You probably know about creating zones in the kitchen. But, have you ever created zones in your refrigerator? You may be thinking, "why do I need to make zones in my refrigerator?" I know it sounds a little OCD, but it will help you save time and money when preparing for meals each day. Don't worry this will be quick and painless, I promise. I divide my fridge into the zone: the lunch, the drinks, the condiments, and the leftover zones. We will talk about the freezer zones another time.
In the lunch zone: I place items like cheeses, cold cuts, etc... Anything I would use to make sandwiches.
- I also added plastic trays to hold puddings, hummus, and yogurt so the kids could look at it for their lunch.
In the drinks zone: I place items such as the milk and juice at eye level right when I open the door. I do not put these on the door, however they are always inside the fridge.
- I added the wine holder trays so I can lay bottles on their side. They work great not just for wine, but for beer bottles and small bottles of juice.
For the condiment zone: You would place these items on the door for easy access. I have enough room on the door, so I divided the door into sub-categorized bins. Each bin has its category contained in it:
- Toppings for sandwiches
- Meat marinades
- Additions to salads
- Sundae toppings
- Butter in the butter tray
The Leftover Zone is usually on the top shelf of the fridge so I can pull from them fast and it won't get lost in the back of the refrigerator.
In the Meal Prep Zone: determine what you use on a regular basis and place in this area. You can even use a bin just for dinner that night. Hold items that need to be refrigerated in the bin so when you return home all you need to do is take out the container, and you are ready to go.
Having these zones are very helpful when moving stuff in and out of the refrigerator. But what about the other items? Visit our post for additional tips (10 Tips to Keep Your Refrigerator Organized) Here are some additional tips to help you maximize your usability in your fridge.
- Use narrow bins for individually packaged apple sauce, yogurt, and other small quick snack items.
- Make your own baggies of snacks and store them on open top plastic or acrylic tray.
- Use a bin for lunch meat condiments and lunch meats.
- Place a container on the shelf that says "meat to use for dinner". Place only dinner meat in it.
- Line drawers with fabric liners and periodically replace them as they get old.
- Use stackable storage containers and designate an area in the fridge just for leftovers.
- Use mason jars as needed to store herbs and asparagus vertically.
That's it! It wasn't that bad, right? What zones do you use in your refrigerator organization? Do you have tips you would like to share? Please leave a comment below! I would love to hear from you!
***AD*** from Released Repurpose Reorganize: My List Simplified journal is a wonderful organizing tool for planning a move or a renovation. Use it to corral all the to-dos.
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I know someone who, being realistic about her haphazard consistency of preparing meals, refers to her vegetable crisper drawer as her composter drawer!
I've always been a fan of The Leftover Zone, which I call The Eat First Shelf (because food can start to get old and need to be used up without being, strictly, a leftover)! The handier the better.
My refrigerator is fairly well organized, but I'm starting to discover the advantages of using containers for small items on shelves. I'm tired of having cheese fall down the back!
Recently I introduced a clear plastic "fridge bin" to hold different beverage bottles. I like how it keeps them neatly on the shelf. We have zones for things, but until I read your post, I hadn't exactly thought of them that way. The main thing is that we know where to find stuff like berries on the berry shelf, cheese in the cheese drawer, and veggies in the vegetable drawer.
Sabrina, I also use baskets to coral the stuff in my fridge. I always keep the juice and milk in the same place, and left overs in the bottom next to the extra milk bags.