Tired of all that fridge chaos? You’re not alone. With multiple people in the house, along with seemingly unending grocery trips, managing the refrigerator can be tricky. But it doesn’t have to be. With a bit of planning and organization, your fridge can be as neat and tidy as the day you moved in—or better!
Whether you live in a tiny one-bedroom or a sprawling villa, either you got the fridge on rent or you own it, you want your fridge to be optimized for both convenience and efficiency—without minimizing its storage capacity. Which is why we’ve put together this list of ten top organizing hacks that will transform your small refrigerator into an organized masterpiece, irrespective of its brand and size. We’ll walk you through how to best store items, utilize space, and maintain a clean fridge without the hassle. So grab your favorite marker pen and let’s get started!
1- Group Similar Items Together in Your Fridge
Grouping similar items together is the best way to create order in any space, including your fridge. Whether it’s dedicated shelves for condiments and sauces or compartmentalizing dairy and beverage products, organizing items by type helps linearly stack food without taking up extra space or leaving any nooks or crannies unexploited.
Start by taking stock of all your items. Do you have a lot of sauces, like ketchup, mustard, and pesto? Or are there mostly yogurts, cheeses and cold cuts in your fridge? Once you’ve identified the type of food you have on hand, categorize them into groups to make it easier to find what you need.
In addition to keeping things sorted by type, organization also means assigning each item its own space on the shelves:
- Use clear storage bins: A few clear plastic storage bins are ideal for organizing small items such as jams or jellies. Place them on the shelf for easy access without having to move other containers out of the way.
- Utilize door space: Not all doors are created equal—but they can still be maximized! Plastic holders for eggs can be found at most grocery stores and will free up extra space in your main compartments.
- Rotating shelves: To maximize vertical space, look for adjustable shelving units that allow you to rotate and move shelves up and down. This allows you to easily access food at different levels and makes sure nothing gets lost in back corners!
2- Use Clear Storage Bins to Keep Things Visible and Organized
When it comes to storage, clear storage bins are your best friend—especially when it comes to a small fridge. Not only do they give you the flexibility to store items of different shapes, sizes and types in one neat place, but they also keep items in plain sight so you can quickly identify what’s inside. Group items into categories and try to use containers that fit the space as well as possible. This will help you save room and make it easier to keep things organized.
On top of that, writing labels or having pictures on the outside of your storage bins can help you locate what you need more quickly. Even if your fridge looks clean and tidy, labeling each bin will help save time when looking for something specific, especially when in a rush. This is especially useful for food like sauces or leftovers with unclear names or wrappings that can be easily confused with others.
3- Make Use of Your Fridge Door for Storage
When considering how to make your small fridge look roomier, don’t overlook the door! The door provides some great real estate for extra storage—especially if you’re able to invest in some clear containers with air-tight lids.
These clear containers are great for storing condiments, jams, jellies and other sauces—items that tend to clutter up the interior shelves of your fridge. Plus, they will help you find what you need quickly since it’s all stored in one place and easy to see.
And if you don’t have space to spare on the door itself—or your fridge doesn’t even have a door? Don’t worry: there’s still a few clever hacks that can help make use of every inch in your tiny fridge space:
- Utilize rotating shelves– these shelves spin around so you can access items even when tucked away in the back
- Invest in stackable storage containers– these will effectively double your storage space and eliminate loose items from taking up valuable shelf space
- Label everything- so you can always keep track of what’s what
- Optimize the crisper drawers– this is a great place for long vegetables like carrots, celery and cucumbers
4- Install Rotating Shelves for Easy Access
Next on the list of top 10 fridge organizing hacks, is to install rotating shelves. It’s such a simple hack, but it makes a big difference—not only does it increase the storage space, you get easy visibility (and access) to all sides.
To make the most out of your fridge and make it look romier, consider rotating shelves. This way, you can put bulky items — yogurts, drinks cans and sauces — in the back while fresh veggies and fruits are always within reach in the front. That’s a win-win!
Where to source?
You can find rotating shelves almost anywhere these days — whether you’re looking at home improvement stores or online stores. Prices can range from $20 up to $50 depending on size and material.
Benefits of using rotating shelves
Besides saving space in your fridge and providing easy access to all stuffs stored inside, rotating shelves definitely adds chicness to an otherwise disorganized fridge. This nifty storage hack ensures you’ll never lose track of expiry dates or spoilages ever again!
5- Use Stackable Containers to Maximize Space
One of the simplest hacks for making your small fridge roomier is to invest in stackable storage containers. Just like it sounds, stackable containers come in a variety of sizes and configurations, which can fit in corners or on shelves that have limited space. They’re also stackable, so you can take advantage of vertical space to really make the most out of your small fridge.
The options for container types are endless! You could choose from jars, bins, boxes or baskets that are made out of fabric, plastic or wood. Depending on the size and type of food item you want to store in them, it’s important to select containers that will keep your items secure and protected from contamination.
Once you have the right containers, then it’s time to start categorizing and grouping items by type for easy access. For example, if you have salad leftovers, stock a stack of clear storage boxes (or jars) with lids for keeping vegetables separate. Other things like lunch meat and cheeses can go into small tubs or bins that are also tightly sealed and labeled appropriately.
Remember: anything within reach at eye level becomes viable real estate! So experiment with stacking items where they won’t get lost or forgotten about at the back of the fridge – especially when they’re organized by type – so you know exactly what’s available in a glance.
6- Label Everything to Avoid Confusion
Sorting all the items in your fridge and organizing them into categories sounds like a great idea, but it means nothing if you don’t label things. It’s super easy to get confused about where you put something when all the categories look the same. Take a few minutes to label everything, so that you always know exactly where each item is at any given time.
There are lots of ways to do this:
- Get yourself some cute chalkboard labels and write on them with chalk.
- Print out labels with your printer and use them like stickers.
- Use a marker to write directly on zipper bags, jars or boxes.
Making sure each group of items has a label will not only keep you from getting confused when organizing your fridge, but it’ll also make regular cleanings and meal preps go by much faster too—no more guessing games about what’s inside each container!
7- Make the Most of Your Crisper Drawers
The crisper drawers in your fridge are often a forgotten space that quickly becomes a dumping ground for items you don’t know where else to put. But you can make the most of them by optimizing storage and ensuring everything is easy to find.
Group your greens
Stop throwing all of your green vegetables into one drawer, and start grouping them according to type. Use the lower shelves for heavier items like potatoes and apples, while storing ‘tender’ greens requiring higher humidity — like lettuces, spinach, and kale — on the top shelves.
Utilize small trays
Little fruits and vegetables sometimes get lost in the shuffle of bigger items, so use small trays to store them in the crisper drawers. You won’t have any more difficulty reaching those pesky little tomatoes or mushrooms when they are properly stored.
Keep things visible
To quickly spot what you need each time you open the fridge, try arranging everything in an orderly fashion within each drawer so that nothing is blocking another item from view. You’ll be able to locate that bag of greens in no time at all!
8- Arrange Foods by Expiration Date
Organizing your fridge by expiration date is one of the easiest ways to save money and cut down on food waste. After all, you want to make sure you’re eating your groceries before they spoil!
To arrange the fridge by expiration dates, start by making a list of what all is in there. Then, take out the food and separate them into groups accordingly. For example, put all of the dairy products in one group, vegetables in another, and so on. This will not only keep things organized but it will also make it easier for you to spot when something needs to be replaced or thrown away.
When putting things back in the fridge, begin with the items that have the soonest expiration date. That way, you won’t forget about them until it’s too late. You can also use sticky notes or labels to remind yourself which items need to be consumed first. This will help you stay on top of things and ensure nothing gets spoiled before its time!
9- Remove Bulky Packaging Before Storing
When you’re stocking your fridge, the biggest issue can be space. That’s why it’s important to remove bulky packaging before storing. Swap out things like large plastic containers for lightweight alternatives, like glass jars or zip-top bags. The less space used for packaging, the more room you’ll have for actual food!
Removing bulky packaging will also help you see what’s in your fridge at a glance, and that makes it easier to keep track of expiration dates and check if you need to restock on anything. Plus, getting rid of extra packaging prevents messes due to spillage and overfilling—making sure that your fridge stays neat and organized.
To get the most use out of your small fridge space:
- Think about how much food you need—is there any unnecessary excess?
- Keep items with shorter shelf lives like dairy and produce near the front
- Sort items into categories so they are easier to find (ex: drinks in one section, vegetables in another)
- Use stackable or rotating shelves to maximize vertical space
10- Regularly Clean and Declutter Your Fridge
Finally, the last step in organizing your small refrigerator is to keep it clean and tidy. This means regularly cleaning out any expired food items, wiping down shelves with a damp cloth, and re-checking and decluttering every once in a while.
But how often should you clean and declutter? Well, it depends on how many people are living in the household. If you live alone, once a week should be enough. However, if there’s a larger family living in the house then you might need to give your fridge a once-over twice a week.
To maintain maximum efficiency when it comes to cleaning your fridge, always check for out-dated items before grocery shopping so that you don’t accidentally buy things you don’t need or worse – expired food items that can make everyone sick.
So remember: categorize and group items; use clear storage bins; utilize door space; use rotating shelves; invest in stackable storage containers; label everything; optimize the crisper drawers; arrange by expiration dates; remove bulky packaging – but above all else, make sure to regularly clean and declutter your fridge.
To sum up, organizing your fridge does not have to be a daunting task. With these simple and creative hacks, you can save on valuable space and time, and keep your small fridge roomier and efficient. As a parting advice, consider taking a few minutes each week to do a quick fridge audit and remove expired items. This will ensure your fridge is always in top shape and you can easily find what you need. So go ahead, put these tips to work, and have your fridge looking great, all while finding things in no time!