Refrigerator, Fridge Organization, Kitchen Organization, Food Organization, Organized Refrigerator, Freezer Organizing, Organize, How to Get Organized

The top part of the drawer holds boxed food, with breakfast items on one side and the lunch or dinner-type food on the other side. The little slot in the middle is perfect for ice packs.

Home Organization- How to Organize the Refrigerator, Fridge Organization, Kitchen Organization, Food Organization, Organized Refrigerator, Freezer Organizing, Organize, How to Get Organized

Down below are the meats, with pork on one side, and then two stacks on the other side– one for chicken and one for beef. We keep frozen veggies in the middle section, and finally there is a slot specifically created to hold a pizza box. If your freezer isn’t already divided up like ours was, you could easily pop a few bins inside to separate the different types of food.

So that’s our little refrigerator tour! If you’re working with a smaller refrigerator space, I wrote all about how we organized the small fridge in our last house in this post.

If you’re looking for more kitchen organization inspiration, you can also get more details about our current kitchen organization in these posts:

Our Organized Kitchen Tour

5 Tips for Creating a Beautifully Organized Pantry

How to Organize Under the Kitchen Sink

How to Organize the Refrigerator

How to Organize Kids’ Dishes

How to Organize Food Storage Containers

How to Create an Organized Junk Drawer

Working with a smaller kitchen space? These posts about the small-but-organized kitchen in our townhouse may be helpful:

How to Organize a Small Kitchen

How to Organize a Small Refrigerator

How to Organize a Kitchen Pantry

[Psssttt… You can also find our best tips and tricks for organizing every single room of the house in this post!]

Sources

Our Refrigerator

Clear Bin Holding Apple Slices

Clear Bin Holding Drink Pouches

Clear Bin Holding Cans

Clear Trays in Meat/Cheese Drawer

Glass Storage Containers for Leftovers

If you have any great systems for organizing your refrigerator or freezer, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Abby Lawson, Just a Girl and Her Blog

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

22 Comments

  1. Amy Greene says:

    Your refrigerator looks beautiful! I don’t know that mine will ever be that organized LOL – but we do have a system that works for us, and I learned years ago to try to keep things together in the fridge so everyone knew where to look. I think it makes things much easier! Thanks for sharing the great post and pics!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Yes! The key is finding the system that works for your family’s needs! Glad you’ve found a great one! Hope you’re having an awesome week, Amy! <3

      ~Abby =)

  2. Your refrigerator is beautifully organized! I love your ideas. I’m going to take a little trip to Target tomorrow to check out the clear bins. Happy 4th of July, Abby!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Thanks so much, Debbie! Hope you had a great 4th! We sure did here! 🙂

      ~Abby =)

  3. Cory @ Growing Dollars from Cents says:

    My fridge is a complete mess!

    I know I need to take the time to organize it from scratch but finding the time is the issue…and I’m lazy haha.

    I like the system you have. maybe I could use some of your tips to make my fridge look organized for a change.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      So glad it was helpful, Cory! The fridge can be tricky to keep organized for sure! Happy organizing! 🙂

      ~Abby =)

  4. Ellen from Ask Away Blog says:

    OMG I freakin love this post! It’s like my dream fridge interior haha! Nicely done, girl!
    XO Ellen from Ask Away
    http://www.askawayblog.com

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Aw, thanks so much, Ellen! Hope you’re having an awesome week! <3

      ~Abby =)

  5. So inspirational, I need to get my fridge organized asap! Thanks for the ideas.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      So glad it was helpful, Karen! Happy Friday! 🙂

      ~Abby =)

  6. Jacquelyn says:

    We keep our bread in the refrigerator as well.

    Our fridge is currently a disaster that desperately needs cleaned out and organized, but my problem has been a combination of lack of time and battling illness. Maybe this weekend!

    While our fridge could never look at gorgeous as yours (simply because ours is an old, creepy fridge that came with the house we are renting), this is just the inspiration I needed to tackle this eye-sore. Thank you! 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      So glad it was helpful for you, Jacquelyn! Hope you feel better soon! <3

      ~Abby =)

  7. April@LoveOurRealLife says:

    How inspiring! I am going to clean out my refrigerator right now…really!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      So glad it was helpful, April! Hope your kitchen organizing went well! 🙂 Have an awesome week!

      ~Abby =)

  8. MamaMurrey says:

    Refrigerator organization changed for me when I did start labeling. I made labels about 2 x 3 inches out of scrapbook paper, wrote on them with marker, and taped them on with clear packing tape. My categories don’t change so I don’t need something that’s erasable. I label each drawer, the left and right side of each shelf, and each bin and the left and right side of the shelves on the door.

    In the above-fridge freezer, I labeled clear plastic shoe boxes with the same kind of labels. They work well to stand up packages of meat, frozen vegetables, and shredded cheese in them. I also labeled the left and right side of each shelf in the door.

    Now it takes no mental energy to know in exactly what part of the fridge or freezer an item needs to go.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      You know me… I LOVE LABELS! This sounds like a great system. Thanks so much for sharing! Have a great week!

      ~Abby =)

  9. I love my double door fridge too – best design ever!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      It seriously is! I LOVE it! 🙂

      ~Abby =)

  10. So neat and tidy! I love it! I may have to find me some clear bins too!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      I love them! 🙂 Thanks, Amanda! Have a great evening!

      ~Abby =)

  11. Abbey, we are looking at getting a new fridge. Researching models has just about driven me nuts. So I am going to actual word of mouth users. Do you like this fridge? Are there any major issues or complaints with it that you have experienced? Would love to hear any feedback, if you are able to comment. Thanks, by the way I absolutely love your organization in your fridge.

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Jody! We have had this fridge for about a year now, and I can honestly say I have no complaints. I love all of the built in storage it has and we have always been able to fit all of our items easily. It does have you replace a filter every 6 months, which is about $45, but I think every fridge with an ice maker/water feature would have something similar. Best of luck with your search!

      ~Abby =)

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