So in my hopes to be ready to Back To School last week I showed you how I organise my containers in my Organised Lunch Box Station.
This week I'm going to dive into the depths of my fridge. Clean, rearrange and organise ready for the year ahead. And not just the interior of the fridge. I'd like to completely redo the front as well.
Let's have a quick look at some of the before photos ...
I know, I know ... it's a bit scary. You can hardly even see what is in there. The bad part is this is mid week, so the fridge isn't even full. The first thing I did was really look at what was and wasn't working for us.
- There is a shelf missing from our door which my hubby accidentally broke off about a year or so ago. I feel like I could utilize the storage space if I could find a way to fit it.
- The tray of condiments isn't working on the bottom shelf and is overflowing with too many sauces that I'm sure we don't ever use or are out-of-date.
- There was no complete system in place for where everything lived. Something had homes, while other just got stuffed into any free space they fit into.
- The drawers, which area always jam-packed with fruit and vegetables, are really hard to wipe clean regularly.
- The shelving is at awkward heights, making it difficult to fit everything we need in.
- The front - It's just a mess of vouchers, bills, photographs, meal planners, magnets ... the works. I can't stand the sight of it any longer.
- The sandwich making tray works great. I love begin able to just grab the whole tray out when I need to make lunches. (I'd love it to be prettier though!)
- I love having a basket for the kids yoghurts, as other wise they tend to scatter everywhere.
- I like that the two drawers at the bottom are dedicated to fruits and vegetables, and are easily accessible to the kids.
So now was the time to sit and make a plan. I took measurements of the interior of the fridge and shelving heights, and then set off to the shop with my new design in search of some trays and containers.
Then it was time to empty and clean everything. This is where I get to a point, with the entire contents of my fridge scattered around the kitchen counters, where I wonder what I have got myself into. But the key is to soldier on ...
I used some Loctite Go2 Glue All Purpose Glue to adhere the old shelf back into the bottom of the fridge door. I'm not sure how it will hold up, but it's been there for a few days and it seems to be staying put, so I'm quietly optimistic about it.
Finally it was time to start putting everything back into place. This is where my excitement starts.
Time for the after reveal ...
In the door we have...
- Cheeses and Butter at the top
- A secret stash of chocolate or chocolate biscuits in this little lockable section, which I think is actually meant for medicines.
- Cream and sour cream fit nicely onto the small shelf.
- Drinks, including milk. I'd love to get some glass jars for my milk, which I saw Jen from iheart organizing but I have not found anything I am happy with just yet.
- Then my newly fix bottom shelf in home to all our left overs, clearly packed so you can see what they are. I use take and toss containers that I buy from Pantry Packer. They are so cheap and I find that it is so much easier to just throw the whole container away when you're done (sorry Earth!!!).
Doesn't that just look so much better. I have actually been opening the fridge for no reason other than just to have another look at it.
Let me take you on a little tour of my favourite parts, and how the newly organised space is working for us now.
The Top Shelf
The top shelf is home to...
- Our newly purged condiments container, which is a InterDesign Fridge Bin which I found at Howards Storage World. I switched out our tomato sauce and mayonnaise to an upside down bottle to help with the fact that sauce always seems to end up on the roof of my fridge.
- An awkwardly tall bottle of lemon juice, lime juice, instant dried yeast (which is best stored in the fridge!) and a bottle of Aloe Vera (Aussie life, cold Aloe Vera is a necessity!)
- Hubby's work lunch and snacks, both in nice neat containers I found at Ned's. They are the perfect size, easy to lift in and out of the fridge, as well as easy to clean.
The 2nd Shelf
The 2nd shelf holds...
- A new and oh so pretty sandwich tray. I found it at The Reject Shop. It's an A4 document tray and it the perfect fit for everything we need to make a sandwich. (I will create a separate post with more information about this tray and the snack tray later!)
- A carton of eggs
- A tray of snacks for the kids lunch boxes as well as after school.
The 3rd Shelf
On the 3rd shelf we have...
- A tray to keep all out dinner meats contained. I like the idea of having them sectioned off from everything else to keep the risk of contamination down. As well this tray will be super easy to keep clean and sanitised unlike the entire fridge shelf they used to sit on.
- The rest of this shelf is mostly free with room for our extra milk cartons and a small container of choc-chips there in the corner (another Aussie life shout out!!!)
The Bottom Shelf
The bottom shelf contains...
- A container of watermelon at the moment, but this will be another free space to fill with whatever happens to be coming home from the grocery store that week, which doesn't have a specific home.
- Two small magazine holders I also found for $3 at Ned's, which are now home to our squeezable yoghurt tubes. I love how easy these are to pack into kids lunch boxes. I buy them when they are on special at the grocery store, but other time I make up my own using a large tub. I love that these are at a great easy access point for the kids.
Lastly the drawers. I didn't really change these up much except for lining them both with a large plastic place mat from Ikea. They were only $1.95 each and I was able to measure and cut them easily to fit in the bottom of each drawer. I love how they add such a great pop of colour to the drawers, as well as making them so much easier to clean.
I almost forgot to mention that the whole project wouldn't have been complete to me until I had nicely labelled everything. I used my Silhouette Cameo and some vinyl for the 'Jams' and 'Sauces' bins, and for all the others I used some clear tape in my labeller and some label stickers I found at Officeworks. I actually had some trouble keeping them adhered to the cold surfaces of the containers, so I used a little square of clear contact over the top and that seemed to work out much better!
So there we have it, my beautifully cleaned and organised fridge interior. Now to take a look at the outside.
I have turned the fridge door into a mini command centre. I will post about in more depth later as it is not entirely finished yet. But I wanted you to get a look at the newly 'uncluttered' look I am going for now. The fridge just seems like the perfect place to have all this information readily available as I spend so many hours in the kitchen.
The fridge is a very high traffic area and one of my goals this year is to keep it organised at all times to stop food waste and to try and help with our budget as well.
I think one of the biggest problems I face after I organise a space is forgetting to allow room to let it grow. It's fine to organise what you have but sometimes you need to remember that you may get more of that particular item, and what fits well into a tidy basket now might not fit in a years time. That's where the organisation fails and you find yourself back reorganising the same spaces.
I knew going into this fridge clean out that the contents of our fridge changes very frequently. While we may not have many dinner meats one week, for example we may be eating out or eating out of the freezer (which is more likely!) another week we may have heaps. I really wanted this space to be functional and able to grow and change with our family. This is why I made sure that the baskets and trays I used were big enough to fit any situation.
I also hope that it give you some inspiration to clean out and organise your fridge as well as find solutions to keep it neat and organised all year long!