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Clean and Organize Your Refrigerator in 5 Easy Steps

Tired of not being able to find food in your fridge or worst yet, not knowing what you have? Then it’s time to simplify your kitchen, home, and life by cleaning out your refrigerator and freezer.
Here’s a simple strategy to organize your refrigerator for good!

Organized fridge

Since last week I had a kid home sick from school for a few days, a last-minute “Ditch School for Disneyland Day” with the Fam Bam, and a girls’ weekend getaway, (yes, crazy week & if you want to see all of my fun adventures in real-time, check out my stories on Instagram here) I took a little break from the “Free the Clutter Fiesta”.

But now, I’m back, ready to rock and roll!!

I’m definitely making progress on catching up and now it’s time to tackle the fridge.

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My “Free the Clutter Fiesta” Progress Report

A few weeks ago was the “assigned” week for the fridge, but we just had a Super Bowl party and our refrigerator was busting at the seams so it was not the ideal time to declutter the fridge.

HELPFUL HINT: It is much easier to clean out a fridge that is not completely full!

So here’s what my fridge looked like *BEFORE* and although it was pretty sparse for our family of big eaters, it took me about exactly one hour to empty, deep clean, and organize (and yes, I’m a nerd and used a stopwatch cause I wanted to give you an accurate estimate of the time commitment)

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So let’s jump right into my easy, peasy process of tidying and organizing the refrigerator!

1. Prep

Have you noticed that any task is so much more fun if you have some jamming tunes??

Well, it certainly helps me enjoy it more, so that’s exactly what I did first…pump up those 90’s R&B hits!

Be sure to start this task during a time that you are not in a time crunch.

There is nothing worse than pulling everything out of your fridge and then feeling stressed to get it done in a small amount of time or even worse getting halfway through the job and needing to stop!

Also, be sure you have any cleaning tools you need!

For me, I like to keep it simple, sister!

So I only used these 6 cleaning items:

On Guard Cleaner (My fave! – I put it in a spray bottle since it comes super concentrated)

– Magic Eraser Sponge

– Dish Soap

– Paper Towels

– A Dishtowel (or two depending on how dirty your fridge is)

– A Vaccum

2. Empty

I know it feels like a pain in the booty to empty the entire fridge, but it really is an essential part of the process!!

See, I practice what I preach!!

Empty clean refrigerator

If you are concerned about food going bad or if it’s particularly warm on the day you are cleaning out your fridge, it’s perfectly fine to do one shelf or drawer at a time, but remember to start at the top and work your way down!

3. Sanitize

After everything is out of your fridge, use your cleaning supplies to wipe down all surfaces and drawers.

I took out all of the glass shelves and plastic drawers and just gave them a good cleaning with dish soap in the sink and then vacuumed out the crumbs and debris from the bottom of the fridge.

We’ve only lived in our house for 7 months, and I was shocked at how filthy it was, so if you haven’t cleaned out your refrigerator in a while, now is the time to do it!!

4. Reload

Before you put everything back, there are two things you should check for…

1. Expiration date – toss anything that is past the printed date

2. Low Quantity – if there is barely anything left of a food item/condiment, toss the contents and recycle the container

A few other things to keep in mind when putting your food back in the fridge.

A. Put like items together.

You can see from my photo that I try to create zones in my fridge.

If things are grouped with other like items, it’s easier to locate and easier to put away!

Organize Your Refrigerator

B. Create an Inventory

I’m not going to go into great detail here, but I HIGHLY encourage you to create a fridge inventory.

I share all about this awesome idea on the blog post called “The Apple Cider Vinegar Made Me Do It” and you can read it here.

Printable Refrigerator Inventory

BONUS: You can grab this free printable fridge inventory here to make it as easy as possible!

C. Use Necessary Organizers

I’m not a “buy more stuff to store your stuff” kinda’ girl, but there are a few organizing products that I find useful and super helpful in my own fridge.

Glass storage containers with lids

i. I got these Glass Storage Containers with Lids as a gift, and they are what we store most of our leftovers in.

I love them because they are glass, so no BPA worries and they are clear so you can see exactly what the contents are!

4 pyrex glass bowls with colorful lids

ii. I also got these Pyrex bowls with lids as a gift (hmm, I’m starting to see a trend here, I guess people are fully aware that I need some help in the kitchen #badcook).

These bowls are the bomb because not only can use them for food prep, but you can use them for food storage too! The one with the orange lid you see in my pics is my homemade dog food (yes, I’m THAT dog lady)

plastic egg container with lid

iii. I’m the first to admit, I’ve got some odd pet peeves, but you know I’m always gonna’ be 100% real with you, and the truth is, I HATE (okay, maybe too strong of a word more like severely dislike) cardboard egg cartons in my fridge, so I use a plastic egg holder.

Now, if I had a “do-over”, I’d get this one with a lid, because you can stack other things on top, and fridge space is always a premium at my house!

Mesh produce bags

iv. The last item is currently on my wish list, but I thought I’d share it with you in case you want to buy it for me! LOL! Just kidding!

In all seriousness, I’ve been wanting to get a set of these mesh produce bags.

One, because they keep fruits and veggies fresh longer in your fridge, and secondly because you can use them when you are shopping instead of using those one-time-use plastic bags from the store!

And that’s it for fridge organizers for me (if you’ve got something you love, hit me up and let me know, I’m always looking for products that make my life easier!)

5. Celebrate!

You did it! Your fridge is not only clean but it’s also organized!

Am I the only one who loves the feeling of opening a refrigerator and seeing it all neat and tidy!?!

AHHH! #bliss

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Up next, I’m tackling the pantry, which I’ve been super stoked about because I’ve ordered a few things for that area to see how I like them!

Stay tuned to hear the verdict!

Until then, cheers to your fresh fridge, and cheers to you!



Need help organizing your spice cabinet? Check out my blog post “5 Easy Steps to Organize Spices”!

Spice Organization before & after

Magan Weber

Your Go-To Mama For 

Organizing Your Health

Home, & Happiness

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