How To Keep A Clean And Organized Fridge

There are few things I like better than to open my fridge doors and see a bright, shining, impeccably clean and organized fridge. 

Our 5 top tips for keeping a clean and organized fridge all day, every day.

There are also few things that seem to become as dirty and disorganized in a short period of time!

Little grubby hands opening the doors, husbands shoving things in the closest available spot, milk dribbles, mustard smears, leftovers crammed in wherever they will fit, and general chaos can quickly reign once again over your nicely organized fridge.

Trust me, I know.

However, I have come up with some pretty simple tricks to keep a clean and organized fridge almost all the time.*

*I find this more easily accomplished when dealing with a fridge full of real food, but it can definitely be done with prepacked food as well.

#1. Go through your fridge and throw away any outdated or unused food.

(You know, that miso paste you bought to try a thai dish that no one wants to eat again. Or that cheese growing a nice blue-green fuzz in the back of a drawer.)

Go for it. If it is appropriate pet food, then feed it to your pets. Otherwise, just THROW IT AWAY!

This way, you aren’t organizing or cleaning around useless food, and you can avoid nasty smells and messes. I know this sounds pretty basic, but it is a vital step to keeping your fridge in a state of awesomeness.

#2. Empty your fridge contents into a cooler, and wipe down every surface.

You have to start with a clean fridge in order to maintain a clean fridge, people. 🙂

#3. Pick a theme.

What do I mean by a theme? I’m talking about getting rid of the crazy mish-mash of 7 kinds of plastic containers, jugs, cartons, and bags, and replacing them with or storing them in something more uniform.

For example, my theme is glass jars. (Big shock there, huh?) Notice, not every single thing in my fridge is in a jar, but there is definitely a uniform look that comes from using a large amount of one kind of container/organization system. These are the glass containers I use.

Our 5 top tips for keeping a clean and organized fridge all day, every day.

Here is an example of a different type of theme.


photo credit here

 And here is mine again on a different week.

Our 5 top tips for keeping a clean and organized fridge all day, every day.

You don’t necessarily have to go out and buy a bunch of organizing containers. Most of us have at least one a matching set of containers or jars already. If not, then you can get a set of canning jars or plastic containers very inexpensively at most stores.

#4. Start meal planning

Once you begin to consistently use a meal plan and shop with a specific grocery list, you will only be purchasing what you absolutely need for each week. So many people comment on how little food it seems that I have in my fridge and wonder how 5 people eat from that amount of food. The truth is, most people have loads of excess and unused food going to waste in their fridge each week. Take it from me, we eat a LOT, and all of it is whole foods. You don’t have to have a crammed fridge to eat well, and you also don’t have to shop multiple times a week!

#5. Be consistent.

Put things back in the same spot every time. Teach your kids where things belong in the fridge, and show them by example. When you notice a spill or splatter, immediately wipe it up with your kitchen rag. It only takes a few seconds, and prevents you from having to repeat step #2 all the time! The day before you go grocery shopping, take a couple minutes to check for any shelves that need to be wiped down, or any items that need to be moved back into their correct place.


Extra tips that can help:

  • Store your fruit at room temperature (tomatoes too). It tastes much better, and saves you room in the fridge. I also keep my (unwashed) fresh eggs at room temperature.
  • Keep things organized by type. Cheese drawer, vegetable drawers, milk and cream shelf, etc…
  • Regularly repeat step one!
  • Start switching to re-usable options rather than disposables.


Our 5 top tips for keeping a clean and organized fridge all day, every day.

Do you struggle to keep your fridge clean and organized? Leave us a comment below and let us know! 


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6 responses to “How To Keep A Clean And Organized Fridge”

  1. SAK says:

    What a great post, Angie! I recently got a new fridge and it hasn’t been organized since day one…I keep trying different things. I suppose all condiments, jams, pickles, salsa, etc. are in the door compartments of your fridge….these are the things that multiply while you’re not looking! I love using jars and Glasslock for leftovers also, so uniform and easy to spot what’s in them. Enjoyed the tips that you shared!

    • Angi says:

      Thanks SAK! Yes, our condiments are in the door of the fridge, but I keep them to a minimum. Maybe I should add some pictures of the door as well!

  2. Meal planning is a super good idea! That way, you can keep your fridge and pantry organized. And, it makes it easier to cook. You don’t need to get stressed out from always trying to figure out what you are going to cook for dinner, and whether or not you have all the ingredients!

  3. Mimi Gregor says:

    Instead of storing my vegetables raw in the crisper drawer (Which is an oxymoron, if I ever heard one. Nothing gets crisper in there.), I spend the evening after I go to the farmer’s market roasting my vegetables. I cut them up, toss them with olive oil and salt, roast at 450, checking for doneness after about 20 minutes by tasting a piece. (I like my vegetables al dente.) I also buy a “mess of greens” every week, saute them in olive oil, garlic, hot pepper flakes, and salt. I store each veggie in separate containers on a shelf in the fridge, and they are ready to go for meals. I can add them to dishes, such as pasta, omelets, quiche, or fried rice. I can heat them up for a side dish. I can serve the greens cold, as a salad, topped with roasted beets and sprinkled with walnut pieces and goat cheese. They are more easily used up when they are already cooked and ready to go, and it makes meal preparation a lot easier and quicker.

  4. Conni says:

    Wonderful and encouraging post, thank you. I question, however, the (beautiful) greens in jars of water in your fridge. My understanding has been that moisture from open sources of liquid make our modern frost-free refrigerators work overtime (=wear and tear on appliance and higher power bill). If my info is outdated, I would love to be corrected ‘cuz the greens look so purdy, and they love that drink!

    • Angi says:

      You are actually correct Conni. It would be more efficient to cover the top of the greens with a plastic bag so the moisture doesn’t make the fridge run more. Thank you, I hadn’t really thought about that aspect.

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