One of my most dreaded chores is cleaning the refrigerator. It seems to always be disorganized.

Yesterday I decided to clean and organize the beast. I was just tired of looking at the jumble of stuff inside.

In an apartment, unless it’s a luxury apartment, you tend to get a rather smallish old-fashioned type refrigerator. Freezer up top, no ice maker, nothing fancy.

Just your basics. Not even a deli drawer. I use the bottom drawers to store other kitchen items like glass storage bowls instead of food.

Since I didn’t want to spend any money, I went searching my apartment to see what I could use to organize the refrigerator. I found several plastic trays and a few decorative containers.

On the top shelf you see a zip-lock baggie with an opened can of Ivy’s cat food. I cannot find lids for these smaller cans. Have you ever seen them?

Since she eats mostly dry cat food I only give her a bit of food from the cans several times a day. And since I can’t find suitable lids I put the opened can in a baggie right side up to keep it fresh. In case you were wondering what that is.

In the green bucket I gathered the two kinds of string cheese I like to nibble on. Instead of it being sprayed out everywhere, all the string cheese is now grouped together in one place.

I arranged yogurt on the red and white tray. This way one or two errant yogurt containers won’t manage to hide in the back until after the expiration date.

I organized little containers of apple sauce on a red tray. That’s a bag of unopened lettuce mix you see behind it. Once I open the bag of lettuce I will put it in a big baggie to keep it fresh.

I put various beverages in the round galvanized container. Now all the beverages are in one spot.

Every time I’d open the refrigerator one of the Crush soda beverages would fall over. Now I have them all corralled and they don’t fall over.

For me Crush soda is a blast from the past. I drank them as a child and it’s kind of a sentimental thing for me to buy them from time to time.

My daughter also likes to drink them when she’s here as she isn’t much of a tea drinker like I am.

I was pleased with this arrangement. Now I can actually see what is in my refrigerator without moving everything out of the way searching for something to eat. And it looks nicer too.

The freezer was organized as well, but I didn’t put anything into containers. Just straightened things up a bit.

I think it will be easier to keep my refrigerator clean and organized now.

Do you keep your refrigerator items organized?

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before. Didn’t cost me a dime and it looks so much better.

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43 Comments

  1. I notice that your food is all national brands. Do you have an Aldi in your town? Some of the items in your refrigerator, like yogurt, apple sauce and string cheese, is about one -half the price of the national brands at Aldi. The yogurt I eat every day, which is comparable to Yoplait, costs $.39. I don’t remember the price of apple sauce and string cheese, but I’m sure that the savings is similar. Occasionally I will pick up something at a large grocery store, but 99% of my shopping is done at Aldi and I am always pleasantly surprised at how little I spend there.

    1. Not all my food is national brands. I buy a lot of canned food from the store brand. Depends on the price. I typically look on Shipt for the sales first and I choose the sales before I go look for anything else. Places like Walmart may be cheaper on many things, but they don’t have the good sale prices a local grocery store runs every week here. With Shipt I may pay a bit more, but I don’t impulse buy because I’m not the one shopping.

  2. Great post, I organized and cleaned my fridge today. It’s so much nicer when we take the time to do this, so thank you for the inspiration.

  3. I detest cleaning out the fridge. It rarely gets done. Of course, with my daughter gone, things stay pretty clean and neat around here now. I use various items from BINZ that are made for fridge storage – I’ve had them for years, they do make the task much easier when I do take a notion to clean out the fridge. There just always seems to be so many other more exciting things to do around the house when I have time off!!

  4. I love all of the ideas in your Blog today. Love the tray ideas, never thought of using trays or small baskets in the refrigerator. So I cleaned out my refrigerator today. Amazing what gets hidden in there.
    Hope Charlie is doing better. He is such a sweet dog. Hope Ivy is enjoying her new toys..

  5. Great and much needed “Inspiration.” yay…..as I have recently had things fall off the fridge shelves when trying to locate something.. Now just doing it…You are very creative and inventive…Thank very much.. !!!!!

  6. I also took some shelf paper(except it is truly more like a vinyl) and cut it to fit the shelves. When it gets dirty or what ever I just rinse it.let it dry then put it back.

  7. I bought those clear egg holders and they hold 21 eggs. They are made of clear plastic and you can stack 2 on top of each other.

  8. They sale the lids at Wal Mart.They look like they fit the bigger cans but you will see they have another size under them also.Kinda hard to find sometimes but they do fit the little cans also..I think they cost about 1.50$ made from plastic-when you use them it will look like you have a bigger can under them..

  9. My fridg is like one of those puzzle cubes where you have to move all the little squares around and around to get them in the right order. With my daughter’s and her boys’s food items in addition to mine in there things are constantly getting moved around and stuck in the back or just moved to different place so you have to hunt for them. It drives both of us crazy, but the only solution we can see is to get a bigger fridg. That isn’t going to happen any time real soon as they are so darn expensive. Even though the handle is practically falling off we are stuck with this one for now. Occasionally, I do try to rearrange things on one or two shelves, depending on how cluttered things have gotten, but it is a constant battle and frustration. Sometimes I wish I had my own fridg on the back porch! Hillbilly heaven!

    You did a great job reorganizing your fridg, though. Looks great, but sparsely filled to me, of course!

  10. Strawberries last longer in the pkg when you turn them upside down. I checked 1st to see if there’s any bad ones though!

  11. Someone at work suggested getting some of the plastic coated place mats and put on the shelves in the fridge. .It helps from having to pull the shelves to clean them all the time. You can just clean the place mats.

  12. I just put my cat food cans inside a cottage cheese type container. I just set the whole can in there and put on the lid.

  13. Geez, why didn’t I think of this way of organizing my little fridge? Thanks for the great organizing ideas. I will be working on organizing my fridge soon.

  14. Brenda, Amazon Prime sells a set of can covers in various sizes for under $10 Prime for anywhere from 10 to 18 pieces. Look for ALAZCO BPA-Free Can Covers.

  15. I’ve been needing to clean out our fridge, and this is inspiring. Thank you!

    Now yours is so tidy and organized that it makes my heart go “Ahhh…” just looking at it!

  16. This is funny because I told hubs today I was going to clean and organize the fridge. I want to use something on the shelves that I can throw away instead of having to always wash the shelves. I’m going today to TJ Maxx and Marshall’s to see if they have any containers to use there and in a drawer I reorganized. It feels so good to have a place for everything and not just thrown in willy nilly..

    1. I actually looked for baskets I could use when I was at Tuesday Morning the other day. But didn’t find any I wanted. Ended up getting Ivy two little stuffed toys for $1.99.

  17. Great read and very helpful .I do the same with my kiddie cans of food put them in a baggie .
    I love being organized!
    Ivy is so pretty and getting so big .I like Charlie’s haircut
    Enjoy your weekend !!

  18. Well done! And it reminds that my own fridge could use a clean-out, as well as other areas that would benefit from a bit of reorganizing.

  19. Such neat ideas! Could you come and redo mine? You always have such neat ideas to share! Thanks for doing that chore so we don’t have too! LOL

    1. I was kind of desperate because it’s always such a mess, and it came to me that since my fridge doesn’t have all those little built in places, I’d just work around it.

  20. Hi Brenda. Your fridge looks really good inside. I have a plan for where I want things to be in the fridge, but often I am undisciplined and just toss something into the first open spot I see. Then every few days I have to sort things out. I need to borrow some of your ideas for using containers to group similar items. The only container I currently use in such a fashion is one of those cardboard soft drink carriers that will hold six small bottles and has a handle. I stuck the carton on the shelf inside of the fridge door, and it holds two types of mustard, mayonnaise, horse radish, Tabasco sauce and low-sodium soy sauce.

    As for lids for cat food, I’ve never seen lids for those tiny cans. I get the bigger cans, and I have two lids that are very old that I am very careful with because I want them to last forever! I can’t find ones like them anymore, they are a nice smooth plastic and they fit the cans better than newer lids I’ve bought.

    Great topic today, by the way. I will be looking inside of our fridge later to come up with some organizing ideas. Thanks.

    1. Great idea about the cardboard soft drink carrier! You ladies are so innovative. My refrigerator always looks a mess. I figured since I’ve been using Shipt for my grocery store needs, I can take the time to put things up nice! I’ve already used Shipt three times! Getting my money’s worth out of the monthly $14 fee. If I decide to pay for the year it’s $99, which brings the monthly cost down about half what I’m paying now.

  21. PetCo has small plastic containers with lids.designed to store the small cat food cans. I use one every day and really like them. The pop open side tabs are easier to use with my arthritic hands.
    Your ideas are terrific.
    Oh! Somewhere I learned that strawberries stay fresher much longer if you take them out of their container and layer them in paper towel then store them in an air tight container. This really works!

    1. I’ve checked Petsmart and Chewys for those smaller lids, but not Petco. Good idea about the strawberries. I usually use mine up on morning cereal before they go bad.

      1. The ones I got from Petco are clear containers w/lids meant for small cat food cans. The can fits inside nicely and you put the lid on.

  22. I rarely keep enough food in my fridge to have to organize it. Most of my food is either in my kitchen cabinets or my freezer. I have a narrow but tall cabinet depth Euro style fridge that I splurged on when I moved to my retirement home and it is amazingly roomy, especially the freezer, which is where I keep a lot of frozen foods and left-overs, meat and chicken purchased in large packages on sale, packages of cheese also bought in bulk when on sale, and gelatto! I do keep my cabinets organized so I can readily see what’s there and can easily access it. The only thing that is allowed to be messy in this house is my desk. I always seem to have stacks of papers and research on the family trees I work on scattered here and there.

  23. I enjoy your posts like this, well I enjoy them all, but you always come up with such good ideas. I also put the cat food in a baggie, after it’s opened, because my cat only gets a small spoon full in the morning, and then another at dinner time. She has her dry food in her dish always, and gets treats several times a day. Anyway, I am going to use your idea for the string cheese. I hate when they are flopping all over the place, so thanks for that. Also, going to check my cupboards for a “cute” tray for my small apple sauce cups like yours. What fun ideas…I like things in their place, nice and neat, as you do.
    Have a nice weekend, Brenda. We expect more rain here, after several days of it, on and off. One thing for sure, the grass is really really green, and my flowers are loving it too. Hugs from WI,Bonnie

  24. I purchased small white plastic wicker looking baskets at the dollar store and use them in my freezer section of the refrigerator to store my various kinds of meat. Like all chicken pieces together, all hamburger and steak together, all pork together. I divide up my meat as soon as I purchase it and re-wrap it first in plastic wrap and then in freezer bags, so I can just pull out one or two pieces to cook at a time. I also bought bigger bins for my refrigerator to hold stuff, like all my cheeses together, all my fruit together, etc. I then bought a clear plastic tray with a bit taller sides to hold all my condiments that need to be refrigerated. It has made life much easier and the refrigerator stays much cleaner also.

  25. You have inspired me to clean/sort our refrigerator which desperately needs it. A galvanized tray for “pop” is a great idea; I do not have one but a good reason to buy one. As always, I appreciate and enjoy your blog

  26. I found cat food lids at both Petsmart, Petco or Target. All 3 places had them hanging on a strip in front of the shelf, not on the shelf. All 3 don’t always have them. When I find them, I stock up.

  27. I try to keep “like minded” things together too,I keep forgetting to grab some Dollar Tree plastic baskets to corral the smaller things.
    Same cat food can setup here too,mine are the regular sized cans,I have 2 perpetually close to dying of starvation here and they get the “good” stuff twice a day,my friend gave me a set of the can covers and they’ve all disappeared…
    Enjoy the weekend.

  28. I found a bag of lids that fit all size cans about 5 different sizes they where at the dollar store.

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