Tidying the Fridge and Freezer the Marie Kondo way

This is the area of my kitchen I dread. I think because I already know it’s going to be messy, and potentially gross. Who wants to deal with that? Not to mention cold! So, today, I tackled the fridge and freezer.

I posted two videos below if you want to follow what I did (see Tidying Your Refrigerator the KonMari Way Parts 1 & 2). I also did a video of tidying the freezer but in trying to videotape and tidy at the same time I fear it might make you nauseous, so I'm just going to let you read through the notes below on how to tidy your freezer.

That said, here are some tips to help you declutter your whole refrigerator and make it look like you just moved in!

Tidy the Refrigerator

Depending how big your fridge is and how much you have in it, you may have more categories than me. You also don’t want to pull everything out all at once, especially if you have a lot of stuff. You don’t want it to go bad.

If you have a lot of stuff, go through it by category. This helps you recognize everything you have, and helps you start thinking about how to organize things. If you discover you have 5 bottles of flavored vinegar strewn throughout your fridge, you’re going to want to keep them together, just like other similar items.

Secondly, you’re going to actually clean the inside of your fridge as you go. You want to return your food to a clean fridge. After all, this isn’t something you’re going to need to do THAT often.

Here are the categories I did, in the order I suggest:

Sauces and Condiments (or, Side Door Stuff)

I think it’s easiest to start off with this category because most everything is going to be in a bottle or container. They’re easy to identify and grab. For me this was spaghetti sauces, hot sauce, sauerkraut, soy sauce, mayo, mustard, syrup, etc.

  1. Put them on your counter, or on your counter inside a clear bin.

  2. Clean the inside of your side door. Grab your beautiful ugly rags if you have them and wipe down the shelves.

  3. Separate the “Keepers” from the “Discard” pile. I used my sink for the discard pile.

  4. Combine your Keepers into similar groups and return them to the fridge.

  5. Deal with the Discard pile:

    1. Rinse out the containers

    2. Toss the contents into a compost bin - or, into a trash bag.

    3. Recycle the containers if you can.

Photo by Alan Turkus/Wikimedia under Creative Commons License 2.0

Tips for Organizing

  • Place items you use regularly in the most easily accessible location.

  • Put tall things behind shorter things.

Refrigerator Categories

Do the same process for the next categories until you’ve removed everything from your fridge and cleaned all areas:

  1. Fruits and Vegetables

  2. Proteins

  3. Dairy

  4. Leftovers and other perishables

  5. Drinks

Tidy the Freezer

As you can imagine, it’s a pretty similar process as the fridge, except you’ll want to work a little faster so you don’t leave the door open too long. For the freezer, these are the categories I went through:

  1. Fruits and Vegetables

  2. Proteins

  3. Leftovers

I didn’t have that much in the freezer, but I know a lot of people make much better use of theirs in storing bulk items and leftovers.

Couple things I learned as I threw out expired food:

  1. Learn to store food better... properly

  2. Put leftovers in the freezer to eat later if I don't plan to eat them that week

  3. Only buy things I actually like. :)

Sometimes I buy things because I want to try it, which is okay. Experimenting and branching out is okay.  Other times I buy things because I think I "should" eat this - it's healthy. And then it just sits in the fridge or freezer waiting to go bad. Just like buying clothes, only buy stuff you actually want. Even if you're trying to eat healthier, you likely already know what you prefer.

Enjoy your clean and tidy fridge and freezer! xoxo

Cover photo by Squared.one on Unsplash