How to Organize Refrigerator Properly: Step-by-Step Tips

Nowadays, the refrigerator is one of the essential appliances in the kitchen. It keeps food cold and preserves it for later use. But many people don’t know how to organize the refrigerator professionally. They have to shove things into corners and hide behind others to find what they’re looking for.

That can be frustrating and time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With a bit of organization, you can get your fridge under control. And, of course, a well-organized refrigerator will help you store food better. It will also save time and money and make it more accessible to find what you are looking for when you need it.

In this blog post, let’s learn how to tidy your beloved refrigerator and become a favorite destination for all family members.


Preparing Your Refrigerator for Organization

Cleaning and Sanitizing the Fridge

Cleaning and Sanitizing the Fridge
Cre: The Home Depot

Clean your refrigerator before you organize it. That will remove any lingering odors and freshen up the space.

First, unplug your refrigerator and discard all food items that have expired or gone wrong.

Then wipe down the outside of the appliance with a damp cloth. You can also use cleaning wipes if you prefer. Please ensure they’re non-toxic so you don’t accidentally poison yourself with toxic chemical residue.

After cleaning, remove all shelves from your refrigerator and clean them and any drawers or compartments inside the appliance. Set these aside so they don’t get in your way while you organize everything in your fridge.

Taking Inventory of Food Items

Now that your refrigerator is clean, let’s inventory what’s inside. Are there too many condiments taking up valuable space in one corner? Are there old bottles of ketchup cluttering up another shelf? If so, let’s decide what stays and what goes!

Disposing of Expired or Spoiled Items

Make sure you’re always using up what you’ve got. If it’s been over two weeks since you bought something, throw it away. If you’re afraid you’ll forget, write the date on the product so you know when to toss it out.

And don’t forget about fruits and veggies — they don’t last forever! It’s best to throw away expired or spoiled foods before organizing your refrigerator because they’ll get in the way. Dump these items into a garbage bag and dispose of them immediately.


How to Organize Refrigerator: The Basics

The refrigerator is the heart of any kitchen; you store all your food, so keeping it organized is essential. If you have a lot of food and need help making the most out of your space, here are some basic principles to get started.

Temperature Zones and Their Importance

Keeping your refrigerator at the right temperature is vital to keeping food safe. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends setting your fridge between 34°F and 40°F; a temperature range of 38°F to 40°F is ideal.

According to the USDA, that’s the temperature range in which bacteria grow most slowly — that means less spoilage and more safety. To ensure that you’re storing food safely, check out this guide to storing leftovers safely in your fridge.

One thing you need to keep in mind is that the temperature in different parts of the refrigerator is not the same. Therefore, they will be suitable for storing other foods. The temperature on the upper shelves is warmer, the lower frames are colder, and the refrigerator door is where the temperature is highest.

Storing Food in the Correct Order (From Top to Bottom)

How to Organize Refrigerator
Cre: StateFoodSafety

It’s also important to store foods in a specific order so they don’t touch one another or come into contact with bacteria from other foods.

Fruits and vegetables should go in first, followed by dairy products, then meat and fish, which must be kept cold but not frozen.

If you’re storing them in separate containers (such as milk cartons or plastic wrap), place these items on top of everything else so they won’t be contaminated by other foods below them when opened and closed frequently.

Eggs should always be stored in their original carton rather than loose in a bowl or container.

Properly Sealing and Labeling Food Items

Before storing food, ensure that you’ve correctly sealed it. That will help you prevent spills and keep them fresh for extended periods.
Food should also be labeled with its expiration date so you know when to throw out leftovers rather than risk getting sick by eating them after their shelf life has expired.


Organizing Different Types of Refrigerators

Refrigerators come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: They need to be organized. Here, we will learn more about managing the French door refrigerator and the small one. One has the largest capacity, and the other has a limited capacity, which must maximize the usable area.

They each offer a variety of storage options. Let’s explore right away!

Organization of French Door Refrigerator

The French door refrigerator has a vast drawer compartment at the bottom and a huge cool storage area at the top. If you don’t organize it, you will easily get lost and find it challenging to find things when you need them.

  • Utilize specialized storage compartments: French door refrigerators have specialized storage compartments that can be used to maximize space and organize items.
  • Group similar items together: Grouping similar items can help you quickly find what you need and prevent food waste.
  • Use clear containers: Clear containers can help you see what’s inside and prevent items from getting lost in the back of the fridge. They can also help you quickly stack items and maximize space.
  • Label items: Labeling items can help you quickly find what you need and prevent confusion. You can use labels to indicate the food date.
  • Clean and declutter regularly: Regularly cleaning and decluttering your fridge can help maximize space and avoid food waste.

Organization of Small Fridge

Organization of Small Fridge
Cre: The Home Edit

With a small refrigerator, you must be very clever to store as much as you need while leaving space for cold air to circulate. Here are some helpful tips to make the organization task easier.

  • Divesting the file into sections: Sectioning the infringe involves allocating shelves for specific types of food, such as leftovers, dairy, eggs, or meat and cheese.
  • Preparing organizational tools: Preparing frame mats, bins, containers, bags, Labels, and Lazy Susans to create a clean, well-kept fridge.
  • Systematically packaging: Using containers, reusable bags, and bags to make items more compact and free up space.

How to Store Different Food Items

Different food items require other storage methods. To help keep your food fresh and tasty, try these tips:

Produce (Including fruits and vegetables)

Store them in their original packaging, and keep them in the refrigerator’s crisper drawer. Please only wash them once you are ready to use them.

Dairy (Including milk, cheese, and yogurt)

Store dairy on the middle or bottom shelf of your refrigerator where it is coldest but not frozen. Because they contain high amounts of water — like produce — which can cause them to spoil faster than other foods

Meats and poultry

Cooked meats should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator until they’re ready to be eaten again or frozen for later use.

Uncooked meats should only be kept in their original packaging on a flat shelf in the coldest part of the refrigerator — not on top of anything else because they give off moisture when thawed out.

Condiments and sauces

Store these in airtight glass jars or plastic containers with lids. Use smaller containers, which will fit in the fridge more efficiently and take up less space. The best location to store those things is your refrigerator door.


Let’s keep bottles upright so they don’t leak over your refrigerator shelf. You should also use plastic water bottles instead of glass ones.

Like condiments and sauces, the refrigerator door is the ideal place for beverages and beer. If the bottles are too tall, adjust the shelves for enough room.


Fridge Organization Sets and Accessories

Fridge Organization Sets and Accessories
Cre: The Spruce Eats

Fridge organization sets are a great way to make your fridge more efficient, effective and streamlined. These sets help you maximize your fridge space by giving you the perfect size containers for storing your food items. They also make it easier to find things without digging through the drawers.

Types of fridge organization set

There are many different types of fridge organization sets available, including:

Acrylic Storage Bins: These containers come in various sizes and colors, perfect for storing anything from food to spices. They’re also great for keeping fruit fresh longer because they seal tight so nothing can get inside them (plus they’re easy to clean). You can find them at almost any grocery store or big box retailer.

Dividers: Dividers are used to separate food items stored in the refrigerator. They also help keep food cold more efficiently by preventing air from getting in between the shelves. They typically come with hooks that easily place them on frames or doors.

Lazy Susans: This circular tray is installed directly onto shelves or doors using screws or nails. It Makes it easier for you to reach items stored at the back of your refrigerator without having to move things around manually since they are all around the same level instead of being piled together at one end like most fridges.

Glass Bottles: Some people prefer to store their food items in glass bottles because they are more convenient than plastic containers. Glass bottles are often sold as sets that include a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. They can store soups, sauces, and other liquid foods.

Glass storage containers: Glass storage containers are often square or rectangular and made from clear glass with a lid attached to hinges or clips. These containers come in many sizes to store many kinds of food.

How to use these sets for the optimal organization

  • Choose the color, material, and shapes of settings that work best in your kitchen. Decide which containers you need and how many of each. A collection of three or four can be enough for most people, but if you want to get organized, buy more.
  • Decide the type of container that you want to use for each item on your list. Use the right size container for the right amount of food.
  • Buy sets that include matching lids and bases to stack easily when not in use.
  • Make sure to label each container with the name of its contents.

Maintaining an Organized Refrigerator

Maintaining an Organized Refrigerator
Cre: The DIY Mommy

How you maintain your refrigerator will depend on how often you use it and what type of foods you keep in it. You can keep your fridge running smoothly for years with little time, attention, and effort.

Here are some simple ways to help keep your fridge working at its best:

Routine cleaning and inventory checks

The first step in maintaining your refrigerator is keeping an inventory of what’s inside. Ensure that everything has a place and that items are kept at appropriate temperatures (at least once a week). If there’s something out of business or expired, take it out and throw it away immediately.

You can also clean your refrigerator by wiping all surfaces with warm water and soap, then rinsing with warm water again. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners.

Setting a schedule for fridge maintenance

Cleaning the fridge is unpleasant, but setting aside time each month will seem alright. For example, you might clean your fridge once every three months during downtime (like after work on a Friday).

Tips for preventing food waste and spoilage

The best way to avoid wasting food is to plan meals and make a list before shopping so you know what ingredients are needed and how much they cost. Besides, check all expiration dates and throw away any items that have gone bad.



Ultimately, the story of “how to organize refrigerator” comes down to making smart choices about what you put into your fridge. You don’t need dozens of different containers for storing each food item. Still, you could benefit from a few well-placed storage options.

Hopefully, these tips will help you stay organized and follow your need rightly. If you have more exciting suggestions, please leave comments below so everyone can read them together.

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Karyn is an IIN Health Coach certified by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition since 2021, with a passion for cooking and exercise, especially yoga. She brings her expertise in Nutrition and Fitness to Hometoppicks, leading both the Kitchen and Home Gym sections to provide credible product recommendations. Karyn is committed to guiding readers on their healthy living journey with her expert tips and trusted product suggestions. You can find more about her here.

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