6 Tips for a Well Organized Refrigerator


Since it’s officially Spring (yay!) I thought it would be a great time to peek inside the homes of a few well loved food bloggers and see how they organize their kitchens.  

TidyMom Guest post

Brenda Thompson with Meal Planning Magic.

 Today, I’m thrilled to have Brenda Thompson of Meal Planning Magic here to share her organized kitchen!   Brenda believes whether your motivation is to save money on your grocery bill, eat foods that are healthier or save time in the kitchen, meal planning is the key.  That approach has carried over into her kitchen and today she is sharing 6 Tips for a well organized refrigerator.   Let’s see how she does it………….

Refrigerator Organization Tips to help you save time and money and cook up some delicious meals for your family.   more tips at TidyMom.net

If you ask me, one thing that helps you save time and money in the kitchen is to keep things organized. And when it comes to organizing in the kitchen, at the top of most people’s list is pantry or cabinet organization. But don’t forget one of the most used areas in your kitchen and that is an organized refrigerator!  

It’s easy to organize your refrigerator if you keep these few simple tips in mind:

  • Do a deep clean. That means, taking everything out, shelf by shelf. As you go, decide if the food is still edible and toss the rest. Compost produce that is past it’s prime.  
  • Wipe down the shelves with warm soapy water and dry. No matter how careful you are, invariably food can drizzle out or spill down the side of a container onto a refrigerator shelf. Clean it all up so you’re ready to reload.
  • Check dates and decide what stays and what goes. If a food item is past its expiration, it’s best to throw it out. Can’t remember how old something is? Throw it out. Moving forward, one thing I like to do is write the date (just month and year usually) on the label of the bottle or jar (or whatever) so you can see for next time how long it takes you to use it up. This will also help you find out how quickly your family uses up a certain ingredient and you can adjust your purchase next time for maximum savings.  I personally choose to buy a smaller container at a slightly higher price than to buy a large container and then have to throw out half of it because it goes bad before we use it up.Refrigerator Organization Tips:  write the date on the label to keep track how long it takes you to use it up.  more tips at TidyMom.net
  • Create food zones. It might seem silly to have zones in your refrigerator, but this is helps me not only remember where things belong, but it’s helpful to other family members and guests who are helping out in the kitchen. You can even use actual labels for the shelves so everyone should know where things go! There are some cute repositionable ones that can make it look nicer toon too. Take note of the height of your items that will go back in so that you can group like items adjust shelf heights if necessary. Another idea is to use bins or plastic baskets to organize items by group. For example, you can keep your entire sandwich making condiments in a bin and when it’s time to make sandwiches, you can pull it out and have everything handy for all preferences without having to open the refrigerator several times.

Refrigerator Organization Tips:  Create Food Zones. more tips at TidyMom.net


  • Label leftovers. This might seem like an unnecessary step, but if you a family, letting everyone know what’s in there and when it was made helps older leftovers get used up first.

Mark your calendar to make kitchen area cleaning a regular task. I like to clean out my refrigerator weekly, before garbage collection day. Making a meal plan to use up what you’ve got on hand before heading to the grocery store really helps you to use up leftovers too.

With these Refrigerator Organizing Tips and also my How to Organize Your Freezer Ideas and Six Tips to Organize Your Pantry that will help you get your whole kitchen in order to help you save more time and money and cook up some delicious meals for your family. What’s your favorite kitchen organization tip?

Refrigerator Organization Tips to help you save time and money and cook up some delicious meals for your family.   more tips at TidyMom.net


Brenda Thompson Meal Planning MagicBrenda Thompson is a mom, foodie and self-taught meal planner. She loves to share ideas to get organized that help others save money and time and eat healthier in a conscious and family friendly way. Brenda stays organized in her kitchen in a suburb of Houston where she lives with her husband, teenage daughter and younger son. Follow Brenda on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+ and her website, Meal Planning Magic

 More Kitchen Organization

Aimee of Simple Bites on Using Containers to Organize your Kitchen 

Lori, of Recipe Girl  on Kitchen Spice Organization 

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more by Cheryl »

Cheryl Sousan

A self-proclaimed neat freak, Cheryl chronicles her journey through homemaking on her blog, TidyMom.net, where she shares recipes, tutorials, crafting and her ever-growing love for photography. This St. Louis mom juggles her passion for life, her daughters and her tiger-loving husband, all while her obsession with tidiness cleans up the trail blazed behind her. Google+

44 Responses to “6 Tips for a Well Organized Refrigerator”

  1. Barrie posted on March 26, 2014 at 8:47 am (#)

    Thanks for some great tips…they all seem so easy and common sense that we shouldn’t need to label shelves but that makes so much sense! I try to organize but it gets all messed up with the whole family. Thanks for the tips!

  2. Margot Nowicke posted on March 26, 2014 at 12:54 pm (#)

    I just did all these a couple of days ago. What I struggle with is finding a label that is sticky enough to stay on my leftover containers but is removable once the leftovers are gone. Any great finds there?

    • Brenda @ Meal Planning Magic replied on March 26th, 2014 at 2:05 pm

      Margot, I love the LabelOnce labels. They are great for all kinds of leftovers and perfect for the freezer too! And best of all they are also reusable. I bought mine at The Container Store but you can also find them online. They might seem a little pricey but since they are reusable, I think they are worth it!

  3. cherie posted on March 26, 2014 at 10:17 pm (#)

    I use good ole masking tape and a premenate ink sharpie marker to label and date every thing in frigde and freezer. Plus I label the inside of my cabinets. [ that way my grandchildren know where things are] I also label all my cords because I can’t remember what cord goes to what. Since I still use the VCR even all those cords are labeled. I do the same in bathroom and all over the house. I also label which grandchildren can not watch R rated movies. I label the shelves in pantry …you get the idea …every thing gets labeled. To include basement,attic and garage.

    • Brenda T. replied on July 23rd, 2014 at 5:08 pm

      Certainly masking tape works but I prefer the LabelOnce labels because I have found over the years tha the masking tape will often fall off of the frozen foods I have in my freezer. I also like that they are reusable!

  4. cherie posted on March 26, 2014 at 10:20 pm (#)

    PS I just did a couple of closets and used the masking tape to label sizes on the clothes. Put labels on the new bins for storage of winter items…if winter ever leaves I am ready to wash and store!

  5. Sabrina posted on March 27, 2014 at 7:13 am (#)

    Love this post. Great tips to organize the refrigerator. I love your idea about labeling the leftovers. I tend to forget when they were cooked. I will definitely share this post. Thanks.

  6. nest of posies posted on March 27, 2014 at 9:22 am (#)

    I LOVE the tip on creating food zones! So smart! I do have a lunck basket that I can pull out when making school lunches in the morning, but the zone idea is great!

  7. jen @ Tatertots & Jello posted on March 27, 2014 at 9:33 am (#)

    Great tips! I love the food zones. I can’t wait to do this!


  8. Amanda posted on March 27, 2014 at 10:07 am (#)

    Thanks for all the tips Brenda, great guest post! :)

  9. Nicole Lindstrom | Simply Happenstance posted on March 27, 2014 at 11:18 am (#)

    Love these tips! I need to organize my fridge.

  10. Amy at Living Locurto posted on March 27, 2014 at 11:58 am (#)

    Great tips! I have been trying to keep my fridge organized lately. It’s nice when you can find things:-)

  11. Angie | Big Bear's Wife posted on March 27, 2014 at 12:00 pm (#)

    I do need to start putting labels on our leftovers haha. Love the tips!

  12. Susan posted on March 27, 2014 at 2:24 pm (#)

    Nice!! But, how do you get your family to keep it that way? I can’t even get mine to not put empty containers back in!!

  13. Coco in the Kitchen posted on March 27, 2014 at 2:30 pm (#)

    We have that exact same fridge and I’m forever struggling to make peace with it. It seems almost impossible to organize things properly in there, even after moving the shelves around.
    Thanks for the great tips! I’m going to give it another go.

    • Brenda T. replied on July 23rd, 2014 at 5:09 pm

      So glad you found the tips helpful!

  14. Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy Living posted on March 28, 2014 at 9:08 am (#)

    Great tips! I like the idea of writing the expiration date right on the front so I can see it and also labeling leftovers – sometimes I open up the container and have no idea what’s in it!

  15. Amanda posted on March 28, 2014 at 2:17 pm (#)

    Awesome tips! I can always use help with my fridge, it’s a mess 😛

  16. jane maynard posted on March 28, 2014 at 3:09 pm (#)

    I have never thought to label leftovers – great idea!!

  17. Shaina posted on March 29, 2014 at 10:57 am (#)

    Gorgeous fridge!

  18. alison @ Ingredients, Inc. posted on March 31, 2014 at 7:05 am (#)

    nice post! I needed these!

  19. Tina Diese posted on March 31, 2014 at 8:42 pm (#)

    Love, love, LOVE your refrigerator and your organizational tips! Could you please give me your refrigerator specifics? Brand, Model#, Cubic Ft Size, etc. We are in the market for a new refrigerator and I’ve not seen your particular refrigerator before! THANKS!

    • Brenda T. replied on July 23rd, 2014 at 5:11 pm

      Sorry for the delayed reply….it is the 30 cu. ft. Capacity 4-Door French Door Refrigerator. We got it on sale for a terrific price! Good luck!

  20. jessica @fourgenerationsoneroof posted on April 8, 2014 at 12:53 pm (#)

    Great tips and I love the idea of bins in the fridge :)

  21. Lindsay Maxfield posted on June 16, 2015 at 12:46 pm (#)

    Love your idea on dividing up the fridge into zones! Brilliant. I’m going to try that. I also quoted you on my blog post “25 ways to make cooking a whole lot easier” at healthylittlechanges.com. Thank you for inspiring me! http://healthylittlechanges.com/2015/06/15/25-ways-to-make-cooking-a-whole-lot-easier/ 


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