Most refrigerators start out organized and clean, but over time become cluttered with half-empty containers of old food. It’s difficult to keep your fridge looking spick and span when you’re shuffling things around to make dinner after a long day or have kids reaching in for afternoon snacks. But fridge organization has a lot of benefits, like inspiring you to cook more, encouraging you to be less wasteful, and making you happier every time you open it up.
Annette Joseph is an expert on all things lifestyle, from entertaining to cooking to interior design. In the video above, she shows us how to organize a refrigerator in a way that’s both functional and stylish.
Start by taking everything out of your fridge and laying it on one flat surface. Then, organize your food into like groupings. Joseph suggests putting all the vegetables in one pile, separating sweet and savory condiments, and grouping your dairy products.
“It’s really like a fun food Jenga game,” she says. “Think about the function of your refrigerator and that will help you organize it and personalize it, because you probably don’t eat all the exact same things [my] family eats.”
Joseph also suggests using a Lazy Susan in your refrigerator to help you reach items in the way back. She places all of her jellies, jams, and peanut butters on one, so she can easily see all of her options for making a sandwich for the kids.
Another suggestion that Joseph has is to take things like garlic or olives out of jars and place them into hermetically sealed containers. She also pours her juices from the plastic containers into glass containers. “It looks pretty and it’s organized,” she says. “It’s also great, because when you’re entertaining, it’s already in a really pretty carafe.”
To store vegetables, Joseph uses baskets. The baskets are perfectly safe in the lower temperatures and will enhance the overall look of your cold storage. Instead of using plastic to wrap her vegetables, she uses a reusable and compostable food wrap called Bee’s Wrap.
“I love to use trays in my refrigerator. The idea of gathering things together, it subliminally makes you want to put it back where it belongs,” Joseph explains. “So, I put all my dairy together in this really cool tray.” She compares organizing your refrigerator to organizing a bookshelf. “If it’s beautiful and it’s organized, it’s going to make you super happy,” she adds.