I have provided 10 tips on how to organize your refrigerator - It only took us a couple hours. Yep - literally took us like 2 hours to finish something that has bothered me for a year. Excuses much? Everything looks amazing now.. check it out!
I have always wanted a refrigerator that looks like it stepped off the pages of Pinterest or Home Edit (If you’re not familiar with Home Edit… I’ll share a couple of their organization photos below.. they are AMAZING!!).
Completely inspired by our DIY project we put together 10 tips to help you organize your fridge just like we did.. and our process literally took us just 2-4 hours. We left the house at 12pm and finished by 4:30. (Keep in mind that we hit 2 clothing boutiques and Nothing Bundt Cakes… as well as the Container Store.. so we made great time ;)
Tip One: Look up inspiration pictures of different organized fridges that you love on Pinterest.
The ultimate inspiration for me hands down is Yolanda Hadid’s fridge, back when she was a Foster on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I remember watching the episode where it showed her refrigerator and I think I almost died. It was beautiful and so unconventional in every way – a completely see through/clear glass refrigerator. It captured the nation. It even has it’s own twitter account, yes a fridge has a twitter account.
It’s crazy, you can see photos online of people standing in it and it looks like it’s 14 ft high..
These are some of the pictures that we took into consideration before we started and wow.. These are amazing.
This picture is what ultimately inspired us because it’s so real. Clearly kids live in this house, there are Lunchables and Capri Suns in bins (I’m pretty sure Emma keeps those in her fridge though so… who knows ;) and these parents are still this organized. Amazing!
Once you have some inspiration to help guide you through the process, make sure to take a screenshot of it with your phone. You’ll want to bring these with you to the store later!
Our “Before” Shots:
So many sauces & things without a purpose or home! I hated looking in here…
Tip 2: Take Pictures of Your “Before” Fridge.
Similar to the before & after weight loss shots, taking before & after shots of your fridge will help you in multiple ways.
It’s always nice to compare the before to the after. Admire your hard work!
Taking the before photo is helpful when choosing your organizing tools while you’re at the store. When we were selecting our bins, it really helped us to see the photo to understand the layout & metrics of the fridge.
Tip 3: Clean out your fridge.
Rid your fridge of old items you simply don’t use. Hand off some of these sauces to friends/family – we had so many half used sauces that were crowding the top of our fridge and it just looked so messy. Simplicity is key to organizing and looking clean.
When you’re at the grocery store, try to buy smaller bottles. They don’t take as much space & it keeps things fresher. (If you’re a large family and utilize the Costco size route – this may not apply. I totally understand.. Jeff grew up in a family of 8!)
After you empty your fridge, you can decide if you want to take part in the second half of tip 3: actually cleaning your fridge. Since you’re already in the trenches and throwing away older food, you may want to start cleaning your fridge from top to bottom before buying your bins anyways. (Of course that means you have to pull things out twice, but it depends on how you can utilize your time.)
Remove all of your food items and place them on your counter.
I use warm soapy water to clean my fridge with a sponge, but you can also use vinegar and water to clean all the different drawers and shelves.
After you finish cleaning, put all of the food that you know you want to keep.. back in the fridge. Retake photos of the refrigerator now that it’s starting to look a bit better!
Tip 4: Take measurements of your fridge.
This tip seems obvious but I always need to remind myself to measure. There are so many shapes & sizes of bins at the store. It seems as if they have a bin for every awkward space. While you may think you know the size, believe me – you’ll regret it when you have to return everything because you were 1/2 of an inch off.
Take measurements of every single thing that you can. Each different shelf may have a different depth or height! All 3 of my shelves had different heights and depths.. who would have thought that?!
After you take your measurements, put them in your notes on your iphone or wrote them on a piece of paper (I definitely would lose that paper in my purse forever. I’m more of a Apple Notes kind of gal. :)
Make sure to bring your measuring tape to the store to use there too.
Tip 5: Research and Head to The Store of Your Choice.
There are a million different places to get bins, so this part is really up to you. I’m lucky to have a Container Store near me so that’s where I go for everything.
Of course places like Target, Walmart, and more have bins – but the nice part about going to a niche organization store is that they have wayyy more product selections (especially bins. They must house thousands of bins in one store!)
If you’re not near the store of your choice – Online shopping is literally a god-send and most places have free shipping after you spend a certain amount anyways. We are huge online shoppers…
Tip 6: Bin Selection
Like I said earlier, there may be millions of bins in the world to choose from at the store. Colorful, white, see through, patterned, cut outs, squares, rectangles… just to name a few of the options you may have to decide between.
We picked out the InterDesign Linus Large & Xtra Large Pantry Binz – based on our professional organizer’s advice. Once we got to the actual store and explained to one of the ladies what we were looking for, she lead us in the same direction and showed these “pantry bins” which she said work great in the fridge as well.
As we looked at a literal wall of these InterDesign bins, we looked at our measurements and looked at the photos of our fridge to make sure they would fit. It was very simple because we did our homework beforehand. We went with the Large & Xtra-Large sizes because they fit in our commercial refrigerator perfectly, but there are other sizes if you have a smaller space to work with.
I personally love the look of clear bins in the fridge because you can still see what’s inside without having to pull out every bin every time you’re looking for something. But what the bins do is help utilize the entire space between each shelf. We can stack a lot in each bin – also it’s really nice for the excess produce because those look messy when they are sitting on the shelf & don’t stack on top of one another alone.
Here are what the bins we bought look like outside of a refrigerator – aren’t they nice? Durable and not too thin.. that’s what I loved!
Our top shelf has an awkward depth because some of the fridge juts in a bit in the back, so we opted for a different size of bin. We also changed the style to a white with little cut out squares to hide Jeff’s cooking sauces (bbqs, salsa, hot sauce, etc). It’s called the Like-It Bricks 11″ Medium Tall White Bin.
Tip 7: Head to your local grocery store.
This is when the fun begins! Because you cleared out your fridge earlier, you are probably in need of some new items – this is when you begin color-coding & thinking about how you want your fridge to look but still make it functional for you and your family.
For my family – it’s just Jeff & I now and we are leaning towards eating as much fresh fruits and veggies as possible. I don’t need to house much in the refrigerator besides that, because we tend to go the grocery story a few times a week to get whatever protein we may need, fresh. (Fish or chicken usually).
Because this is day 1 and I wanted to really show you how beautiful the design of the organization can look, I bought the most colorful and delicious fruits and vegetables that I could find at whole foods. Do I need all of this? Definitely not! Lol – Emma will be taking home half of it.
For me personally, I am trying to ween off of diet sodas so I’m sticking to the La Croix’s – and they look so pretty all color coded in the refrigerator anyways! Win-win if you ask me, I bought a couple packs of them at the store. Click to shop the berry & lime flavors.
We bought all the fruits and veggies we could as well as juices (Emma loves the pressed juices from Whole Foods and I’m trying to get into them too!).
Tip 8: Organize By Bins & Shelves
By now you probably have a plan of where you will put each different type of item you purchased… but if you haven’t – it’s to have a cohesive look with the clear bins. We organized it with veggies in our pull out drawers, and all the fruits on another shelf separated in different bins. Our middle shelf has majority of the fruit in it again (we eat a lot of fruit around here) as well Maggie’s fresh dog food from The Farmer’s Dog (If you’re interested in getting fresh food for your dog, click here for 50% off your first order!) as well as our Chobani Yogurts.
We opted to put some juices in one of the shelves because we think it looks nice for the photo – of course that bin may change depending on what we are purchasing from the store that week – maybe leftovers wrapped up, dessert, whatever. It’s nice because the bins will separate everything and keep it looking great.
Clean all of the new bins out with warm water & soap, and then start organizing away! It shouldn’t take too long unless you have a huge fridge.. it took Emma and I maybe an hour at most?
Tip 9 – Labeling
We opted out of this step because everything is clear & I like leaving it a little more clean looking. I do find that labels work extremely well however if you use white or opaque bins that hide what’s inside.
As seen in above photos, The Home Edit loves to label bins and drawers with an erasable pen in a pretty script. If you have nice handwriting, I love this idea! Not only can you change what it says on a dime, but you don’t have to deal with sticky stickers or adhesive tape when you make changes.
Tip 10 – Pat yourself on the back. Enjoy your prize space before your family comes in and destroys all your hard work. ;)
I’m just kidding – real life is going to happen no matter what… That doesn’t mean that we can’t keep trying however!!