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Organize Your Refrigerator to Reduce Food Waste

organized refrigerator with fruits and vegetables

How many times have you purchased fresh food and put it in your refrigerator with the intentions of adding more fruits, vegetables, dairy, ______ (you fill in the blank) to your diet?

Somehow the fresh food gets pushed towards the back. Sometimes it’s even in a good location on a shelf, but not at eye level.

You forget about the fresh food and never see it again. That is, until you finally clean out your refrigerator and it’s too late…the food is spoiled and rotten.

Thankfully there could actually be a simple solution to the problem of “out of sight, out of mind” when it comes to organizing your refrigerator.

You see, the majority of us inherit or purchase a refrigerator, plug it in, and begin filling it up. We never think about how it’s designed.

If the factory assembled it, then it must the the correct way, right?

Well, maybe.

We all have different needs when it comes to how we store our food. Most manufacturers are very aware of this and that’s why they provide different models and styles of refrigerators. Each product usually comes assembled…BUT, almost every single refrigerator has adjustable shelving to customize it to fit the unique needs of each household.

That’s where we come in. We can actually organize our refrigerator to the specific needs of our family and reduce food waste! 

This little solution popped into my head recently when my refrigerator was an absolute disaster. So, I decided to do something about it (and take a few pictures along the way for you to see :)

Here’s the dirty, unorganized refrigerator that needs some major help. Please don’t judge me by the contents! We do have quite a bit of fruits and veggies, but they are towards the bottom of the refrigerator, not even close to eye level.

Refrigerator dirty and unorganized

In fact, when I open the refrigerator door, this is what I see at eye level. Milk! You may not be able to tell, but there’s a ton of wasted space above the milk. I won’t ever forget we have milk…my toddler won’t let me. But, since I don’t see anything else when I immediately open the door, it’s very easy to think, “we don’t have anything good to eat” even though the refrigerator is stocked full.

dirty and unorganized refrigerator up close

So, I got to work. I removed all the food, took out all the shelves, and cleaned the entire refrigerator. Then I placed the shelves in locations that would work better for our family. Now, when I open the door, this is what I see at eye level…healthy fruits and vegetables!

organized refrigerator with fruits and vegetables

Just a little reorganizing in the refrigerator has made a world of difference for our family. We don’t waste as much food because we can see it. And since I can see it, I don’t buy duplicate products so that saves us money.

The shelving is adjustable for a reason….I just can’t believe it took me this long to actually adjust them!

How about you? Did you move in and stock your fridge immediately? Or have you adjust the shelving in your refrigerator to fit the needs of your family?

linked to Organize Your Stuff Now

  • Lisa August 8, 2011, 8:31 am

    I just cleared out my entire fridge a week ago and reorganized (complete with labels – yes, I know but it helps my husband remember). I didn’t even think about moving the milk down to a lower shelf though – that is genius.

    I’ll be putting the milk and juice down low tonight and moving the veggies and healthy snacks up to the top.

  • Michelle T August 8, 2011, 2:20 pm

    We have the same fridge! I would never have thought to move the milk down. It belongs on top, right? Ha! Thanks for the idea :)

  • Stacy August 23, 2011, 11:09 am

    That is genius!!! I am going to do that tonight. I hate how my fridge is set up because the bottom shelf is only tall enough to get two dozen eggs on. Thank you!

    • iDreamOfClean August 23, 2011, 11:35 am

      Wow! You are so kind! Maybe it will feel like you got a brand new appliance when the rearranging is complete :-)

  • janie August 25, 2011, 7:48 am

    oooh – a lightbulb moment! Of course the milk / juice can go at the bottom!! And I might just get a trim waist be bending down to get it out of the fridge!

    • iDreamOfClean August 25, 2011, 9:49 am

      Don’t you just LOVE lightbulb moments!! If only they could happen more often!

  • Rachael October 12, 2011, 9:44 am

    Wow. We keep our milk in the door of our fridge, but we have tons of misc bottles floating around the fridge. Why don’t I move the milk to the large shelf and put all of those bottles in the door. I can’t believe I didn’t think of this till now. Thanks!

  • Stephanie Watson December 25, 2013, 8:43 pm

    We have the same refrigerator. I have mine set up like your “after” pics :)