Today I’m excited to be sharing some tips for organizing your fridge and pantry along with my friends from the Modern Handmade Home group! We’ve partnered with Kitchen Stuff Plus for this post and even though we just remodelled our kitchen… we hadn’t taken the time to really organize it. Things were shoved in on the shelves and even though we had plenty of space, it still felt overwhelming looking for ‘that soup mix that you know you have’.
I thought I’d give you a peek inside our cabinets and fridge and share a couple tips on how we’ve organized it to bring some order into our kitchen! If you want to see more of the kitchen (including how the microwave is hiding in one of these cabinets!), you can see our full kitchen reveal right here. Some of these tips aren’t so much for organizing but making things totally accessible and usable… you know, so you don’t waste food. And to help little hands do things themselves without making a big mess. Because we’re all about giving our kids space to do things themselves!
1. Group what you use at one time
We group all of our breakfast stuff on one shelf. Granola, cereals, oatmeal (behind the cereals) and coffee are all here. Snacks are all on one shelf (although I should probably replace all of our holiday chocolate with a healthier option- ha!) and all of our baking goods are in one spot as well. Why go to three cupboards when you could go to just one?!
I also did this into smaller groupings. Our baking stuff was always in one big basket, but putting the sprinkles and icing into one of these small clear cubes and all the baking chocolate and cups into another makes it so much easier to find exactly what you’re needing instead of rooting through heaps of things (making a mess) to find that one pink candle. We put sprinkles on things all. the. time. so this is really important ;)
2. If you can’t see it, you won’t use it
When you clean out your fridge or pantry, do you find things that you forgot you had or have expired by… years!? I’ve realized if it’s out of sight, it will be out of mind. So having a stacked full pantry just doesn’t work for me. Of course when we do a big bulk shop, we will have fuller shelves for a little while, but organizing so you SEE your food will help you to stop buying things you already have and make it easy to use up what you do have. For us, this means clear containers instead of opaque ones and only stocking up once we’re empty.
Seriously, though… the clear baskets are total game changers. We have been using baskets for a while but I would pull out three to find what I was looking for. Now I can see what I’m looking for (or at least what basket it should be in) at first glance. It’s a game changer.
3. Functional first
This is the most important thing for me. If it’s pretty but not functional, I won’t stick to it (because it’s hard!) and it will be back the way it was in a hot minute. But functional is gold. The clear plastic baskets we used are sturdy and don’t break under the weight and being pulled off the shelf by little people (our problem with our last ones!).
The cereal containers are easy to grip and the lids don’t come off/spill when kids carry them down the step stool and to the table (like boxes do!). Plus, they’re easy to open. The flour container is amazing too, it seals so easily and the lid doesn’t pop off when you’re carrying the container. We had an old canister that we’ve had since getting married but I stopped using it and was just using the flour bag (a total mess) because the lid popped off when you didn’t want it to. I’m way more excited about these canisters than I should be!
4. Vertical space is golden
My favourite transformation was putting soup mixes and bagged goods (like lentils) into these tall plastic baskets. We’ve tried baskets before but they end up heaping and you have to dig to find what you’re looking for. These taller baskets take advantage of the vertical space of your shelves but since they’re narrow, you don’t leave them heaped making it hard to get things. And since they’re clear… you can see what you’re looking for. This shelf was a total mess and now it’s so practical!
Speaking of vertical space… let’s look at the fridge. That shelf with the milk is the hot commodity. We often have 4 jugs of milk in here. Since our fridge doesn’t have a water dispenser, there is tons of space in the door for sauces and such but that means we like to have a water jug (we use this one) in there which takes up that valuable space. We got a wine bottle holder from KSP and having that on one of those shorter shelves is such a great way to free up that tall shelf! If you had lots of wine or drinks, you can stack these holders as well.
5. Contain the messy stuff
Pretty much all my decisions in the fridge were based around NOT having to clean up mess. Who wants to clean up rings from jam on the back corner of the top shelf? Not me! I can’t remember where I saw this tip, but putting your little jars and jellies in a basket makes them easier to find and also makes clean up a breeze when you inevitably end up with rings.
I did this for yogurt cups too- my kids go for those themselves and somehow manage to spill the little yogurt cups every once in a while. Now I’ll just have to rinse out the container instead of scrubbing the drawer!
And can we talk about that clear plastic cube I’m using for meat?! This is a total ‘ah-ha’ moment for me. Why have I not done this sooner? I always try to jam a plate in my fridge for meat to thaw on so it doesn’t get on anything else. This takes up less space and I can see exactly what’s in there… did I mention when I pull it out it’s 1000x less likely to drip onto other food? Yeah. Amazing.
Alright, there you have it! I am so in love with how this has made our food storage situation way easier to manage and keep tidy. It feels like a total win and I’m excited to see how long we can keep it looking this awesome (hopefully forever- ha!).
Are you motivated to go tackle your own kitchen pantry and fridge organization now? I’d love to hear if you found this helpful at all!
Don’t forget to check out the other rooms that my Modern Handmade Home friends organized!
Organized Entry by Harlow and Thistle
Organized Closet by The Learner Observer
Organized Kitchen by Lemon Thistle (me!)
Organized Bathroom by Love Create Celebrate