With the holiday season among us, this means that our schedules are about to become a bit busier and our fridges and pantries may become a bit more crowded. Between hosting obligations and the anticipated turkey and side dish leftovers, finding space in an already crammed refrigerator may seem nearly impossible.
So, what can be done?
Before you bring another Tupperware container or bulk-size box into the fridge, take some time to make some necessary improvements to this space.
HOW TO GET YOUR FRIDGE ORGANIZED ONCE AND FOR ALL
Clear it out! Clear off a nearby workspace. Next, I recommend pulling everything out of the fridge and categorizing what you have before purchasing any organizing products. Your counter or table may look a little messy, but this step will allow you to see how many categories you have while also giving you the chance to weed out anything that may have expired or that your family doesn’t eat.
Keep like with like. Dedicate areas of your fridge for certain types of food so that you know where to find what you're looking, when you're looking for it. Not only will you always know where to find a category, but you’ll also have a visual cue for when it’s time to replace an item in a category or help to prevent buying duplicates on your next grocery run.
Use clear containers to make your life easier. Put your food in clear containers that fit well on your fridge shelves. Not only will the container make it easy for you to pull in and out of the fridge and help keep your shelves clean, but it will also help you see what you have and remind you to use it. Oh, and add labels (with chalk markers or from a label maker) to help everyone know what’s being stored inside.
Make food easy for everyone to access. When it is difficult to know or see what you have on hand, a lot of times it leads to developing a good amount of wasted food and products because you don’t know where what you need is when you need to use it. When everything in your fridge has a home it is easy to always know where to find the item.
Make adjustments. Fridge shelves are adjustable and may need to be tweaked to best fit your needs. Similar to other areas of your home, the vertical space in your fridge often gets wasted but it's full of valuable real estate.
But how do you make sure that your fridge stays organized? I’ve got a bonus tip for you:
Check the out-of-sight places regularly! The bottoms of fridge drawers and back shelves can become scary pits for expired foods if they aren't kept up on a regular basis. Before you stop by the grocery store make it a priority to pull out items in each category (and especially the drawers) to keep expiration dates in check and also refresh your mind with what you have already available in your fridge and what needs to be replaced.
This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.