I don’t believe in many of the tips or refrigerator organizers you’ll find on-line. No goy writing an article on fridge organization can possibly fathom the amount of cooking and turnover that goes on in our homes, especially this time of year. And no refrigerator organizer or bin that you buy can truly do the trick. But it’s not hopeless. I’ve been receiving countless requests on this topic so I put together my best tips to help the organized and not-so -organized among us keep the fridge under control. I’d love to get your feedback and hear your best ideas as well.
Declutter- It’s always the first step in any area you’re trying to get organized. Start with the back of the fridge first. Remove out-of-date items and leftovers no one is looking at anymore. Remember your body is not the garbage can for all of the old leftovers in the fridge either. Get into the good habit of decluttering your fridge weekly before you fill it up with fresh Shabbos food. If you don’t have time to read the rest of this article- you can stop right here and your fridge will stay organized!
Give a wipe– Don’t make Pesach , but do take a cleaning wipe and freshen up the shelves as they empty each week. If you don’t own cleaning wipes- go out and get some, they are lifesavers for busy women like yourself! Don’t bother lining your shelves, as many recommend. No liner completely protects the shelf and why have two things to clean when the fridge gets dirty? If you must – use disposable paper towels as a liner and change them each week.
Use bag clips!– I don’t need to tell you that open bags of bug-free flour, beans barley, oats, rice (feel free to add to this list) turn your fridge into an unappetizing place to be. Everything tips over at some point and spills. Keep bag clips easily accessible so that you’ll use them, or transfer spill-able ingredients into containers before putting them in the fridge.
Adjust your shelves- According to the products you consistently buy. You probably always buy the same brand of milk, yogurts, grape juice and ketchup- so set up the inside of your fridge to fit the most common items that go there.
Small items go in small areas- Don’t throw a small yogurt onto a large shelf in the fridge. If you don’t have a dairy drawer in your fridge, allot a smaller section on the door. If there’s no room – purchase a smaller bin for dairy products to place on one of the shelves. The same goes for condiments, spices and other smaller permanent items in the fridge.
Separate your fruits and vegetables– Most fruits emit a gas that causes your vegetables to rot faster, so don’t store them in the same drawer. Check the drawers each day to see what needs to be used up.
Be consistent- Always keep the bins in the same location on the shelf, store your milchig and fleishig foods consistently in their own special shelves, and store like items together. Teach your family members what you’ve done (if you want it to last).
Don’t over-do it on bins and baskets– You need room for pots and larger items in the fridge. If you get “organizing happy” and fill your fridge with bins, you’ll have no room for all the food you cooked for yontif. One or 2 clear bins plus the compartments that come with the fridge should be enough for all of the smaller items.