Cleaning & Organizing the Fridge

Our fridge has been a disorganized mess for a while now. Every time Bryan looks for a bottle of mustard (we have a LOT), he gets frustrated because it’s all the way in the back. I’m the culprit of buying pounds of veggies and completely forgetting that they’re in the crisper. Something needed to change ASAP.
This past weekend I decided it was time to tackle the good ol’ fridge. It needed a cleaning badly, so I figured it was the best time for a little reorganization as well. Don’t cringe too much, but here are the before photos. See how hard it is to see the stuff all the way in the back?!
Steps to cleaning & organizing your fridge:
1. Empty your fridge. Get ready to work quickly so your food doesn't spoil!
2. Create cleaning solution. I don’t like using harsh chemicals in my kitchen, because it comes in close contact to where I place my food. For the fridge, I created a quick and easy cleaning solution using: 1/2 teaspoon dish soap, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 2 cups warm water.
3. Wipe down all bins, shelves, walls and doors. I like using a micro fiber cloth and the cleaning solution to clean the inside of the fridge. Make sure to do the walls! It’s often an area left untouched and you wouldn’t believe the mess these can be.
4. Group all similar foods and place in bins. I purchased three from Target ($2.99 each). I use one for jellies and butter, one for ketchup and mustards and one for yogurt. I chose these for the bins, because I typically have multiples. You wouldn’t believe how many different types of mustard we have.
5. Label the bins. I used the Brother PT-1290 label maker and pretty washi tape from Target.
6. Keep milk off the door! The fridge doors tend to get the warmest, so I keep my milk on the bottom inside shelf.
7. Keep frequently used condiments on the door. We keep salad dressings, hot sauces and BBQ sauces here. The condiments we don’t use as often are kept on the inside bottom shelf next to our drinks.
8. (Optional): Prep all lunches ahead of time and keep in glass jars. I absolutely hate making my lunch in the morning, so I decided to pick up some glass mason jars this weekend to hold fruit salads and veggie salads. This way, all I need to do is grab and go!
9. Use drawers for meat/cheese, extra veggies and fruit. I like cutting up extra veggies into sticks and placing in little bags for lunches and snacks. It makes healthy snacking a lot more convenient!

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 6 questions
  • Nancy Shumaker
    Nancy Shumaker
    on Aug 4, 2017

    What do you do when there are leftovers?
    • Phyllis Wendt Nichols
      Phyllis Wendt Nichols
      on Aug 4, 2017

      I put in glass pyrex so I can see thru it. My husband always eats the left overs he sees other wise it stays in frig & it's wasted anyways. I use the round that stacks easy.
  • The fly
    The fly
    on Jan 7, 2019

    I want to know freshener for fridge pls

    • Annie Thomas
      Annie Thomas
      on Jun 5, 2020

      I like whole coffee beans in used for coffee. Great neutralizer and I also have them in the bottom of the trash can.

  • Joanie
    on Dec 29, 2019

    These are all great ideas!! What do you do when Plastic is gone. Your ziplock bags and plastic bins are goin' to be history. We're goin' to return to glass. It was that way years ago......back to glass and also dangerous, with or without kids. I'm wondering what our Glad garbage bags with the red ties will go and what will we use for a substitute. They say they're gonna come up with a plastic that is biogradable. I use those Walmart bags for the trash in the bathrooms or wherever.

Join the conversation

2 of 165 comments
  • Laura houston
    Laura houston
    on Jan 15, 2018

    Thank you 4 the tips. Just getting ready to tackle mine and these r wonderful. Clean and efficient. I have 2 refrigerators and a large deep freeze. Time 4 me 2 get to work with these wonderful ideas.
  • Sheryl Gregory
    Sheryl Gregory
    on May 1, 2019

    Every time we replaced a refrigerator, I'd saved any bins or drawers that were not too oddly shaped. (Yes, I'm older.) Some proved useful exactly like this. For the rest of the space, I bought the clear plastic bins, probably from Walmart. No need to label. Pickles, short jars of cherries, artichoke hearts, & relishes are in one, Mayo, salad dressings & other taller stuff in another. Long, clear bins on a low shelf makes it easier to pull forward & find things. I also keep all the drink cans & boxes in one. That conserves space because you can easily crowd them in & then slide it forward to access the ones in the back.

    Caveat: young kids may not always remember to stop pulling in time to keep the bins from hitting the floor. Otherwise, this works great! My husband comments often about what a great idea it was. I just smile & nod.

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