Organizing the Refrigerator

March 30, 2011 by  

Refrigerators Can Get So Gross!

Have you had any science experiments growing in your refrigerator lately? lol

refrigeratorIt is so easy for things to get pushed to the back of the refrigerator and get lost.  I don’t have a side by side, my freezer is on top and our refrig. isn’t all that big. When the milk and big things are on the top shelf that is just over waist high, then it is harder to see down to the lower shelves to see what might be on the bottom.

Plus ours had gotten so dirty! Yuck!  I did wait until the refrig was pretty empty to take on this project.  It is not normally this bare!


You can see from this picture how some things are pushed way to the back. There is a pop can underneath the drawer and I’m not sure what is in that round container on the bottom in the back.  I don’t normally get back away from it on this level (like I am to get this picture)


Ok… fresh Parmesan cheese. That was from the beginning of December, wonder what the expiration is on that?


Looks like 2 open jars of applesauce. The mayo should be in the door.


Here is one of the things that drive me crazy.  I can’t get my hubby or kids to put lunch meat and cheese in the meat drawer.  Then they get pushed to the back of the refrig. and not found.

refrigeratorThen I open the drawer and see this – the cheese wrapper without any slices of cheese in it!  There is one underneath it.  For pete sakes… can’t anyone throw away an empty wrapper?  Do you have to deal with any of this at your house?


Here is the door.  I see duplicates …. it will feel so good to get this cleaned out.


Empty everything out of your refrigerator!  I suggest 1 shelf at a time.

This is the top shelf contents.


Check for Expiration Dates

Oh.. I’m not opening that to check it… would you?  It is what… 2 1/2 months old! lol

expired cream

Here is what I was left with on the top shelf after I purged what I didn’t need or was expired.


Pretty amazing huh?  No…. pretty bad!!   Good thing I waiting until the fridge was practically empty anyway.

So I kept going….  and cleaned and purged  the rest of my refrig.  This is actually good to do routinely before you go to the store (not clean the whole thing, but get rid of old things and make room before you leave, it helps you to see what you need and it eliminates stress when you are trying to fit everything into your small fridge and have to do it while your food is melting sitting on the counter.

Clean your refrigerator!

Look how gross this is!  Don’t just take a rag and clean it off !  You need to clean thoroughly!  ewwww!

dirty refrigerator

Take out those shelves… make a big sink full of soapy water… and go to it!


This way you can really clean it well!
Look at the difference from one that has been washed to what another shelf looks like pre-wash.Big difference!

refrigerator shelves

So pull out all the shelves and all the bins off the doors…. and then clean the rest of the refrigerator good too.

Warning…… Naked Refrig Alert!!  lol

empty refrigerator
Reassemble the Refrig and don’t forget that your shelves are adjustable!  You can decide where you want them.. it doesn’t have to be traditional.

adjustable shelves in refrigerator

You can use your tallest item (pop bottle, wine bottle) to check that you have at least one place that is tall enough in your arrangement of shelves.


You may have seen my lime green baskets I got at Old Time Pottery for my pantry.  I found red ones for my refrigerator too.  They are plastic, so they are washable. They have a handle, so you can pull them out easily. They came in different styles and sizes.
Old Time Pottery baskets

It just seemed to me that this might help take care of the problem of things getting stuck in the back of the refrigerator shelves…. (never to be seen again)

refrigerator baskets

It makes it really easy to just pull out the basket to see what is in the back of the shelf.

refrigerator basket

My only concern is that they “just fit”.  So if someone pulls them out, and doesn’t push them all the way back…. then the door might not close completely.  I will have to keep an eye on it… and might realize that I have to go back and get a smaller size.

refrigerator baskets

Here is the door of my refrigerator.  I like to keep the condiments and smaller items in the door.  Again, decide what heights you need your door shelves to be.  We don’t keep milk in the door, mainly because we generally have 3-4 gallons at a time in the fridge.  We go through on the average 1 gallon of milk daily.

refrigerator door

So…… what do you think?  Have you ever used baskets in your refrigerator?  This is a first for me I have to admit.  It is a trial and error kind of thing. I think I will like it… it makes sense. But we will see.
Your turn to organize your refrigerator!  I want to see what you have done.

The freezer is coming up tomorrow!

I’d love for you to link it up to my Organizing Mission Monday Link Party
It will be open until April 9, 2011 to link to, so you have time to work on your pantry and refrigerator

Organizing Mission Monday

I LOVE your comments

I’m linking this post up to

HandyMan, Crafty Woman
Organizing Junkie

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27 Responses to “Organizing the Refrigerator”
  1. Candice says:

    LOL! I have the same cheese wrapper problem in my house! I think it’s like a fridge epidemic, stop the madness! Nice job on the fridge though, makes me think I really need to get mine done today!

  2. Ah ha! Very clever idea with the baskets! I might be stealing that little jewel.

  3. Sandy says:

    lol.. go for it!

  4. Roberta says:

    Love the baskets since we have a tiny refrigerator here now at the Love Shack and DH hates to BEND over to find things…lol

  5. Cathy says:

    I hate messing refrigerators too! I date everything with a felt tip once it’s been opened and placed in the frig.

  6. Meg says:

    There’s an award for you over on my blog…

  7. Sandy says:

    Oh… you are good! I should do that…. {hangs head in shame!}

  8. Sandy says:

    oh.. thank you!!

  9. Martha (MM) says:

    Ok Sandy, you must really have me motivated. I just got home from work and after reading this I admitted to myself that my fridge is pretty bare right now and it’s due for a good cleaning – and it’s garbage night too so what the heck, perfect timing. I’m off to get it done while I have dinner going. I’ll link up later this evening or tomorrow. Thanks for the motivation! :-)

  10. Sandy says:

    Awesome Martha!! You go girl!

  11. Denyse says:

    I used to find cheese wrappers everywhere…my little mouse is now 15 so she learned where the garbage is…LOL

  12. Sandy says:

    One of my mice is 50 and he still doesn’t always remember! LOL But he does a lot in the kitchen to help me too…. so I can pick them up and not get upset.

  13. Martha (MM) says:

    I got it done! Heading over to link up now! Thanks so much for the motivation!!

  14. Sandy says:

    Sure!! thanks for reading!

  15. What a great idea using baskets! :-) Looks great, and so useful!

    WHY oh why does the fridge get so scuzzy?!?! I swear, I don’t put stuff back into the fridge that is drippy or slimy!! hmmm, maybe it’s “someone else”, lol.

  16. By the way, thanks for linking this up to our Wicked Awesome Wednesday link party!

  17. Sandy says:

    lol…. you have one of those in your house too? lol

  18. Cindy says:

    I absolutely love the baskets!!!! Such a great idea, particularly if you still have the old style fridge with the freezer on top – no more crawling on the ground to pull items out from the back. Simply genius!!!

  19. Sandy says:

    Thanks Cindy!

  20. xmaggiex says:

    hiya great project and tutorial ,how satisfying is cleaning you fridge out , i love the feeling , have not tried baskets in the fridge yet but will keep in mind for my jams and such x i am visitng from handy man crafty woman and i am your newest follower too hope you can visit me too

  21. Sandy says:

    Thanks!! i’ll check out your blog!

  22. Hedi says:

    Looks really good! I have thought about using plastic boxes myself on one or two shelves, it would be easier to get items and not worring about items falling in every direction. Especially when there is a lot of food.

  23. allysgrandma says:

    Hey I have that frig….Costco?? It is so much easier with my new freezer on the bottom frig to use up stuff. Seriously I have had it 3 months and I have hardly thrown out any food from the frig.

    I love the red baskets. They would look so good in my craft/quilting/office room.

  24. Sandy says:

    I don’t know if it came from Costco or not? It was here when I bought the house. I don’t like it, but it works! lol

  25. Sue B says:

    Great job on the fridge….. and yes, I think you & I might be the only ones in our families that it occurs to, to throw out the empty cheese slice wrapper… I really cleaned our fridge like that recently and found clear plastic ‘drawers’ called Fridge Binz… They really do help keeping things from getting lost. It’s been almost 2 months & the fridge has been in pretty good shape. I organized my deep chest freezer just before school started (defrosted & washed it down inside & out – vacuumed the motor/fan thingy)… anyhow, things got lost in the bottom because it’s so deep & I’m only 5’3″…. so for me to reach the bottom I have to just about climb in… I ended up purchasing milk crate type bins that are for school lockers… they’re narrower & I was able to fit them 2 deep & 2 stacked. I had 3 hanging baskets that came with the freezer. On 2 of those (the ones over the bins) I had to cut the hanging parts off with a hacksaw & they sit on top of the baskets (they were about 1/2″ too tall). I have 2 bins for veggies, 2 for fruits, 2 for hamburger (including meatballs, patties, taco meat, etc) 2 for pork & other meat (venison, other wild game, steak) I actually have 4 for chicken – we eat alot of chicken…. then the remaining end is for big items like whole hams, turkeys, chickens, roasts etc….. the 3 baskets contain, prepackaged meats (hot dogs, sandwich meat) another contains french fries & pies, and the last one contains cheeses & butter & homemade frozen meals (lasagna, soups, etc)…. I’m sorry… just realized how looooong this post is…. I just want to say that organizing your freezer & fridge like that is THE BEST! I can’t tell you how much time & work it’s saved me. Hope that you can glean something from what I did. :-)

  26. Sandy says:

    I would love to see pictures Sue!!

  27. Sue B says:

    Ha!!! I will…. once I figure out how to do it…. lol

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