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How to Organize Your Fridge: + Free Checklist

Create an Instagram-worthy fridge. 

Have you ever opened your fridge, seen that it’s full, and still thought, “There’s nothing to eat”? That’s probably because it’s not organized that well.

We’ll share 14 incredible hacks for organizing your fridge shelf by shelf. This includes some tips, tricks, and other secrets to making the most out of your fridge space.

By the end, you’ll have a pristine fridge, making it easier to know where everything is.

Key Takeaways

  • Create an “eat me first” box for items nearing their expiration date.
  • Label leftovers with the contents and date they were stored.
  • Use fridge bins to organize groups of food.
  • Don’t overfill your fridge as it can limit airflow and affect food freshness.

How to Organize Your Fridge

Let’s dive into these 14 fridge organization ideas that will keep your fridge far from chaos.

1. Upper Racks

Let’s go rack by rack first, starting with the top shelves. Because this is the highest part of your fridge, you don’t want to put things there that go out of date quickly. Avoid storing meat, vegetables, and fruit up here.

Instead, store drinks, ready-to-eat foods, and any other food that has a longer expiration date. That way, if you do accidentally forget about it for a few days, it should still stay good. Less food waste is an ultimate goal with fridge organization!

2. Lower Racks

In the lower half of the fridge, keep your fresh food. This includes raw meat (which should be kept away from ready-to-eat foods anyway), fruit, and vegetables. Keeping this food on the lower racks makes it easily accessible. But it also reminds you it’s there and needs eating pretty soon.

3. Drawers

The fridge drawers usually have humidity and temperature control for keeping food fresh for longer. This is usually designed for fruits and vegetables. That’s what we keep in ours, and it works a treat!

Just don’t forget to clean it out every week because it’s easy to forget about an eggplant you put in there that’s now behind new fresh fruit. Yuck.

4. Refrigerator Door

Now it’s time to talk about the refrigerator door. It’s pretty self-explanatory in most fridges since there seems to be a dedicated spot for milk and eggs.

The door is also a good place for other drinks such as juice, yogurt, drinks, and smoothies.

Another great thing to store in the fridge drawer is dressings and condiments. You can also store spreads and jams in the door, as well as snacks you want to grab on the go.

5. “Eat Me First” Box

This is a fantastic fridge organization hack to reduce your food waste and keep things orderly. Label a dedicated box with the words “eat me first”. You can store food in here that’s about to go out of date (just don’t store any raw meat in here).

This encourages family members to check here first and make do with what needs eating. It’s a perfect way to fill a tummy and cut down on unnecessary waste.

Top Tip

To make this work, check through the fridge every few days. Look at expiration dates and add anything that’s going out of date to the box.

6. Storing Leftovers Properly

When you put leftovers in a box or bag in the fridge, label it. Write down what’s in the box or bag, but also put a date on it. That way, you know what needs eating first, how fresh it is, or whether it needs to be tossed out ASAP.

7. Use Fridge Bins

We wish fridges came with these bins! It makes keeping a tidy fridge 10 times easier.

Use these fridge bins for storing items together. Have one for fruit, one for vegetables, one for drinks, one for cheese, and so on.

We also love how they eliminate the need to rummage around in the fridge. If you have all your cheeses together, just remove the whole cheese bin from the fridge. Set it on the counter and look for the preferred cheese. Put the bin back in the fridge, and voila, no mess created!

8. Don’t Overfill

A straightforward way to prevent fridge chaos is to ensure that the fridge isn’t overfilled. Understand how much food your fridge can handle before getting too crowded. Shop accordingly, ensuring that you do a big enough food shop for a week’s worth of food. But don’t buy too much that you can never find anything.

Did You Know

An overfilled fridge also leads to bad food. Too much food can limit airflow and block the air vents. The fridge won’t be cold enough to keep the food nice and fresh.

9. Line the Shelves

Cleaning out a fridge is nobody’s favorite job. But good news: we have a way to prevent deep-cleaning your fridge every few weeks. Line the shelves with paper towels or kitchen linen.

When you clean the fridge out, simply toss the paper towels out or toss the linens into the wash. Replace them immediately so that you don’t have to deep clean the fridge shelves nearly as often!

10. Lazy Susans

You can buy these mini Lazy Susans for organizing things in your fridge. This is perfect for condiments, spreads, and jams. Simply place a few items on the Lazy Susan and spin it around when you’re looking for something. This eliminates the need to gut the fridge out every time you’re trying to find that jar of mustard.

11. Understand Fruits and Vegetables

Unfortunately, you can’t just toss all fruits and vegetables in the crisper drawer. Each fruit and vegetable has certain needs, which may require a bit of studying to find the right storage method.

For instance, apples should be stored separately from other produce because they produce ethylene gas (1). Berries should be kept in dry airtight containers and only washed just before you eat them. Cherries and grapes should remain in their plastic containers until you’re ready to eat them.

Broccoli and cauliflower do best when they are stored separately from other fruit and veg. You shouldn’t wash mushrooms before storing them, or they become slimy. You should store peppers, onions, and cucumbers at room temperature.

There’s a lot to know about fresh produce. But this knowledge can keep your fridge a more fresh and organized place.

12. Curtain Ring Clips

Here’s a fun fridge organization hack you’ll probably use for the rest of your life! Hang up curtain clips in the fridge. On these clips, hang bagged items like grated cheese, spinach, and more. The clips will keep the bag sealed and the food fresh. But it also keeps the bags organized, so they’re easily accessible when you need them.

13. Organize By Meal Type

This may seem obvious, but it’s a hack not a lot of people have thought of. Organize the food in your fridge by meal type. If you use milk, orange juice, eggs, and jam at breakfast, keep that stuff together. If you use mayonnaise, cold meats, cheese, and spinach at lunch, keep that together. This will speed up your meal prep time and ensure that stuff doesn’t get lost in the fridge.

14. Clean Fridge Weekly

Last but not least, you can stay on top of your fridge organization by cleaning the fridge weekly. If you’re using liners, you don’t need to deep clean weekly. But simply sort through your fridge, tossing out anything that’s no longer safe to eat. Wipe down surfaces so they don’t cling to dirt for long. Pop in a bowl of baking soda to get rid of odors, and voila — you have a clean, odor-free, and organized fridge.

Fridge Organization Checklist

To recap, here’s a handy checklist for keeping your fridge organized.

  • Store longer-lasting food on the top shelf. This includes things like cold meats, yogurts, and drinks.
  • Store fresh food on the lower racks, such as meats, fruit, and vegetables.
  • Store fruit and vegetables in the crisper drawer.
  • Store milk, eggs, drinks, and dressings in the fridge door.
  • Create an “eat me first” box that has items that are going out of date soon.
  • When storing leftovers, label the box with what’s inside and when it was created.
  • Use fridge bins for organizing groups of food in the fridge.
  • Don’t overfill your fridge.
  • Line the shelves with fridge liners, paper towels, or kitchen linen.
  • Use Lazy Susans for storing things like jars and condiments. This keeps everything organized and speeds up your searching time.
  • Understand your fruits and vegetables and keep certain things separate. For instance, you should store apples separately from other produce.
  • Use curtain ring clips to secure and hang bags of food like spinach or grated cheese.
  • Keep things organized according to meal type. Have a bin for breakfast foods, lunch foods, and snacks.
  • Clean your fridge out weekly.


Which Shelf is Coldest In the Fridge?

The coldest shelf in the fridge is the bottom shelf, nearest the back. Avoid storing foods with a high water content like vegetables because they will freeze.

Does a Fridge Work Better Full or Empty?

A fridge works better when it is half to three quarters full. It is a myth that a full fridge is more efficient, but it is certainly true that an empty fridge is a waste of energy because you are cooling empty space.

What Foods Should Not Go In the Fridge?

There are several foods that should not go in a fridge, including aged cheeses, coffee, stone fruits, honey, and even whole tomatoes.

Where Does Butter Go In the Fridge?

You should store butter on a shelf in the door, preferably in a compartment with a cover to ensure the butter doesn’t get too cold.

What Fruits Should Be Refrigerated?

The fruits that should be refrigerated are apples, berries, and citrus fruits like lemons and limes. Avoid refrigerating stone fruits like avocados and plums.

Fresh Fridge

With these 14 organization hacks, you now have an Instagram-worthy fridge interior. Not only is this pretty and aesthetic, but it’s way more organized. Finally, you can find everything you need without spending ages looking!

Plus, this is a great way to keep food fresher for longer. Implementing things like an “eat me first” box and storing fresh foods in your eye line will discourage you from wasting good food.

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About the Author

Beth McCallum

Beth McCallum is a freelance writer & book blogger with a degree in creative writing, journalism, and English literature. Beth firmly believes that a tidy house is a tidy mind. She is always looking for new ways to sustainably clean and tidy her house, that's kind on the environment but effective in the house, too!