Believe it or not, how you organize your refrigerator can actually dictate how well you eat. I wanted to do a refrigerator makeover ever since I first saw a beautiful image of a colorful, freshly stocked refrigerator pop up on Pinterest a long time ago. I never imagined the added benefits it would have on my health and wallet. Since I have arranged my fridge this way, my entire family eats more fruits and vegetables and because I can easily see what I already have stocked, I no longer inadvertently buy doubles at the grocery store.

Above is a picture of my refrigerator.  My two most important suggestions are 1) use clear containers, preferable glass or BPA-free plastic 2) and don’t overcrowd the space because when you can see what you have, you are much more likely to eat it. My personal container of choice are 8-32oz, wide-mouth mason jars.  

Here are my top 10 tips for refrigerator organization:

  1. Veggies Store chopped or sliced veggies e.g cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, celery, bell peppers, asparagus, snap peas or any veggie of choice) in containers on a shelf front and center so they’re the first foods you see upon opening the fridge.
  2. Fruit Rinse and gently dry your favorite fruits like grapes, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and store in the containers they were purchased in on a shelf front and center so they’re clearly visible upon opening the fridge. Other fruits like clementines, plums, peaches, apples, lemon, lime, can be stored in their own designated fruit drawer preferably within reach of the little ones for easy access.
  3. Leafy Greens and Fresh Herbs If they are going to be eaten within the next 3 days chop, wash, spin dry and store in a clear, airtight container on a lower shelf. Fresh herbs last longer if you wrap them in a damp paper towel before placing them in a container. 
  4. Flavor Enhancers I keep all the foods I use to enhance flavor, like onions, shallots, chives, garlic, ginger, fennel, together in the bottom drawer. 
  5. Protein I like to keep fish, poultry, meats, tofu, tempeh and eggs on the top shelf. Avoid storing eggs in the door because it is s the warmest part of the fridge. Tip: I like to remove the top of the egg carton so I know when it’s time to restock.
  6. Dairy Keep the cheese, yogurt, sour cream stored in a lower drawer, slightly hidden, to encourage more moderate consumption. 
  7. Drinks Put these on the middle or top shelf with labels facing out and placing sweetened drinks like juice towards the back and water in the front to encourage healthier hydration
  8. Condiments Keep like condiments together. A: salad dressings. B: ketchup, mustard, mayo, pickles, capers. C: soy sauce, rice vinegar, pickled ginger, tahini, miso. 
  9. Pre-made meals Store 1-2 pre-made meals like soup, stew, or sauces in a clear jar on the main shelf for nights when you are tired and tempted to order takeout. You won’t want takeout when you have a delicious home-cooked meal on the ready.

Finally, make it colorful and pretty so every time you open the fridge you can’t help but smile ear to ear. 🙂