So why would you take the time to organize a refrigerator? Well, to save money, save time, and make the best use of your space. You save money by not buying multiples. You don’t need two large jars of open Mayonnaise. You save money by not letting food languish on the back shelves and go bad instead of using the food in tasty dishes. You save money because it is easy to find food to make breakfast or pack a quick lunch so you don’t spend the money at a fast food restaurant. You save electricity because you don’t stand in front of the open door for hours trying to figure out what there is to eat. You save time because you can find items quickly. You can quickly see what you have and don’t have so it is faster to put together a shopping list. It is faster to pack a lunch or snack out of that organized refrigerator than it is to make a trip to a restaurant. A system in place makes it faster to put food away after shopping. Organizing your refrigerator helps you to use the space wisely. No more left over dinner plate half wrapped in plastic wrap teetering on top of a saucepan with 6 left over green beans and a soda can. Adjust shelves so that they fit the type of items you buy.You might notice that I have part of one shelf that has very little height. It is just perfect for my cream cheese, natural peanut butter, and Parmesan cheese from the market. I have a tall shelf for beverages like OJ and jugs of milk as well as the open RC bottle. Things that are going to perish soon are toward the front. That row of yogurt has the oldest containers in the front. The drawers have different functions for me. One drawer is for snack food and cheeses. One drawer is for produce like potatoes, onions, cabbage. Another drawer is for my salad fixings. It is a good idea to give the refrigerator a quick clean once a week. Toss anything that has gone bad or is iffy (when did you bring home that leftover takeout Chinese?). Give the shelves a quick wipe. Designate areas in your fridge for certain types of food- like snack food, salad makings, meats. Then educate anyone in your family who opens the fridge where the food belongs. Put leftovers in proper containers. Clear ones are best but if you use others you might want to label what is in it and when it was put in the fridge. Put items you use a lot toward the front- for me that would be jelly and salsa- dried breadcrumbs in the back. The door, which is warmer, holds items like salad dressing, sauces for cooking, mustard, etc. I also keep some small bottles of water there. Every six months give that refrigerator the big cleaning. Take everything out of it and freezer. Clean well. Clean under the fridge and behind it so that there is not dust build up which makes the motor work harder. Check for all expiration dates before you put food back away. Now is a great time to do this task so you have a clean organized refrigerator for the holidays.
Jonda S. Beattie Professional Organizer