Today on Clear Your the Clutter Inside & Out blog, I’m talking about decluttering and organizing the refrigerator! Do you lose money because your produce goes bad? Did you love your leftovers but forgot about them because your refrigerator was so cluttered? Learn organizing tips and declutter tips for the fridge.


Look for part 2 of my blog on organizing your refrigerator coming on May 10th.

I think a lot of times when we think about clutter and organization; the refrigerator is not high on our list. I wanted to share some statistics that I found on money that might change your mind:

  • Americans waste approximately 100 billion pounds of food each year.
  • This equates to roughly 14% of food purchased in an average household.
  • This breaks down to approximately $500 of wasted food on an annual basis per household.
  • 15% of this waste comes from food unopened and still within its expiration date.
  • On a daily basis, we throw away about 1.5 pounds of food.


What are your statistics? If you haven’t decluttered and organized your refrigerator recently, now is a great time!

Refrigerator Decluttering Tips

The first thing you will want to do is declutter! I recommend having a friend help as it makes it a lot easier. I have my husband help me with this because the fridge shelves pull out and they are awkward. It’s a two-person job to get them out. Because they don’t fit in the sink well, I have my husband hold them while I scrub them clean.


Pull out everything in your fridge. Everything. At once. You shouldn’t have to worry about anything going bad. You should be able to clean your refrigerator really well in less than an hour. Now is the time to give it a good scrub and clean. Get in between the shelves and all the way in the back.   Don’t forget to clean the coils behind the refrigerator. If the coils are gunked up they could be making your refrigerator work harder than it needs to and raising your electric bill.


After you have cleaned, sort what you have into categories—whatever makes sense to you. I suggest finding areas of the refrigerator and keep like items with like to make it easier to find. Your categories could include condiments, leftovers, snacks, etc.


Tip: Make sure not to jam-pack your refrigerator and allow air to circulate. A jam-packed refrigerator needs to work harder and can raise your electric bill.


Now that you have separated everything, it is time to purge. If you aren’t sure when in doubt throw it out! Let me say that again when in doubt throw it out. Here are some guidelines to help you in purging:

  • You have no clue what it is;
  • Leftovers you have no idea how old they are;
  • Rotting produce or anything growing anything on it;
  • Past expiration date; and
  • Condiments that have a crust or smell bad; and
  • Stuff you are never going to use.


What do you need to purge? What categories can you use in your refrigerator? How much food do you waste? How can decluttering and organizing your refrigerator help you reduce your food waste?


DIY Options to Clear Clutter

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