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How to organize a refrigerator (and make extra space)

How to organize a refrigerator (and make extra space)
(Image credit: iStock)

Make this your most organized year yet with our tips and tricks on how to organize a refrigerator.

It’s true what they say about the kitchen being the heart of the home and whether you’re a keen cook, or prefer to grab something and go, having an organized refrigerator certainly makes life easier. 

If you feel like you simply never have enough room or you can’t ever find what you need, our handy hacks are just the solution to create a functional and tidy fridge space. 

Below we’ve got some step-by-step advice on how to organize the best side-by-side refrigerators, and French door refrigerators

And the best bit? Our tips and tricks won’t cost you a fortune to put into place. So, to take your organization to the next level, check out our ideas below. 

How to organize a fridge 

When it comes to organizing your refrigerator, we’d think it’s well worth investing in some storage containers that you can easily pick up from places such as Amazon.com.
Whether you’ve got a giant family refrigerator or one of the best mini fridges, keeping it organized means it’s easier to clean and means you’re likely to waste less food because you can see exactly what you’ve got. 

 1. First things first, start by taking all of the contents out of your refrigerator, making a note of what time you do this so that food isn’t left out for too long. 

2. Spread all of the items out on your kitchen surfaces and group them together in similar categories. E.g. Dairy, vegetables, meats, drinks etc.

3. Check all items, jars, and condiments to see if they’re still in date and put aside any that are out of date or you know you definitely won’t eat. 

4. Now that your refrigerator is empty, this is the perfect time to give it a deep clean. Be sure to clean the door seals and give the shelves a thorough wash with hot soapy water. If you want to take your cleaning to the next level, many of the best steam mops have attachments that can be used to eradicate germs and bacteria from the door bins and storage compartments in your fridge. For other tips, check out our full feature on how to clean a refrigerator.

Cheap refrigerator deals

(Image credit: Getty)

5. Take one of your refrigerator storage boxes and place any raw meat and fish packages in it. Position this box at the bottom of your fridge so that no raw juices can ever be contaminated with cooked food. Next, create a box specifically for food that needs eating fairly quickly or stuff that’s near the end of its shelf life. Place this at the top of the fridge right where you can see it. Although it’s simple, organizing food like this means you’re less likely to forget about anything and waste it. 

We recommend using clear storage boxes in your refrigerator so that you can see exactly what you’ve got. For a variety of sizes and shapes, you can pick up a 9-piece set of boxes (pictured below) from Walmart.com

Image shows refrigerator storage boxes with food in

(Image credit: Walmart)

6. To make it easier to access small jars and condiments, invest in a lazy susan and place all of your smaller items on there. That way you’ll be able to spin it round and find what you need without having to move countless things out of the way. 

7. When it comes to storing the rest of your food away, remove items from bulky packaging, cutting out any use by dates and sticking them to the side of items as you go. That way you’ll be able to keep track of when things need throwing out. 

8. Save time by prepping ahead and slice fruits and veggies up and place them into breathable containers. This means you’ll have everything at your fingertips as soon as you need it, plus, it’s great for grabbing a healthy snack when you’re in a rush. If you want to keep your greens and veggies looking extra fresh, put them in a glass container and add a damp paper towel in with them. This will help them to stay vibrant and fresh.

If you can’t get hold of storage boxes for your refrigerator, fear not. Simple items such as plastic folder organizers can double up as storage containers and are easy to keep clean too. 

If you're considering a new refrigerator altogether, many of the larger models have fantastic storage solutions which make organizing your fridge so much easier. We particularly like the LG LFXS26596S's design (pictured below) as it has plenty of space to store your food and it's all in your eye line too. 

LG LFXS26596S

(Image credit: LG)

What to do if your refrigerator is always too full 

Sometimes your refrigerator is just too small and while in an ideal we’d upgrade to one of best French door refrigerators or something with even more space, budgets don’t always allow. Thankfully, there are some clever hacks you can use to create more space inside your fridge. Slide-in drawers are a great way of creating space for smaller items such as eggs, vegetables, or even small jars. The drawers we've included a picture of below normally come in sets, costing around $20 from Amazon.com.  

If you still need more space, you can install a slide-out storage rail that can then be used to clip packets to so that you can double up on the amount of items you can store in your fridge.  

Fridge drawer organizer

(Image credit: Amazon)

Looking for more handy fridge-related content? Check out our advice on how to help your fridge live longer, or don't miss our article on how long do leftovers last in the fridge? 

Sophie Bird

Sophie is Home Editor at Top Ten Reviews. Starting off her career in print journalism, Sophie then moved to digital and now specializes in lifestyle, home interiors and social media. While she has scooped awards for her journalism, Sophie likes to whip up a storm in the kitchen when she's not writing.