With picky eaters, or perhaps just a big family, we get it – sometimes it can feel like your fridge is overflowing with food. Worry not, because Horderly is here to give our best tips and tricks to organizing your refrigerator and freezer, thanks to our friends at Danone North America – maker of beloved brands including Activia®, Dannon®, International Delight®, Light + Fit®, Oikos®, Silk®, So Delicious® Dairy Free, STōK™, Two Good®, among others.
At Horderly, we are known for our signature 11-Step Process to getting any space organized –including your fridge & freezer!
It’s important to declutter your fridge and freezer before even thinking about how to organize it or purchasing organizing products.
Start by fully pulling out and sorting all items into categories of “likes with likes”. For example, sort all yogurts together. We suggest doing the fridge first, then the freezer, but don’t pull it all out at the same time to avoid foods from melting or spoiling.
As you’re pulling each item out one by one, be sure to check the expiration dates! Toss anything that has expired, that you know you don’t like or won’t use, or has been in the back for too long and is beyond reviving.
Once you know which food items you want to keep and need to be stored, strategize where you will place the items back in your fridge or freezer. Make sure that before putting items back, you do a full wipe-down and clean of your fridge and freezer!
Let’s start with the refrigerator door. The refrigerator door is the warmest part of the fridge, so only items like sauces and condiments should live there. (Some people make the mistake of storing eggs and milk here!) The refrigerator door is also a great spot to store juice or water bottles for easy grab-and-go access. We like dedicating a spot here for our evian water bottles to avoid them from landing all over the fridge.
Try to keep raw meat and fish lowest in your fridge to prevent potential cross-contamination. If you’re not able to keep raw meat and fish lowest in the fridge, be sure to contain your raw meat to avoid drips.
Utilize each drawer to contain one category. We usually like to put fruits in one and veggies in another, but this will depend on what foods you regularly stock up on and have the most inventory of in your household. You could also consider something like lettuces in one drawer, veggies in the other, and fruit higher up. It’s best to wash any produce items before putting them in your fridge!
For the shelves above the produce drawers, create an area for dairy items such milks, eggs, yogurts, cheese, etc. We love keeping our fridge stocked with a variety of dairy and plant-based options including Silk Unsweetened Almondmilk, as well as So Delicious Dairy Free Coconutmilk Beverage, plus we are huge fans of Activia yogurt so we like to keep this right in prime real estate for easy grabbing.
Keep ready-to-eat foods on middle and top shelves and most importantly, make sure you have a designated spot for leftovers so that nothing gets left behind, or forgotten about.
Don’t forget that most shelves are adjustable! Don’t be afraid to play around with them and adjust as needed to accommodate different heights.
Contain & Label
Containment is key! If drawer space is limited, use fridge bins to contain foods by category, continuing to place “likes with likes.” These bins can serve as drawers in your fridge, creating easy access to the items in the back of your fridge – so that food doesn’t get lost or forgotten about.
Here are some more products you can use to maximize functionality and organize your refrigerator:
Fridge bin soda can organizers are great for maximizing shelf space while still fitting a good number of cans in your fridge – they even come in stackable versions for even more surface space on top! These organizers are great for main refrigerators, extra garage refrigerators bar refrigerators to keep mixers contained and accessible.
Fridge bin wine holders are, of course, great for fitting more wine in your fridge — but can also be used for juices, water bottles and other beverages as well! Pro-Tip: We also love using these in cabinets to store backup beverages or reusable water bottles!
You can even use a lazy Susan in the fridge to store items like sauces and bottles. We also love divided lazy Susans to store snacks bars, cheese sticks and other smaller grab-and-go items!
Most importantly, be sure to label all categories in the fridge! You can even label the refrigerator door! This will help everyone in the household know where to find something, but most importantly – know where to put it back!
Tip: Horderly loves using temperature safe label makers so you can use them in the fridge, freezer and microwave!
Keeping an organized fridge with the proper systems and labels in place will save you money on food in the long run!
Horderly suggests cleaning out your fridge on a quarterly basis!
You can apply these same steps to organizing your freezer!
If you have a pull-out freezer that has a shallow drawer, use that to store smaller frozen items like frozen treats (So Delicious Dairy Free Oatmilk Frozen Desserts is our FAVE), ice cubes or ice pops! Just like the fridge, store meats lower and/or use the lower larger drawer for bulky frozen foods.
When organizing your freezer, make sure you get bins that are freezer-friendly to contain your categories. Some plastics will crack in the fridge if they’re too cold or frozen for too long, which is why freezer-friendly bins that are temperature-safe are always the best choice.
Freezer bins are great because they are clear, allowing you to see what’s inside – and they come with dividers allowing you to sort different categories.
Reusable storage bags are great to store all sorts of items – these temperature safe bags can store food in cabinets, the fridge, the freezer and can even be boiled and used during cooking to poach seafood or steam items! We love decanting foods that come in large, bulky boxes into reusable bags in our fridge and freezers.
This post is sponsored by our friends at Danone North America. Content is independently curated by Horderly, and may earn us a commission.