Cleaning and Organizing your refrigerator and freezer

Welcome to cleaning and oganizing your fridge and freezer. I don’t know about you but I look at all those perfectly clean and organzized fridges on Pinterest and I long for mine to look just like them!

Below I will take you step by step to get the organized fridge you’ve dreamed of.

Cleaning and Organizing your Refrigerator

cleaning and organizing your refrigerator and freezer

Step 1 – Remove everything from the refrigerator

The first step will be to remove everything from the refrigerator.  As you are removing items check expiration dates and throw away anything that is expired.

As you remove items, organize them on the counter by category.  For example condiments, veggies, snacks, etc.

Step 2 – Wash the fridge

Before you put anything back in you will need to clean the interior.  Take out any removable shelves and bins and bring to the sink.  Mix an all-purpose cleaner or some vinegar and water in the sink to clean these items.  Rinse and dry well.

Use your preferred cleaning solution and wipe down the whole interior of the fridge.  Rinse if necessary.

Step 3 – Plan your food storage

Before you replace the shelves and bins take a look at what you have to go back into the fridge.  Think about what you use most often and plan to have these items front and center.  

If you have kids maybe you will want to keep foods that they enjoy on a lower shelf so they can easily reach it.  Once you decide where they should go re-install your shelves to fit the height of the items.

Cleaning your fridge and freezer

For smaller items such as cans of soda or cheese sticks for example, use baskets or clear bins to hold them together.  Not only will this keep the fridge looking cleaner but it will be easier to access what you need.  

Try using a lazy Susan to hold small items that can stand up like jars and cans.  A quick spin of the tray and you can see exactly what you have on hand.  For a great clear plastic Lazy Susan check out this one from Amazon

Stackable bins will be your best friend for leftovers.  I only use clear bins so I can see right away what I have and I don’t have to make labels.

These are my favorite…they are hard clear plastic with great lids that can be used in the micro, dishwasher, freezer, and are PBA free.  Plus they will come in really handy for Thanksgiving left overs!   Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage containers

Don’t forget to move oldest items towards the front so you will use them first and newer items towards the back.

Store your meats on the lowest shelf just in case of any spills so it won’t leak all over the rest of your food.  Even better, put the meat onto a tray or in a bin to prevent spills.

Step 4 – Set up the temperature and humidity levels for the food

Most refrigerators today have individual settings for different sections.  Designate a bin for your veggies and a separate one for your fruit and adjust the levels accordingly.

Step 5 –  Update your shopping list

Don’t forget to write down the items you will need to replace that have expired.  When you do go shopping don’t forget…newer items behind older items.

Cleaning and Organizing your refrigerator and freezer

Cleaning and Organizing your Freezer

Step 1 – Remove everything from the freezer

Just like the fridge remove everything from the freezer and discard anything that is outdated or has freezer burn.  Also, remove any shelving and bins that can come out of the freezer and clean in the sink.

Step 2 – Clean the interior of the freezer

Using your favorite cleaning product wipe down the walls and floor of the freezer.  Rinse well. If you have ice on your freezer walls then you will need to let the freezer thaw before cleaning. Make sure to put your frozen food on ice to keep it frozen while you do this.

Step 3 – Replacing the food

Depending on the type of freezer you have will dictate the best way to organize the food.  If you have a side by side or top freezer then using bins and/or baskets will help you corral like items together and be able to stack items to save space.

If you have a bottom freezer like I do then it’s a little more difficult.  Everything is in one of two deep basket shelves and needs to be stacked on top of each other.  Use the top basket to store boxed items, on their side, to make more room and to be able to see in a glance what you have. 

I know I’m OCD, but I have all my boxes facing so that I can read the labels from the top at a glance.

cleaning and organizing your refrigerator and freezer

For meats, I always remove them from the store packaging and wrap each serving in Saran wrap. Then I place each serving into a large ziplock freezer bag.  I do this for two reasons. 

First, if I only need one chicken breast then I can take out just one breast.  If you freeze the entire package from the store then you are de-frosting the entire package.  By wrapping each piece in Saran wrap they do not stick together when you freeze them. 

Second, is because once you wrap the meats and place in a zip lock bag you can store them flat in the bottom shelf basket.  This saves so much space being able to stack flat bags of meat. 

Don’t forget to label the bags with the item name and the date it was frozen.

Use the dividers that came with your fridge to partition off an area to hold un-stackable items such as bags of food like meatballs or veggies.  This will keep items from encroaching on your neatly stacked items.

cleaning and organizing your refrigerator and freezer

That’s it.  But don’t forget to leave out something for dinner tonight. 😉 

If you missed my post on “How to Clean and Organize your Kitchen Cabinets”  check it out.

For some great tips on cleaning out all areas of your home be sure to read my post “How to Declutter”

Cleaning and Organizing your Kitchen Cabinets

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