Are you failing at keeping your small refrigerator tidy and organized? Do you ever wonder where each food group should be stored in your refrigerator? In this post, I talk about all that and some simple habit changes you can implement in your house to make your life easier.
Keeping the refrigerator organized is a challenge that most families have. The smaller the refrigerator and the larger the family, the harder it is to stay organized.
We’re a family of four with our sons being 1 and 3 years old so technically, we store a lot less food than other larger families do. But the tips I’m sharing today can certainly be applied to any size family.
Before we get into the actual organization part of this post, I’d like to share 3 small habit changes that could totally transform the way your refrigerator looks on the inside right now:
- Stop buying a lifetime’s worth of groceries: For example, in our home, we buy groceries weekly. This helps us keep in line with our budget and avoid buying unnecessary items in extra grocery shopping trips. I explain more about that here. By going weekly, we also buy fewer items than we would if we bought groceries monthly. And by having fewer things to store, it is much easier to keep the refrigerator clean and orderly.
- Consume everything you buy: I know I’m being very optimistic by saying this, but at least try to consume what has been in your refrigerator for a while. Or toss them if they’re out of date already! Oh, and keep this in mind, friend: if you know your family’s not going to eat something, don’t even bother buying it. It will just be one more item to be piled up in your refrigerator.
- Organize things in a way that will make it easier for you to consume them: I will go into detail later. But in short, what I mean is, if you know you won’t eat the biscuits because they’re in a box, take them out of the box as soon as you get home from the grocery store. What feels more convenient for you? A ziplock baggie? A container? Simplify.
Add these tips to your toolbox and use what works for your family. You can also tweak them in a way that fits naturally with your family lifestyle. For example, if going grocery shopping weekly would NOT work for your family at all, you could maybe consider doing it bi-weekly?
Now, let’s get to the fun part.
How to organize a small refrigerator
How about we start with the top shelf? 😉 The top of the refrigerator is where the temperature is mostly constant, so that’s where I store my dairy products and eggs.
I never really liked the cardbox trays eggs come in, so we got an acrylic egg tray (like this one) to keep the eggs in. First, we can wash it as many times as we would like. Second, it keeps everything looking a lot cleaner and more organized. As you can see, in this shelf, I keep cream cheese, sour cream, eggs, and 2 containers with leftovers on the left, by the eggs.
In our home, we are all cheese lovers so we purchase tons of different cheeses. We keep them all in the built-in drawer on the right with lunch meat.
On the left side of this shelf, there isn’t a lot of space left so that’s where I keep all the small items. It’s usually random stuff. Juice boxes, containers with fruits, and a leftover chicken.
The bottom shelf is the most spacious one. I also feel like it is the most secure and well supported out of all the shelves. Because of that, it’s where we keep our milk and all the large and heavy containers.
We used to store our fruit in its original packaging. But we started noticing that we didn’t eat them as much. Simply put, we are too lazy to open the packaging, pick what we are going to eat, wash, and eat.
So to simplify things in our home, I recently started following this process before storing them:
- Discard original packaging;
- Gently dry with a kitchen towel or paper towel;
- Line the bowls with a paper towel (so it absorbs any remaining water);
- Fill the bowls with fruit;
It can seem silly, but the simple fact that all we have to do is literally open the fridge and eat them has completely stopped the wasting of fruit. It’s like I said at the beginning of this post:Organizing your fridge in a way that makes it easier for you to consume food is a habit that will actually help you avoid wasting them. Click To Tweet
When it comes to our vegetables, the same almost always applies as well.
I use my tomatoes every day so storing them washed and ready to eat make my days a lot smoother. The potatoes, on the other hand, I don’t cook as much, but if I don’t prewash them, I won’t cook them at all (out of complete laziness). So do what makes sense for you and your family!
In those two built-in drawers, I keep all my vegetables. Some prewashed, and some still in the supermarket plastic baggies.
On the refrigerator door, I keep restaurant sauce packets …
…which I almost removed before taking the picture so nobody would see that I keep them. But then I wouldn’t have been completely transparent. 😉 We keep them because we love the sauces and will eat them later, so why toss them?
I also keep butter and all kinds of sauces, condiments, and dressings. Most of these, don’t require a very cool temperature so they will be just fine at the door.
Also at the door, are juice bottles, more milk, and these two cute, colored plastic bottles with filtered water.
We have a water filter in our sink, but we just love drinking super cold water. That’s why we keep two water bottles in there.
There it is. Our whole method behind the organization of our teeny tiny refrigerator. It’s all about simplifying. Making things easier and more convenient for your own family and lifestyle!
Now that you’ve seen what habits and tricks I implement in our home to organize our small refrigerator, what will you implement in your home? Or do you already have some pretty legitimate tricks up your sleeve? Please, go ahead and share them with us! We’re dying to know over here!!!