6   156
22   220
1   144
3   127
9   191
1   54
3   58
17   207
0   33
9   20

Declutter Your Life: Cleaning Out the Fridge

Cleaning out the fridge

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This week’s #change_declutteryourlife challenge is in one of the highest traffic areas in our home, the fridge. Our focus is on cleaning out and organizing the fridge. Some of us may have larger fridges, while others may have smaller fridges or maybe you’re cleaning out your mini-fridge at work. 

Whatever you are focused on, by the end of this week you should have a nicely organized and clean fridge. Now, this week’s challenge shouldn’t take you a full week, but you’ll have 7 days to schedule some time to declutter. 

I recommend scheduling your declutter session within 1-3 days of trash day. Especially if you think you may have a lot of expired items. It took me about 45 minutes from start to finish (and I videoed the entire thing!)

What You’ll Need:

  • Trash Bags – to throw out any expired or soiled food.
  • Recycling Bag – to recycle any cleaned out glass jars, water bottles, or food packaging
  • Organizing Fridge Bins – this is dependent on the size of your fridge and how many you’d like to use. I LOVE having them on all shelves because it forces you to have LESS clutter and keeps things organized (especially for larger families).

Refrigerator Organization I Recommend

I like to organize my fridge with clear bins for a few reasons – less clutter, organization by “type of food”, and you can see everything that is in your fridge. 

I try to avoid putting items in the drawers in fridges – I call it a death trap. It’s kind of where all fruits and veggies go to die. Because I forget about them, I usually cannot see them, and I end up stacking things on top of each other. 

So instead, I try to have everything out on my shelves in bins and only a few things in the draws at a time that I can see every time I open the fridge.

Bins to Organize

Here are some of the bins I use to organize. It’s important to me that bins are similar in size, all clear, and if possible to stack, that is even better.

If you don’t have these bins laying around, no worries! You can order them and get them shipped to your home within 2 days if you are an Amazon Prime Member. If you aren’t, get a free membership trial here. 

Or head to your local container store (The Container Store, Bed Bath & Beyond, or HomeGoods and they may have similar styles and cost may differ). Choose shipping or pickup in store to save you time!

Bins to Buy

Clear Egg Organizer Bin | While we often keep our eggs in their carton to see the expiration date, I have used these bins in the past and LOVE how clean they look. Especially with large brown eggs in them.

Drink Organizer Bin for Cans | We aren’t big soda drinkers, so we do not use this bin. But I highly recommend it if you drink out of cans. It works for soda, but works the exact same for Bubly, San Pellegrino, or Spindrift drinkers!

Multi-Use Organizer Bins for the Fridge | We have tons of these, because you can use them anywhere in your house. But especially for the fridge – we have 4-5!

There is a container for drinks (Flow water (16oz, 1L), coffee, soda, etc). We have one for dairy snacks/side condiments (yogurt, cottage cheese, cream cheese, parmesan, ricotta, burrata, and sometimes guacamole and salsa). Plus, there are two on our main shelf – one for raw meat and the other for fruits/veggies. We like to keep raw meat in it’s own container, just in case they leak and it’s great for defrosting.

Clear Lazy Susan Organizer (9in) or Lazy Susan (4 compartments) | The most underrated storage item, EVER. Lazy susans are amazing and can be used for so many organization hacks. We love ours in our fridge for items and condiments that don’t necessarily need to take up space on the door and for little snacks. 

Ours holds jam, pickles, salsa, minced garlic, and more. They are things we use weekly, but could easily get lost if we had them elsewhere.

Cleaning Out the Fridge

Change With Us_Cleaning Out The Fridge 1

Step 1: Clear everything OUT

Next to your fridge, clear an area where you can “dump” your fridge contents out on too. Remove all contents from you fridge and give yourself a fresh slate.

Once everything is cleared out. Clean your fridge from top to bottom. I like to use a Dr. Bronner’s mixture to avoid chemicals that will be touching my food. Give your fridge a good scrub down.

Step 2: Throw out expired foods

There’s no better time to get rid of expired or soiled food, then now. As you begin step 3, toss out any items that are expired or about to expire that you know you won’t be using. 

If you have a local free site (here’s the Reno-Sparks free site), give away recently expired food items that someone else could still use.

For recyclable items, rinse them out before adding to your recycling pile.

Step 3: Separate food by “TYPE” or “CATEGORY”

As you throw out expired foods, start separating foods into the following categories. This will help when it comes to organizing your food into bins.

  • Drinks
  • Deli Meats + cheeses
  • Side Dishes + snacks
  • Condiments
  • Raw Meat
  • Fruits
  • Veggies
  • Eggs/Butter
  • Miscellaneous

Step 4: Begin Organizing

After you’ve categorized your items, open up your fridge and lay out a plan for where your bins will go. While some may seem obvious, others may not.

Then, being adding your items back into your fridge and organize as you go. A few tips to think about as you organize:

  1. Keep like-items near each other (we eat a lot of asian food, so our asian condiments stay together).
  2. We put tortillas in our deli meat and cheese drawer.
  3. Ensure you can see all of your items and their labels. This way when you open your fridge, you know what you have and can make your grocery list accordingly.
  4. While you are organizing, make a list of items you need to replenish the next time you make it to the store.

Beautifully Organized Fridges

Whether you have the latest and greatest fridge on the market or maybe you’re getting by with a working fridge that suits your needs, now it’s beautifully organized!

So, you have an organized refrigerator – now what? Keep it organized and clutter-free! Whenever we grocery shop, I am “in charge” of putting the items away and keeping things clean and organized. 

This ensures that I am sticking with “the program” if you will and when new items get added, I get to choose where they should go and stay. It also lightens the headache for my husband who is not one to organize like me, but instead he helps to maintain the organization that’s in place.

Declutter with Me!

I hope you enjoyed this week’s declutter challenge – cleaning out the fridge! Share your photos and posts with me on Instagram and Facebook by tagging me @mrsleannacarson and #change_declutteryourlife. Not into social media? Send me your photos via email to hello[at]changewithusblog.com.

Stay tuned for next week’s #change_declutteryourlife challenge. If you’d like to see more organization tips and hacks, click here or follow me on Instagram for weekly inspiration.