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19 Fridge Organization Ideas to Save Space Like a Pro

By: Susan Finch
February 27, 2020

Fridge organization probably doesn't rank high on your list of things to do around your apartment. Unlike home decor and tricking out your entertainment system, the fridge just isn't that exciting.

However, figuring out how to organize your fridge can help reduce stress, keep your relationship with your roommates harmonious, and curb your food waste. 

Ready to get started? Here are all the things you never knew about maximizing your fridge space.

1. Yes, You Need to Empty Out the Entire Fridge and Clean It

The first step toward efficient fridge organization is emptying it out and giving shelves and drawers a good scrubbing. You'll be surprised, and horrified, by what you find. 

Old veggies and anything expired should go. So should anything that you're not interested in eating anytime soon. 

If you're conflicted about food waste, ask a friend or neighbor if they want your safe-to-eat goodies. 

2. No, You Can't Lie Your Fridge Down on the Ground

Save your muscles for another day. There's no need to lie your fridge down to clean it out. You could end up breaking the coils that help it cool down. Then, you’d end up with a fridge that doesn't work. 

Some states also don't require landlords to fix, or even provide, appliances. Chances are high the landlord is off the hook if you decide to lie your fridge on the ground, step inside, and start cleaning.

3. Your Fridge Works Better When It's Not Stuffed

Maximizing your fridge space does more than make room for new food and drinks. Your fridge works more efficiently and cools things down faster if it's not overstuffed. 

That means getting rid of things that have been in there for months like the expired yogurt and unrecognizable fruit. Those old soda boxes masquerading as organizational tools should go, too.

4. You Should Rearrange Your Refrigerator Shelves

There's no need to accept the current fate of your fridge shelves. Just move them around at will to make room for all your favorites like organic juices or tall wine bottles. It's your fridge — own it.

5. Washable Fridge Mats are Life Savers

Why should kitchen shelves get all the attention? You can't use shelf paper inside your fridge. However, you can use washable refrigerator mats. 

Choose your favorite colors, load up on your refrigerator shelves and drawers, and enjoy the convenience. Take your washable fridge mats out for a quick clean. It’s far easier than scrubbing pancake syrup off your lower shelves and lamenting your brunch choices.

6. The Fridge Doors are Among the Warmest Areas 

Keep milk and eggs out of your fridge doors. Instead, move them to a higher shelf. 

The fridge doors are the warmest areas. They’re ideal for your condiments like ketchup and soy sauce.  

7. Top-of-Fridge Storage is Warmer than Bottom

The lifespan of your food is often dependent on your refrigerator storage strategy. Designate warmer, upper shelves for items like jams, jellies, hummus, and fermented yogurt. 

The bottom shelf is colder and more suitable for dairy, meats, and other items you like to keep super cold. You can also add refrigerator racks somewhere in the middle. Those are great for beverages and snacks you want to stay cold.

8. Raw Produce Goes in Your Drawers

Raw fruits and veggies stay crisp and fresh in the drawers of your fridge. That also helps you avoid cross-contamination with other food like raw meat.

9. Fridge Drawers Can Be Low or High Humidity

Do your fridge drawers offer a setting for low or high humidity? The low-humidity drawer is ideal for food like apples, grapes, melons, peppers, mushrooms, and more. 

High-humidity drawers are best-suited for broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, and similar foods.

If your fridge doesn't offer a low or high humidity option, you should still try to group your food accordingly. It keeps your fruits and veggies fresher and easier to organize.

10. Meat and Cheese Deserve Their Very Own Home

Avoid the temptation to throw fruits, veggies, meats, and cheese together in your fridge organization spree. Grab a meat and cheese container for the fridge. That way, you can avoid cross-contamination where your cheese suddenly tastes fruity.

11. Prioritize the Food You Love

Ever wonder why your jelly is always front and center even though you rarely use it? Rearrange your fridge based on priority. 

Give your snacks prime shelf space. Now your favorites are always within reach. It’ll also be easier to tell when you're running out.

12. Everyone Needs a Lazy Susan

Yes, I said it. Every apartment dweller on the planet needs a Lazy Susan in their fridge. 

Add a plastic, see-through Lazy Susan to your organization repertoire. Then, group items together like pickles, olives, and hot peppers for easy access.

13. Fridge Organizers Are Your BFF

Keep all your cold food organized and tidy with fridge organizers. Throw your carrots, celery, and other bite-sized veggies into clear trays and bins to keep your drawers organized. 

Then, tackle your shelves with the same tactic so everything stays in place.

14. Repurposing Egg Shell Containers is Genius

Tired of squeeze bottles spilling everywhere? Cut off the top of an egg carton and turn your bottles upside down. That’ll keep them ready to go and spill-free. 

You can also buy a plastic egg carton and keep it in your fridge permanently. 

15. Hanging Stuff in the Fridge is Revolutionary

This fridge organization idea is going to blow your mind. You can hang salad, cheese, and Ziploc bags right inside your fridge. 

This easy-to-install Zip n Store organizes up to 20 bags in one place. It also gets bonus points for making you look wildly impressive. 

16. It’s Fun Labeling Everything In Sight

Go crazy labeling everything in your fridge. That way, roommates and guests can easily find everything they need. Washable labels for food containers work perfectly on drawers, organization containers, and food dividers.

17. Stacking Your Bottles Saves Tons of Room

Are your shelves making it impossible to store bottles of soda, water, juice, and other beverages? Use food storage containers designed with stacking bottles in mind. You can also designate one for yourself and one for your roommate.

18. Hacking Healthy Eating Habits Is Easier with an Organized Fridge

What’s the first thing you see when you open the fridge? Move all the sugary snacks that are staring you in the face to the back of your fridge. 

Now, make a healthy snack bin with all the stuff you'll eat. It's like a new refrigerator organization diet.

19. You Should Also Tackle Your Freezer

Your freezer also needs some attention to keep your fridge running efficiently. Use the tips and tricks above. Look for suitable stackable freezer shelves or cooler shelves that can withstand the cold. 

Final Thoughts

Mastering fridge organization is surprisingly fun. It also alleviates the needless stress of hunting for leftovers. 

Now if you don’t see it in your perfectly labeled leftover container, you’ll know your roommate ate it! With some new fridge-sharing rules in place, your apartment can finally be a harmonious and peaceful place to live.

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Susan Finch is a freelance writer and content manager focusing on local experiences, travel, and anything relating to really good food and craft brews. Her work has appeared in travel guidebooks and national magazines and newspapers. Read More
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