Organising The Fridge

How to organise your fridge so that you can maximise its space and utility. An organised fridge helps prevent food wastage and makes it easier to find what you need when during food preparation and cooking.

Do you feel that you don’t have enough room in your fridge? Perhaps it feels like you’re playing a game of Jenga when you take items in and out of the fridge? As my kids have grown up we are tending to buy more and more food, requiring that I utilise all of my fridge space effectively. I organise my fridge with containers and trays to optimise the space I have available in my fridge and the accessibility of the food. Even if you feel that you don’t have enough room in your fridge, once it is organised efficiently you might find that you do have enough space.

  Read More – Find tips here on how to clean your fridge before you start organising.

how to organise your fridge

The photo above is my fridge towards the end of the week, before a grocery shop.

The benefits to fridge organisation:

  • Saves money
  • Food will keep longer
  • Makes it easier to see what food you have, so you should eat it before spoiling
  • You’ll eat healthier
  • You can easily see what food you are running low on and what you need to buy
  • Makes it easier when it comes to meal planning and cooking dinners
  • It makes preparing school lunches quicker too!

Organising your fridge won’t take much time and you’ll find it easy to maintain, so let’s take a look at a few ideas for you.

CATEGORISE USING CONTAINERS

Containers aren’t just for the pantry. Smaller items such as condiments, fruits, and snacks can often get lost in the fridge. Investing in clear fridge storage containers makes it easy for you to find things and it’s also visually pleasing.

  • Designate areas in your fridge and group all like items together, such as, beverages, condiments, dairy, meat, fruit etc. Use containers or trays to keep items neatly together.
  • I like to use labelled containers for each different type of food I stock consistently in the fridge. Apples, citrus, snacks, spreads, yoghurt etc.
  • Turntables are great way to make sure that items at the back of the fridge are easily accessible
  • Using labels in the fridge helps everyone in the family see where items belong. Plus labels give me instant organised gratification!

how to organise your fridge

CHOPPING UP YOUR FRUIT + VEGETABLES

I cut up and store some fruit and vegetables in containers. I have done this for so many years it’s now become a habit and it makes it easier to find what’s in the fridge and allows it to last longer. I like that when I am in the busy process of making dinner the chopping is done or when I am feeling like a snack, I can grab some chopped watermelon rather than something sweet like a cookie, just because it’s convenient.

  1. When I come home from a grocery shop I unpack all the grocery items and put them away, except fruit and vegetables.
  2. I wash fruit and vegetables.
  3. I chop and store the food I like pre-cut in containers (broccoli, cauliflower and watermelon are my musts to chop).
  4. Then store the remainder of the cleaned fruit and veg either in the crisper, tubs or storage containers.

This process takes about 15 minutes most times, but it well worth my sanity on those busy nights when it comes to cooking dinner.

how to organise your fridge with containers

Once your fridge is organised you’ll soon see that you have more space.  A well-organised fridge at least 3/4 full will consume less electricity which is a bonus

SHOP THE LOOK
iDesign Crisp Fridge Divided Bin
iDesign Crisp Fridge Berry Bin
iDesign Linus Egg Holder
iDesign Linus Pantry Organisers Turntable
Crystal Nest Storage Box – Short – Medium
Rectangle Glass Storage Container with Bamboo Lid
PIN TO PINTEREST

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51 comments

Lisa Braaksma August 31, 2010 - 6:06 AM

Got my first Large Tupperware Fridge smart yesterday and trying out your hint on chopping up the broccoli and cauliflower…. putting both in same container…will see how they turn out!

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Katrina - The Organi September 1, 2010 - 6:52 AM

You've made a start to organising the fridge, great job! you will love the fridgesmarts and the convenience of having prechopped veges. But keep in mind that brocolli and cauliflower are 2 different breathers, so in theory shouldn't be placed together. Did you receive the fridge magnet to help you work out which vents need to be open or closed. Brocolli needs both vents open, cauliflower needs 1 open 1 closed. See how they go together, if they aren't keeping min 1 week, then you may need to seperate them. Let me know how you go.

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Bella April 26, 2016 - 6:19 PM

Katrina, I have the fridges arts but never had carrots last for 4 weeks even if I bought them at the farmers market. Do you add kitchen paper roll to avoid moisture?
Also, I noticed you do not put your fruit in the fridge smarts. Are the only for veg?
Lastly, should the fridge smarts be kept on a shelf rather than on the crisper drawer?
Sorry about all the questions, regards Bella

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Kristie Schwarz June 24, 2011 - 11:57 AM

Hi Katrina,
I realise this is an old post, but the before and after photos of the inside of your fridge are not loading – I would love to see them!
Love your blog!

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Katrina June 24, 2011 - 12:32 PM

It would be because it was linked to the old blog, I’ll try and get them up for you 🙂

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Katrina June 24, 2011 - 12:59 PM

All fixed now Kristie, thankyou again for letting me know!

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Alicia March 5, 2012 - 11:52 AM

I love to be organised and enjoy your posts. From a nutritional point of view though, wouldn’t pre-cutting vegies lead to a lose of vitamins (b and c) and nutritional value?

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Lab-lady May 21, 2012 - 12:18 PM

Yes, it does. I am studying nutrition and we have been advised that frozen vegies are usually higher in nutrient content than the fruit and vegies on the shelf at the supermarket, due to their age. 

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Celia May 21, 2012 - 12:56 PM

So do I understand correctly to keep nutrition at its best even with frozen vegetables( you shouldn’t) chop the vegies up and then freeze. Should you keep them whole and freeze or blanch the vegies and then freeze. Still keeping them whole. You would need a big container to keep them in the freezer. Depends what you want I suppose. Time saver is certainly pre-chopped vegetables. ???

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Leah September 11, 2012 - 9:13 PM

Celia – I’m not 100% sure what you’re specifically asking there, but freezing your fresh veggies at home will result in some nutrient loss. If you buy them frozen in the supermarket that’s another matter, as food producers snap-freeze their vegetables which keeps nutrient loss at an absolute minimum. Also, some veggies, once frozen, will not defrost well – they will go soft and disintegrate (pumpkin is like this). If you’re only intending on using it for a soup that might be fine! I tend to buy more frozen veggies than fresh as between my husband and I we go through vegetables much slower than an entire family would and so the food keeps longer frozen than fresh in the fridge. We only buy fresh things that last well, or we go through fast – capsicum, carrots, potatoes, onions etc.

I find veggies like carrots easily last 2 weeks even in my crisper and not in Tupperware containers. However other veggies like zucchini and cucumber do not last as well.

I also find my deli meat lasts up to two weeks in my fridge, and I just leave it in the plastic bag it came in from the deli, in the top shelf of the fridge (which is a sliding shelf with a cover – it is marked especially for meats but I don’t know, practically, if there’s actually anything different about it compared to the rest of the fridge.) It smells fine and tastes fine, and deli meat is normally really easy to pick if it’s gone off!

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Anita March 5, 2012 - 11:52 AM

Hi Kat just wondering what sie fridgesmarts these are? thanks!!

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seana smith March 6, 2012 - 10:48 AM

Fantastic photos!! I love the Tupperware boxes too, although I don’t tend to chop the veggies up, can see that is a great idea.

I HATE throwing food out and rarely do, so I keep all the food that needs to be eaten up on the top shelf, so it’s obvious.

Love the tip about square containers – fantastic!

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Sash May 21, 2012 - 10:56 AM

Hi Kat, do you find the vegies still last the same amount of time, even though you have chopped them up and left a vent open?

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KatieMarie May 21, 2012 - 11:02 AM

Perfect timing, I was just checking FB and my emails before cleaning out the fridge in preparation for veggie shopping!!!

Last week was the first week I used tupperware to store my veggies. On the advice of friends who’ve just travelled around Australia, I put my veggies (celery, spring onions, cabbage, broccoli) in plastic containers, with paper towel between the pieces and they lasted all week – I’m shocked!!

For those who don’t own “Tupperware” (the brand) I can highly recommend using paper towels to keep the veggies from becoming too moist.. change the towel every time you access the veggies and they never get wet, soggy or freeze!!

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Celia May 21, 2012 - 12:56 PM

Love your organizational ideas for the fridge and the vegetable containers look great to keep vegies fresh for that long.

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Kagamble May 21, 2012 - 1:55 PM

you have the same fridge as me. I am super organised in my fridge and everything lives in a tupperware container so it lasts longer and stays nice and fresh. The best tip i could give to save even more space is to pull your crisper draws out and then that way your fridgesmarts can sit on that shelving and therefore make more space in your fridge. My husband reused the crisper draws in his shed to store things in them.

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Isobel September 16, 2012 - 8:51 AM

Hi-love the website- however I note for this post that you have stored your milk in the fridge door. Our infection control lady has made a rule at our hospital that milk shouldn’t be stored in the door as the temperature is too variable & there have been reports of food poisoning!

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Nat September 18, 2012 - 6:41 AM

Hi Katrina, luv ur blog 🙂 I noticed u hav tinned fruit I just wanted to mention I studied food tech and tin oxidises in the fridge and can contaminate ur food.

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Nat September 18, 2012 - 6:48 AM

Ur fridge has been a great inspiration thx so much 🙂 we hav gotten rid of our second fridge as we hav now a better system thx to u def wil sav on electricity

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Hayls September 18, 2012 - 9:08 PM

Hi Katrina, what size tupperware fridge smart containers do you recommend?

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Jan January 28, 2013 - 8:08 AM

Dairy should only be stored on the inside of your fridge and cut veggies lose their vitamin content “Cutting fruits and vegetables reduces some of the nutrients when the flesh is exposed to the oxygen in the air. This exposure reduces the antioxidant nutrients, such as vitamins E and C.”

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Lisa January 18, 2014 - 6:34 AM

This is true and storing peeled and cut carrots can actually make you sick.

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sue August 25, 2013 - 9:51 AM

I was wondering how do u store iceberg lettuce 🙂

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Bec August 25, 2013 - 11:34 AM

Sue I wrap a paper towel around my lettuce and this helps to keep it crisp and fresh without too much moisture.

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Michelle August 25, 2013 - 1:59 PM

Hi, I know this might sound like a really stupid question but do you wash all your fruit and veg first when you get home from the supermarket? Or do you wash them as you use them? I have heard that washing them before you need them can lead to them spoiling quicker, but obviously for convenience and saving time when you need to use them it would be better to already have everything washed and clean and ready to go.
Thanks

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Danielle Logan January 4, 2014 - 6:54 PM

I am completley in love with your fridge! Mine looks exactly the same and i love that someone is as OCD as me!!

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Fiona Smith January 23, 2014 - 1:42 PM

This could be my fridge. I’m in love with my Tupperware FridgeSmarts and ClearMates too. they’re amazing.

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Demi Monfries February 3, 2014 - 11:14 AM

Don’t you find that the vegies go brown after you cut them up? also, I can see you have a full to the ground size fridge – is it a side by side? I have the Samsung French door fridge with the freezer drawer down the bottom which I love but it also has a filtered water/ice maker on the front left which takes up quite a bit of space.

Do you know if Tupperware is BPA free as that is the only type of plastic containers we will have in the house. We use Sistema containers but when empty they don’t stack well (don’t drop right down into each other) and they are sort of a slightly curved sided rectangle so somehow seem to take up oodles of space!

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Renee Simpson April 13, 2014 - 9:54 AM

such an awesome idea!

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Lauren January 6, 2015 - 7:51 PM

How long will the watermelon last chopped like that?

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 7, 2015 - 1:01 AM

It keeps fresh for 5-7 days, but as it’s chopped and convenient we tend to eat it quickly.

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Julie February 4, 2015 - 10:56 PM

I love love love my Tupperware Fridgemates. Best thing I ever bought.
Julie

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Lee March 7, 2015 - 8:24 PM

Its great to see wonderful ideas from australia. Ive been looking at USA youtube, and they are so great but seems we are different here and its hard to organise the same as they do. I went to Big W and bought fridge storage, they look great but many are just to long for our fridge, so I can’t make it look so nice as they do. I love the idea of cutting up and preping the veg. Im a chef for aged care and our dietician has advise us against peeling or cutting up fruit and veg till they are close to be served as this makes the vegetable loose nutrition. Anyone know how true this it?

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 9, 2015 - 8:52 AM

That is really interesting, Lee. I have always cut mine up and placed them in air tight containers. They stay super fresh and makes life ust that little bit easier.:)

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Suellen September 19, 2015 - 10:06 PM

Hi. I dont have Tupperware,and I’m trying to declutter. Can i just use any sealed containers for precut veggies and put a piece of paper towel at the bottom? (I read from a previous post that i would have to change the paper each day.)
Does this also work for cucumber and zucchini?
I feel the kids would snack better if things were readily available.
Thanks.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife September 20, 2015 - 9:48 PM

Hi Suellen, I wouldn’t use paper towel purely that you don’t want the veggies resting on it. There are quite a few new options in the department stores that will help you keep your vege’s fresh. I am certain that decor or sistema have a range with a grid like system in the bottom of their containers so when your carrots, etc sweat it falls into the grid so your vegetables aren’t sitting in it. Look for some of these next time you go to Big W or even in the supermarket like Coles.

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Ines January 19, 2016 - 5:07 PM

What size fridge do you have? I am looking for a new one and I’m not sure what would be a good size for a family of 5? I shop once a week…..

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 20, 2016 - 8:50 PM

Hi Ines, off the top of my head I can’t remember how big this fridge is, however it was too small, I have just purchased a new one, however I would suggest to try and buy the biggest fridge that will fit your area, we were limited in our current house, there was a fridge I really wanted, but was 2cm shy for it to fit.

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V March 1, 2016 - 12:09 PM

Hi
Do you wash the veggies when you chop them and store them in the fridge? I find when I have washed and cut veggies they spoil really fast

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 2, 2016 - 7:15 AM

yes I wash them in the sink and dry them with a clean tea towel. That’s strange they are spoiling, are you drying them completely, this way they want sit in any of the moisture from washing them.

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Cle November 30, 2016 - 5:28 PM

Hi!
Nice post!
I have just organised my pantry with Tupperware and now it’s the Fridge turn.
I ordered some ventsmart.
I find very clever the tip about pre chopping the veggies and store the chopped. Very time saving indeed.
My question is: does ventsmart prevent oxidation?
For example, carrots.
If left normally in the fridge, in their plastic container, they will dry and assume a different color where chopped (not to mention if peeled).
I see from your pictures that you chop carrots too.
Do they last long as well?
Within how many days you usually consume them?
TIA

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Darlene Brown March 5, 2018 - 9:34 AM

To store lettuce I take the core out, wash and let drain on a rack. I place a paper towel in the bottom of my storage container then add the lettuce with the core side down. I barely moisten 1 or 2 (whatever it takes) paper towels and place snuggly over the top, tucking in all around the lettuce. If the top towels dry out, I replace them with moist towels, never wet. Also, never cut lettuce with a metal knife, it will cause the lettuce to turn brown. I am amazed at how long lettuce will stay fresh like this. I stick a small piece of paper on the end of the containers that I put leftovers in with the the contents and date stored to help me remember how long it has been in the refrigerator.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 6, 2018 - 10:38 AM

Great tips Darlene.

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Dav March 5, 2018 - 9:35 AM

Thanks for sharing Kat! You are such an inspiration! I have tried organising my fridge on several occasions but after 3 days it returns back to a cluttered fridge. I will try the things you have suggested such as cutting the vegetables.. etc

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 6, 2018 - 10:39 AM

Oohh Thank you Dav. Yes it’s easy to go back to throwing stuff into the fridge and then it becomes cluttered again. I love having everything at hand and easy to see

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Michelle Crick March 8, 2018 - 9:55 AM

How do you store green leaves like spinach, kale and lettuce?

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife March 8, 2018 - 10:26 AM

I store mine in the same type of crispers as shown in the pics with the cut up veggies. The lettuce I just take the bulb out and break it up to fit into the largest container

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Rosemary Waters February 12, 2021 - 12:40 PM

My son works different shifts each day so he has started to do a veggie shop on his day off and prepares and cuts them up and blanches them then seals them with a food sealer in individual pouches. All he has to do when he gets home is to take one out,put in microwave and has his veggies all done.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife February 19, 2021 - 2:57 PM

That is such a great solution when you have minimal time for dinner prep!

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BellaInAus April 27, 2021 - 8:53 AM

I’ve taken to putting racks in the bottom of a lot of my fridge containers – one in the tray the meat thaws in, one in each of my fruit and veggie drawers, one in my salad box. That keeps the food out of the moisture that collects and it lasts longer. And the moisture doesn’t dribble all over the kitchen floor when I take this game out if the fridge. I use cake racks and the plastic racks that come in some storage containers.

Rather than paper towel, I use cloth napkins to cover my salad. I already had the napkins and we weren’t using them, and paper towel costs money I’d rather spend on something else. I change them every week and toss them into the wash.

The main problem I have with organising my fridge is that even with labels, Other People don’t put things back where they belong. I shall have to keep training them.

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Katrina - The Organised Housewife April 30, 2021 - 3:57 PM

Thank you for sharing, those are clever ideas. Kat x

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