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No matter what your diet, no matter what your favorite meals, sometimes it feels like there’s just no way to keep your fridge organized.

There’s always some drawer that’s too full, some bottle of something that could’ve been thrown away two years ago, and seemingly never enough room for the groceries you just drove home with.

 

And while the occasional fridge purge is a good call, sometimes an overcrowded fridge can be the result of an organizational problem at the heart of it all. Unless you’ve got a solid plan for what things go where, you’re bound to wind up right back where you started before long.

It doesn’t have to be an all-day project, though! With a few quick fridge organization strategies, you can get your fridge under control and keep it that way for the future:

 

Organize by need and expiration date

One of the fastest ways to get a more organized fridge is to start sorting things by when you need to eat them by. The highest shelves in your fridge should be saved for ‘ready-to-eat’ foods like leftovers, yogurt, or anything from the deli that needs to be eaten quickly. If you’re using any kind of storage in your fridge like boxes or baskets, make sure to properly label it so everyone knows to go for those items first.

 

Give everything a home

Sure, there’s the tried and true method of keeping soda cans on one shelf, milk on another, and the like, but you can actually save yourself a ton of hassle by further housing everything inside the fridge. You can actually save a lot of hassle by using pantry organizers for this – a lot of things like can organizers and metal baskets can make a perfect home inside the fridge for things like holding beverages and organizing small jars of sauces and condiments.

 

Label everything

We do mean everything, or at least everything not being stored in a container with an easily visible expiration date. Get labels for your plastic leftover containers to clearly mark when they were made (and when they should be eaten by). If you really want to help keep things tidy, use label holders to mark off where everything needs to go in the fridge. That way there’s no more confusion over where, exactly, all these bottles of water should go!

 

Follow the unwritten rules

A lot of refrigerated foods have ideal storage requirements that many people aren’t aware of, but knowing these tips can actually help keep your fridge better-organized and your food safer. Meat, for example, should only ever be stored in the freezer or in the absolute lowest part of the fridge to avoid accidental drips. Fruits and veggies should be stored in separate drawers to avoid humidity issues, and milk should be kept on the middle shelf (where the temperature is most consistent) to prevent spoilage.

 

Once you’ve got a system in place, keeping your fridge organized and stocked should be easier than ever!

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