Welcome to day #8 of 15 Ways to Organize for less than $15! Today I’m going to give you some tips for organizing a small fridge.
When we moved into our house we had a humongous fridge! The only problem was that it was hideously ugly.
So my husband, who is super sweet, went to Lowes to surprise me and buy me a new fridge. But what he didn’t know is that our kitchen is built so we have to have a counter-depth fridge. When the delivery guys brought the first fridge it stuck 1/2 way out over our pantry door! (oops)
So we went back to Lowes, with this new info of needing a counter-depth fridge, and found the same fridge, but the right dimensions. The only problem is that counter-depth fridges are typically a smaller that regular fridges because you loose up to 10″ of depth! You do gain some height but to me depth is more important.
Anyways we ended up with a fridge that fits but after having had a HUGE fridge, it was a big adjustment, and I had to figure out how to make everything fit. In our new fridge the produce drawers are the smallest I’ve ever seen (and I had 4 in the old fridge)! I realized I was going to have to think outside the box to make the new fridge work.
I decided to gather some baskets from around the house to organize the things that didn’t fit in drawers. Each basket has it’s own category and helps me keep the fridge looking clean and organized.
When I buy large bags of apples, or other loose fruit, they don’t fit in the produce drawer, so this basket holds all of them. I like having them in the basket because it makes it easy for my daughter to get a snack when she needs one.
On the other side of that shelf is our “Pizza Ingredients” basket. We have a 10 year tradition of having friends over and making pizza every Sunday night, so storing all of our pizza stuff in one place makes it easy to know what ingredients we have/don’t have, and it’s easy to carry everything out to the BBQ all together. Usually the cheese fits in the basket too but I had just bought another one at Costco and we weren’t quite out of the other one yet. Since our fridge is so organized there’s a little extra space on the shelf where I can store the next bag of cheese, until we need it. 🙂
I also have 2 smaller baskets, with handles, one holds Malea’s breakfast/sandwich makings (because I’m always feeding her breakfast and making her sandwiches at the same time so I just pull the whole basket out each morning). The other holds random items I’ve bought for my meal planning. Some of the items, like the salsa you see, would get eaten if I just set them in the fridge, but since they’re in the basket everyone knows they are going to be used in one of my recipes.
On the top shelf of the fridge is where I keep all our random loose items, like syrup, leftovers, eggs, leftover dinner ingredients that can be used if someone wants them, etc.
It’s a small fridge, but it’s WAY prettier than our last fridge, and because I was able to organize it using baskets, it functions perfectly. I also like that it’s small because we are constantly accountable for what’s in the fridge and we can never store too much stuff in it, I call it my minimalist fridge. 🙂
How do you keep your fridge organized? Or do you keep it organized? To organize ours it only cost me $9 but it’s priceless in the amount of headaches it saves me. 🙂 The clear container that hold our eggs (up to 2 dozen) was $3 at Target, the 2 baskets with handles were purchased in the dollar bins at Target ($2 total), our “Pizza” basket was $3 at Walmart and the other white basket was $1. If you have baskets laying around you house you can use those and then it won’t cost you anything! FYI – I haven’t seen the handled baskets at Target for awhile but I JUST saw them at Big Lots last week!
Join me Wednesday and I’m going to show you how I organize our remote controls (and keep them from getting lost)! To start from the beginning and see all the posts, click HERE.
Wow! I know that refrigerator is small to you but it looks huge to me. lol We replaced our old refrigerator a few years ago with another side by side which, like yours, had to fit in its designated space. For some reason, this refrigerator has so much less interior space than our old one. I have tiny drawers for fruit and veggies so I can’t have much produce in the refrigerator at any given time. I have so much less shelf and door space than your refrigerator. I tried doing that basket think once but there is no room for them. I notice that you don’t have milk in refrigerator. That takes up a lot of space in my refrigerator. The only thing I truly like about this fridge is the ice and water dispensers in the door! I love your great organizing ideas, though!
Lisa Tullis says
I LOVE the idea of having one basket for the ingredients you plan to use in a recipe! That’s a problem in our house. I buy something I plan on using for a recipe and often someone else in the house gets to it before me. This simple tip can save me many trips to the grocery store. Thanks!
Great organizing ideas! Love the pizza basket! I need one too, but my fridge is a lot smaller then this
Lauren @ Mom Home Guide says
Great idea! I have a small fridge, and because I cram everything in there, I often have trouble finding things! I am going to have to hit the dollar store and buy some baskets that I can label for the fridge!
That fridge is huge comparing to my (I do live in a small apartment). The baskets with handles are usually available in Dollar Tree, that’s where I got mine. I would not store bread and apples (and tomatoes in the winter) in the fridge, because I feel like they loose the taste, but it may be just me 🙂
Mark S says
Perhaps I am missing something but why did the huge refrigerator that was in the house fit yet you couldn’t find a replacement that would also fit and whose interior was of equal size to the older refrigerator? Again, I may have misread something but, if not, do you know why? It might make a difference to some of us who are in a position of replacing our current appliances. Thanks,
Billie Souto says
I Really Enjoy Your Page. A Lot Of Great Ideas. Things I Wouldn’t Of Thought Off.
Beverly Litynski says
I too have a fridge smaller than what I grew up with. Holiday foods and large roasts, turkeys and hams present the occasional challenge.
But day to day its the usual condiment, cooking sauces and other various sized bottles, jars, etc. My fridge is a bit skinnier widthwise but deeper which is my concern especially for 1 and 1/2 thin spaced shelves….each five inches high but both run the full depth/width or half the fridge width. The top shelf is also so deep that I have difficulty reaching way in back (for cleaning and grabbing items).
Would LOVE any ideas to reach and utilize the back sections of all my shelves and organize all those odd containers. I’ve repurposed skinny long cheap plastic flower boxes as skinny drawers and thought of using lazy susans. Dimensions of fridge inside is 25″ wide by 20″ deep with three shelves.
Bottom shelf is only 5in high. Middle shelf has half (10in) of its width with a 4in deep drawer and below the drawer is only space high enough to fit a tall cottage cheese tub….rest of middle shelf is 10in high on side opposite the drawer. Top shelf’s height is split 3 ways…..13in + 11in + 13in….because of the light and temp controls hung at midpoint. Thanks. (btw…I have physical limitations hampering my reach, etc.)
Bethany Davis says
Hi, Beverly! I’m Anna’s assistant, Bethany. Anna recommends layering with baskets the same way she did with a pantry in this post: https://askannamoseley.com/2012/03/spring-into-organization-my-organized-kitchen/ Her former pantry was very narrow and deep, similar to how you’re describing your fridge, so the baskets should help! Thanks!