How to Clean & Organize Your Refrigerator

How to clean & organize a refrigerator ... and keep it that way! Great tips and ideas for easy & practical refrigerator organization!After realizing that my fantasy of having Real Housewives Yolanda Foster’s fridge was never going to happen, I decided that mine needed a serious cleaning and reorganization. My current situation was a fridge with no extra room, lots of expired food, and all the wrong containers. We even had an empty 6 pack beer holder in the fridge while the individual cans were scattered throughout. So here’s my way to organize a refrigerator …. Yolanda style.

What You’ll Need

  • Paper towels
  • Towels
  • Rags/Sponge
  • Cleaning spray (here’s some great DIY options)
  • Garbage bags
  • Lots of extra counter space
  • Dish soap

Instructions

Take everything out of your fridge and start using up that free counter space I mentioned!

How to clean & organize a refrigerator ... and keep it that way! Great tips and ideas for easy & practical refrigerator organization!

Now remove all shelves and drawers from the fridge (but before you do, take a picture  so you remember where all the shelves go).

How to clean & organize a refrigerator ... and keep it that way! Great tips and ideas for easy & practical refrigerator organization!

With the fridge completely empty, clean the fridge with a rag and cleaning spray. Make sure to start from the top and work your way down. For the areas that are extra dirty, let the cleaner sit for a couple minutes before scrubbing off with a sponge.

Clean all the shelves and drawers with warm soapy water in the sink. I’ve got a large double sink and a retractable hose, but if you don’t you could use your bathtub! Dry them with dish towels and set them aside.

How to clean & organize a refrigerator ... and keep it that way! Great tips and ideas for easy & practical refrigerator organization!

Now review all the groceries that are sitting How to clean & organize a refrigerator ... and keep it that way! Great tips and ideas for easy & practical refrigerator organization!on your counters, throwing away expired items and consolidating duplicates. When doing this I discovered I owned two soy sauces both half used. I also found a missing face mask. This is also a good time to group like items together.

Add your shelving back in to the fridge, being thoughtful about the placement to maximize your space. I ended up removing one of the shelves to allow storage containers to fit better.

How to clean & organize a refrigerator ... and keep it that way! Great tips and ideas for easy & practical refrigerator organization!

I purchased a couple key accessories to help me stay organized.  First is the containers from our sandwich meat that I use for all our leftovers. They’re a great stack-able size and technically free storage. So needless to say, I always buy the same brand sandwich meat 🙂 .

How to clean & organize a refrigerator ... and keep it that way! Great tips and ideas for easy & practical refrigerator organization!

In an attempt to keep my produce ‘alive’ as long as possible I’ve been an avid users of Bluapple. They absorb ethylene gas which apparently causes produce to over ripen. My motto is “anything helps.”

How to clean & organize a refrigerator ... and keep it that way! Great tips and ideas for easy & practical refrigerator organization!

I love these clear plastic egg holders, not only because I pretend they resemble something in Yolanda’s fridge, but also because they’re stack-able and I’m always hurting for space in the fridge.

How to clean & organize a refrigerator ... and keep it that way! Great tips and ideas for easy & practical refrigerator organization!

I know most vegetables aren’t supposed to be stored in the fridge, but my preference for clean counters trumps properly storing produce.  One thing I do try to prevent is the pieces of onions and garlic that get all over the fridge. To combat that, I allocate one clear bin to ‘veggies only.’

How to clean & organize a refrigerator ... and keep it that way! Great tips and ideas for easy & practical refrigerator organization!

Finally, wash & dry your grocery items before putting back. Even if they’re not noticeably dirty or sticky, they likely have perspiration on them for sitting out on the counter.

How to clean & organize a refrigerator ... and keep it that way! Great tips and ideas for easy & practical refrigerator organization!

And TADA! I hope your fridge is clean and organized enough to be a work of art (just like Yolanda)!

How to clean & organize a refrigerator ... and keep it that way! Great tips and ideas for easy & practical refrigerator organization!

This post has been featured in: The Kolb Corner

How to clean & organize a refrigerator ... and keep it that way! Great tips and ideas for easy & practical refrigerator organization!

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How to clean & organize a refrigerator ... and keep it that way! Great tips and ideas for easy & practical refrigerator organization!

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24 Comments

  1. November 11, 2015 / 8:49 pm

    I wish my fridge was half as clean (or organized) as yours. Kudos! I’ll definitely utilize a few of these tips next time I get around to cleaning my fridge…

  2. November 12, 2015 / 12:54 pm

    You just reminded me that I need to do this! Though the fridge is probably the most used appliance in our home, it often gets overlooked with cleaning. Your tips will certainly get me there though. Thank you for sharing this on #SHINEbloghop today, Lindsay! So great of you to join us this week!

  3. November 13, 2015 / 7:48 am

    Stopping by from THAT Friday Blog Hop, hi! I actually did this this week and it is amazing how different it makes it look. It took quite awhile but it’s such a good thing to do – I need to do it more often. Also so easy to see what I have on hand now or what I need to get from the store! Feel free to stop by & say hi!

  4. November 14, 2015 / 3:41 am

    This reminds me that my fridge needs cleaning and sorting out. My freezer needs to be defrosted too! Great tips, thank you 🙂 #PoCoLo

  5. November 14, 2015 / 2:28 pm

    Well done! That makes such a difference. I don’t think we stock our fridge full enough to have to do this! Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo x

  6. Allie
    November 15, 2015 / 8:54 am

    Will you come over and clean my fridge? LOVE this!

    • Lindsay @ Crazy Organized
      November 15, 2015 / 8:56 am

      Any excuse to come visit you in Chicago!! 🙂

      • Rhonda
        June 1, 2016 / 8:48 am

        How about visiting in Atlanta? Haha… I just Cleaned out every thing and threw out junk I couldn’t believe was in there. I did this before I read your way. All is clean, but my organization skills are NOTHING like yours. BTW: I FELL IN LOVE WITH YOLANDAS FRIDGE ALSO.

        • Lindsay @ Crazy Organized
          June 22, 2016 / 4:36 pm

          Hahahaha 🙂 Totally agree. I’m always surprised what I have hiding in our fridge. Wish we could all have Yolandas fridge, right???

  7. November 16, 2015 / 6:38 am

    Thanks for the inspiration! I’ve never thought to take a picture of the shelves before.

    Thanks for linking up with the FrugalMommas team!

  8. November 16, 2015 / 6:51 am

    I love how you suggested to take a picture to remember how the shelves were set up!

    Jem

    PS Decided to follow you via pinterest! Thanks for the two great ideas today!

  9. November 16, 2015 / 4:09 pm

    Mine is a disaster compared to yours. Thanks for sharing on the #HomeMattersParty . I hope you will join us again next week.

  10. November 17, 2015 / 6:56 am

    I hate cleaning out the fridge!! never know what you will find!! lol! Thanks for sharing on My 2 Favorite things on Thursday!! Hope to see you again this week! Pinned!

  11. November 17, 2015 / 8:27 am

    Definitely some great tips!

    • November 17, 2015 / 8:28 am

      Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  12. November 17, 2015 / 7:01 pm

    Wow, thanks for sharing these tips on how to keep a clean and organized refrigerator with us at Cooking and Crafting with J & J.
    We hope to see you again. Thanks.

  13. November 17, 2015 / 7:19 pm

    Oh my gosh! I needed this so much. I love having a clean refrigerator and my gets so unorganized and crammed full. Thanks for sharing.

  14. November 18, 2015 / 4:57 am

    Our refrigerator definitely needs a cleaning! Thank you for your organization tips and the inspiration!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

  15. Whitney F
    November 20, 2015 / 6:23 am

    Amazing! How about adding 100 lbs of wild boar?! 🙂 Where does that go?

  16. November 21, 2015 / 5:02 am

    This is something I always procrastinate about – cleaning the fridge! I don’t think I’ve ever done a whole take-the-shelves out cleaning, lol! Thanks for sharing at the Thoughtful Spot!

  17. November 26, 2015 / 8:07 pm

    My fridge definitely gets the least amount of attention cleaning-wise in our house. The tip for taking a picture to remember where you have your shelves set up is genius! Thanks for sharing this, found you at Saucy Saturday!

  18. November 30, 2015 / 6:10 pm

    I LOVE this post! I have never thought to take everything out and basically start all over–cleaning, tossing, and reorganizing food. Usually, I just pick things up as I wipe one shelf at a time. Love it!

  19. Barbie
    June 29, 2016 / 8:04 pm

    I just cleaned my fridge. I was so proud thinking I was being smart taking a picture first! LOL! I always take pictures before because I can never remember how I had it, and I wanted to see if the plastic bins I picked up at the Dollar Store helped or hurt. ( I think saving my lunch meat packages would have worked just as well, oh well, you live, you learn)
    The hubby and I have been going fishing a lot and oh my goodness!!! Let’s just say that it was a very odorous job!!!! LOL!!!
    We now have a green bin for bait only!
    I also used labels… I think I’m addicted to those now.Great tips, loved your post.

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