Organizing Small Spaces: Refrigerator & Freezer Edition
The refrigerator and freezer are spaces that get used constantly. It can be really hard to keep an organized on your own, let alone if you have a family. This space tends to get dirty, accumulate spills and crumbs, and it stores old and expired items. The fridge and freezer should be gone through thoroughly every 3 months, however we recommend going for a weekly once over and tidy up before garbage day. Here are some tips on how to clean and keep an organized fridge and freezer.
Remove Everything & Check Expirations
It's a 2 for 1 in the first step. It's critical to remove everything from the fridge and check the expiration dates. Once you have sorted through everything set aside the items that are going back into the fridge. Repeat the same steps for the freezer.
Wipe it Down
The fridge and freezer collect a lot of spills and crumbs. There are germs and bacteria that are constantly being spread. It's best to do a wipe down every couple months. Having an empty space is the perfect time to sanitize and wipe down everything!
Labeling your bins and drawers will help you and your entire family maintain the tidiness of your fridge and freezer once it has been organized. Labeling the type of product is key, but so is writing the expiration date! Think about those leftover enchiladas you froze... was that December or August of last year? Take the thinking out of it. Label it and date it.
Invest in Bins & Organizers
This, too, will help maintain the tidiness over time. You can purchase small bins that store your meat, and they'll also collect any nasty juice that may leak. Having a designated drawer for fruit and vegetables is also key. Make sure they're labeled! Have a can organizer will help keep all of your canned drinks in one spot. And, of course, you cannot go wrong with risers and a lazy Susan. These are great staples to have on hand for organizing food products.
It's important to have a designated space in your fridge for meal prepped items and leftovers. The same goes for the freezer. You want a designated spot for leftovers so you know exactly where those items are and what needs to be used up first. If you don't have leftovers or haven't meal prepped that week, that space should remain open and empty. Designated spaces for items will help maintain the organization of your space for the long haul.
Once all of your condiments are out of the fridge categorize them based on type of cuisine or meal type. For example, the jams and jelly should be next to the maple syrup. The ketchup should be next to mustard and BBQ sauce. Once categorized take the time to thoroughly go through which products you will actually use versus what you're holding onto just in case. Once you've gone through these steps for condiment organization you can store them back in the fridge doors or on risers based on the categories you put them in.
These are just a few of the ways you can maintain a tidy and organized refrigerator and freezer. Cleaning your fridge and freezer regularly will help you so much in the kitchen! It will help you save money on groceries by knowing exactly what you have, and you'll have less food waste, which is such a great feeling!