Design for me covers all elements of my life and one area that is really important is organisation. Many people struggle with their fridge and the bigger it is the more people seems to pack in there. When it comes to refrigerator organisation, unfortunately there is not one cookie cutter solution. How your fridges ends up the way it does can be due to the size of fridge you have, what groceries you have and how often you shop and of course how many people are in the home. Here are some of the most common issues people have and some tips on getting control back of your fridge and hopefully reduce the amount that is wasted.
Do you feel like you do not have anything in the fridge, but it is actually full of half opened items, containers, left over food or not sure what? Before you start really drilling down to extra things you can do try these basic things to get your fridge back to where it should be.
- Clear your bench and have a bin ready and the sink full ready to wash as you go. Go through absolutely everything and check the date or the contents to see what is still good and what is not. Clean the containers of food that have been thrown out. Wipe down the fridge so you are starting fresh.
- Now we have a clean fridge start grouping items together, there is further detail below on condiments and left-over food but everything else needs to also be grouped so you can see what your fridge is made up of. Now allocate spaces in the fridge so everyone knows where the drinks, cheese, cold meats, fruit etc will be. This will assist in establishing when you are running out of something, it will make things easier to find and also getting any little helpers to put things back.
- You can get double shelf risers that you use for your pantry – grab a couple for your fridge, great to stand smaller things on or lay them down and now you will get double the amount of space.
- If you do not have enough drawers grab some containers that are open at the top and use these for putting cold meats, or cheese and even eggs.
- If you have kids create a snack container or basket so they know where their items are and do not start moving everything around. Remove all the packaging if you can as this will assist in freeing up space. Another great tip for kids is label everything so they know where everything goes back- if they are really young try some pictures of the items. To be honest this system does not hurt older kids and includes partners 😊
Now you have the basics, here are some tips on the two areas that cause the most issues in a fridge. Are you one of many people that have managed to acquire a significant collection of sauce bottles, jams, dressings, and chutneys? It is easy to do. As someone who weirdly loves grocery shopping and cooking you have to have to have options, Yeah?? You have to have all 5 of the different caramelised onion options, don’t you? The problem we face is that these little containers add up and manage to take up a lot of space half the fridge or you cannot see them all. Here are some of our best tips for organizing all those condiments.
- Use an egg carton to organize the door. I read this tip on another blog and thought it was great. The next time you have an empty egg carton, cut off the bottom, and drop it onto a shelf on the fridge door. Then, you can use the carton to hold upside-down bottles of condiments. The bottles will stay in place this way, and it will be easier to pour out every last drop.
- Label your shelves. Dedicate three key shelf sections on the inside of the fridge door. Allocate and label one sweet, one savoury, and one spicy. This will keep everything where it is meant to go, you may have the family asking what group they go into to start with, but they will get it. Once the shelf is full try not to buy anymore, check what you have and use what you have first.
- Use a lazy Susan. If you do not want to use all your door space, then get the items you use the most and put them on a lazy susan. You can find inexpensive ones. Place it on the top shelf, this will allow you to access items quickly and easily.
Everyone tries to save leftovers to do the right thing and we all have the best intentions to use them. However, once they go into the fridge they do not seem to come back out until its way to late and its time for the bin. Here are some tips to hopefully reduce waste and create better organisation
- Use clear, matching containers. Where possible try and use the same matching containers in clear plastic so you can see what is inside. It will make it much easier to stack them and have three sizes – a single serve, double service, and full family meal. This way, when it comes time to pack up any leftovers from homemade meals, you will always have the perfect options at the ready.
- Label everything. Even when using clear containers, I would suggest always labelling what is in each container, so everyone knows not just you. Be sure to include the name of what is in the container and the date that you put it in there. To achieve an even better outcome, write on the labels “eat me first”, this way anyone will know what needs to be consumed first and won’t be wasted. If you have children try leaving a sticky note on the front of the fridge telling them the list of things to eat first.
Believe me you will feel so much better when your fridge is organised and will make grocery shopping much easier and less food will be wasted.