How to Keep Your Refrigerator Clean and Organized

Written by Yusuf Mehmetoglu of Maid Bright
Updated November 15, 2016
Produce in refrigerator drawer
If there are bins in your refrigerator for specific food groups, you can utilize these bins and make everything simpler. (Photo courtesy of Whirlpool Corporation)

Do you hold your breath when you open the refrigerator door? It may be time to clean.

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Refrigerators are such an important component of our lives and kitchens. Considering that everyone in the family accesses the kitchen throughout the day, refrigerators get a lot of traffic and can get dirty and disorganized easily. Also, for larger families who buy in bulk, it can get very difficult keeping things fresh.

Cleaning and purging

If you haven’t cleaned your refrigerator in a while, the first step would be to empty the entire refrigerator – yes, the entire refrigerator!

Check for any food items that have an odor, are past expiration date or have a slimy texture. Toss all of those items. 

Wash and/or wipe all of the refrigerator shelving and bins. You can do this in the sink with warm water and soap. 

Towel dry all shelving and bins

Organization

Before beginning to organize, place mats or line the refrigerator shelving and bins with plastic wrap. This way, if anything leaks or spills you can wash the mat or just toss the plastic wrap instead of cleaning out the refrigerator. 

Secondly, organize food items by type: produce, dairy, meats, drinks, etc.

If there are bins for specific food groups, you can utilize these bins and make everything simpler. But, for those refrigerators that only have bins for the produce, the rest of the food groups need a space, as well. 

You can empty deli meats into designated deli keepers to keep them fresh longer and hinder anything else from developing an odor due to packaging. 

Store milk and eggs on the top shelf instead of the refrigerator door to keep them cooler. The temperature in the door can vary and is typically warmer. You can move milk to a vertical carafe to save space from the milk cartons. You can also have a lazy Susan for condiments or sauces, so that you can store drinks in the fridge door.

Finally, make sure to put baking soda tablets in the refrigerator to keep food fresh longer and avoid any odors. 

When you keep up with the cleaning and organization of your refrigerator once a month, it is less likely to get you overwhelmed or frustrated. Plus, you will know when things are going bad, or exactly what items you need to buy more or less of, enabling you to save money!

What's the craziest thing you've found when cleaning your fridge? Tell us in the comments section below!

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About this Angie’s List Expert: Yusuf Mehmetoglu is the vice president of operations at Maid Bright, providing housecleaning services in Washington D.C. Since 2004, Maid Bright has specialized in regular, customized and environmentally friendly cleaning services. You can follow this contributor on Twitter @MaidBright and on Google Plus.

As of November 14, 2016, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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