Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Home Organizing: How to Organize a Refrigerator

Hello Lovely Readers!

Last few months have been super crazy for that I couldn’t post as regularly as I wished to. But now is the time to make up for that. Firstly, now you’ll have a new rocking post to enjoy three times a week i.e. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This isn’t it as for all of my beautiful subscribers there are going to be exclusive ideas shared every week via email. How is that?

An organized home is always a fantasy for many as they find it hard where to start? Overwhelmed with the sheer amount of work, that de-cluttering and organizing every inch of the house requires, they always think tomorrow is going to be the perfect day to start.

I once asked my younger sister as to why she never tried de-cluttering and organizing her messy drawers. She replied, “Because I think I’ll never be able to put things back if I got them out. It’s overwhelming.”  Sound you? No worries as starting from today, we are going to fire up the organizing in a fun way, taking only baby steps. No hustle of conquering the Mount Everest in a single day. 

This Month’s space that we are going to organize is “Kitchen” & everything related to it. I have divided every space in 12 posts followed by a roundup to recap everything that we will learn and do during that month. As the posts get published, I’ll have them added category-wise under the new page, “Home Organizing.” Can’t wait to get started? Neither can I.

Today’s post is about How to organize a fridge: 

           LET THE FUN BEGIN:
Getting organized shouldn’t be boring. Before you roll your sleeves up, make yourself a cool drink to sip, play energetic songs, set the mood, unplug the fridge, and get started.

           TAKE OUT THE FOOD:
Take out everything that you have been holding on to in that poor magical cupboard. Unless, you remove every item, you’ll have a hard time cleaning it thoroughly. The food taken out should be partitioned in two categories: “Rotten” and “Good.” While the expired food should be trashed, good food should be secured with the help of ice while you do the magic. 

Every drawer & Shelf that can come off should be removed for a more thorough cleaning. Such detachable parts can be cleaned using mild dish soap with the help of hot water. However, if your fridge has glass pieces, never expose them to hot water directly without first cooling them on a room temperature. 

If you haven’t cleaned your fridge for a while, chances are that the stains of spilled area have got much stronger.  Drop some vinegar on such problematic areas before using a plastic scrubber. Baking soda is another good ingredient that you’ll find resting in your kitchen drawer. Take half cup baking soda and mix it with warm water. Using cloth, apply this mix to the stained area and leave it for few minutes. Afterwards, clean it with dish soap. Always work from top to bottom. 

For the exterior, you can use the mixture of baking soda and warm water, vinegar, window cleaner and/or dish soap. Let your fridge dry. Voila, everything looks clean. 


During the first phase of cleaning, you’ll be left with food that you want to put back in your fridge and is neither expired nor rotten. Different parts of a fridge experience varied frequency of temperature fluctuations with the door racks experiencing the highest.  It should give you a clue as to what will be stored where. Whereas easily staled items should be put close to the rear wall; sauces, colas, & other items with longer shelf life can be contained in door racks.

           USE BASKETS:
 While countless small baskets in a fridge would look impractical, relatively large baskets to serve as fridge drawers where there are none is often a good idea. It defines boundary and avoid items from wandering everywhere. For example, in a world without baskets, if you need fruits, chances are you’ll find apples in main compartment and pears in the bottom-most shelf. Imagine you get a closet without any drawers. Of course, things will bump into each other. 

Building on the idea of using large baskets, it’s practical, helpful and life saver to group like items together. Whereas one basket might contain one TYPE of food, the other basket might serve one FUNCTION. For example, it might be easy to pick up an apple from a fruit basket (TYPE), while it might be time saving to find all types of food together in one basket that relates to packing your kids lunch (FUNCTION). 

           LABEL( WORDY & VISUAL)
Many people intrigue why label when we know where we have put things. Sure you know. But labeling is always worth the effort. For one, it frees up your mind and you don’t always have to search your mind directory to find a condiment. Secondly, labels make other respect your efforts to organize a space. If you share your fridge with someone, be it your family or a friend, chances are higher that they are going to put things back where they got it from if things are properly labeled. If you have kids, visual labels are the best to help them figure out things themselves.

Leftovers, if not managed properly, can lead to food wastage (while trashing leftover, imagine yourself throwing away money in dustbin). Firstly, use plastic or glass containers to store leftovers as they will allow you to see through them easily. Secondly, keep a marker and a Washi tape nearby to immediately label the container with the contents and expected expiry date. Why? It’ll allow you to follow the principal of First in First out. The nearer the expiry date, the closer it should be to the front row where you could see it easily. 

I like symmetry more than anything else. Try to use similar containers for every kind of food storage. Let the color of containers for leftover be blue (or any other) and for fresh food let the color be green (or any other).


A refrigerator is more than a cooling machine nowadays. When space is so scarce, every inch counts. You can certainly optimize the storage using these tips: 

Identical Containers for food storage is not only a cookie treat for eyes, it’s also practical. You can stack them on top of each other to double the space available.

           SPICE MAGNETS:
Not sure where to store spices, use the sides of your refrigerator to stick spices like this.

           TOP OF FRIDGE
If your fridge isn’t fixed into a wall, you can have an additional storage space. My mother uses the top of the fridge to keep all the extra tissue rolls.

One, often ignored, tip to optimize the space is to move food from commercial packaging to a container. Not sure what difference it will make? Try taking out all the cans of juices from their carton and queuing them in a container. You’ll earn more room for other products. You can also try to store meal in portions to defreeze only the right amount. 


Instead of shopping on monthly basis only to stuff your refrigerator to full and find rotting food, it’s better to shop more frequently. Not only, it gives this poor chap some breathing space; but also gives you fresh food for a healthier lifestyle. Make a habit to celebrate “a leftover day” where the old food will be consumed before the fresh one gets cooked. It doesn’t have to be dreadful, rather spice it up with some easy to make side dishes.

I hope you liked today’s post. If you followed these tips, share your comments and I’ll reward you with a free printable, fully customizable, refrigerator inventory checklist. Till then,

 Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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