Home & Outdoors

This is the secret to organizing your refrigerator

This hack is a fridge game-changer.

Fridge Credit: Andrey Popov/Getty Images

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My refrigerator organization method is basically shoving things wherever they'll fit. And while I try to stick to the usual "condiments and juice in the door" thing, sometimes leftovers and produce end up there, too. To put it simply, my refrigerator is a mess.

One woman has come up with a solution to that—and it's going viral on social media. Here's how she organizes her refrigerator door to make weekday snacks easier and how you can copy it for yourself.

What food you should keep in the refrigerator door

The refrigerator door is perfect for "self-serve" foods, according to mom Sarah Hornung's Facebook post. "Self-serve for my kiddos means help yourself without asking and it’s always an okay snack," she explains, adding it's a game-changer when it comes to packing lunches or picking dinner side dishes, too. She keeps things like baby carrots, grapes, cheese sticks, and clementines in her own refrigerator door.

What shouldn't go in the door? Our kitchen and cooking writer, Valerie Li, warns not to keep eggs or milk there as they are more vulnerable to changes in temperature. She says that the same goes for fresh-squeezed juice—all of these are best kept in the back of the fridge where it's cooler and more consistent.

How to store food in your refrigerator door

"After grocery shopping, I always wash and prep all of the food," Sarah writes, noting that she puts lids on containers with fruits and veggies so they stay fresh and don't go bad. Other pre-packaged foods (like cheese sticks and yogurts) she keeps in open plastic or glass containers so they're easily accessible to grab and go.

Once you get it all set up, Valerie recommends not constantly rearranging. "Moving food from one part of the fridge to another exposes it to more temperature fluctuations, which decreases its quality while increasing the speed at which it spoils," she says.

Other refrigerator organization hacks

Refrigerator
Credit: Hedgehog94/Getty Images

A clutter-free fridge is a happy fridge.

Besides how to arrange your groceries, one of the biggest questions people have about their refrigerators is how full to keep them. According to Marie Kondo, organization extraordinaire, you should only fill your refrigerator about 70 percent, keeping 30 percent open for leftovers or new groceries. Plus, more open space lets air circulate better in your refrigerator so it will operate more efficiently.

You should also check for expired items (or worse, moldy ones!) frequently and keep tabs on what's in your refrigerator at all times. That will prevent you from wasting food or over-buying groceries that you already have but forgot about. Valerie adds that a lazy Susan turntable can prevent things from getting lost in the back of your fridge, too.