Over the fridge organizer

Last week, a half a bag of grapes, a container of homemade soup and a few rogue radishes I found buried at the bottom of the produce drawer all ended up in my garbage. It pains me to see produce tied up in a garbage bag for multiple reasons:

  • I’m well aware of how many people don’t have easy access to the fresh produce I conveniently pick up on my walk home from work.
  • I could have used those ingredients to create healthy meals.
  • I see dollar signs going right into the garbage can along with my wilting kale and mushy zucchini.

I’m not alone: In the United States, 31 percent of the available food supply at the retail and consumer levels in 2010 went uneaten. And those of us who eat a healthy eating diet are some of the biggest culprits: A study published in the journal Plos One found that the healthiest Americans are the most wasteful, because of their high consumption of fruits and vegetables, which are frequently thrown out.

While there are many factors that affect food waste, one that we have direct control over is how much we are throwing away in our own households. And I, for one, know that the organization of my fridge (or, the lack thereof) is largely to blame for my own waste. I bring home my grocery store haul and shove everything into drawers and stack them on shelves, without much rhyme or reason. And without fail on a weekly basis there is a slimy bag of greens or a half-eaten jar of tomato sauce with questionable coloring that was shoved into the back and forgotten and has to be tossed.

Certainly taking the time to put a better system in place could make a huge difference, but if my closets are any indication, my home organization skills are wanting. So I called in reinforcements.

Gilat Tunit, founder of Project Neat, a professional home organization company, says that establishing an organization system in your refrigerator is as simple as investing in a few affordable products that will make your fridge more efficient by maximizing space.

The goal is to “contain items, categorize them and separate them,” says Tunit. “It’s really important in a fridge to be able to access things. What happens to most when you have to move one thing out of the way to get to the other things. How many times do you open your fridge and have to pull out the entire fridge just to reach the dressing all the way in the back? We are all guilty of that process, but it’s not our fault! The options that the fridge comes with is the issue in itself. It’s basically open shelving and no real direction as to what should go where.”

“ is the last place one imagines a possibility for organization. We assume that our fridge will just always be messy because it’s used on such a consistent basis.” says Tunit. “ also don’t realize how inexpensive it can be to make it organized and much more functional. A lot of times the products we can use to keep a fridge organized are the same as what we would use in a different part of our home.”

Ready to give your own fridge a makeover? Tunit shares her affordable product picks that will make every fridge more efficient — and make it easier to stock up on healthy ingredients (without any of them ending up in the trash).

1. mDesign Divided Lazy Susan Storage Container

What to store in it: Butter, sour cream, cream cheese, syrup, cottage cheese

Tunit calls this product a must have in every home. “The use of products such as a lazy Susan gives you the ability to actually see everything that you have,” she says. “I suggest this for everything and anything: whether it’s your fridge or your pantry or your makeup or kid’s crayons. In my fridge I use it for condiments. There’s no rummaging, no moving things out of the way, you spin it and grab whatever you need. People think if they have a lot of stuff, they can’t organize it, but that’s not true. As long as you contain it and have everything categorized, you can have as much stuff as you want and it will still be organized.”

Get the better newsletter.

2. Ball Glass 32-Ounce Mason Jar

What to store: Fruit (strawberries, grapes, blueberries, raspberries)

“I love mason jars for fruit such as strawberries, blueberries and grapes,” says Tunit. “First of all , they are tall and narrow which doesn’t take shelf space. They also seal tight for lasting freshness and they are glass, which is preferable to plastic.”

3. BINO Organizer Bin with Built-in Handle

What to store: Produce like peppers, yellow squash, tomatoes, small cucumbers

“There are a couple of things I love about these bins: They’re clear so you can see through them; They’re wide, which is great because you can fit a lot of stuff in there; And you’re freeing up the ,”says Tunit. “They have handles so it’s super easy to take them in and out.”

4. Sliding Greek Yogurt Refrigerator Organizer

What to store: Greek Yogurt

“This is another way to take things off of your shelves,” says Tunit. “It’s super easy to install — it’s literally just two little sticky tabs, take them off, and place it wherever you want in your fridge. Then you take your Greek yogurt and slide it in and it hangs — which is genius — completely off your shelving space, which frees it up.”

5. Whitmor Adjustable Drawer Dividers

What to store: Grab-and-go snack foods like string cheese, fruit cups, pudding, apples (slice and separate into Ziploc baggies)

“People mostly use these for dressers and random drawers in their home, but I love it for a fridge,” says Tunit, who recommends placing them inside your produce drawer. “What you’re doing is creating separation inside of an otherwise open drawer. When it’s open and you start throwing things in, you’re going to have everything mixed together. I like when everything is separated and categorized; it makes your life much easier.” She suggests using this as a snack drawer, which is especially great for people with kids. “When a child goes in and wants to pack up a lunch bag in the morning, this is an awesome way to do it.”

6. Smart Design Adjustable Instant Large Refrigerator Drawer

What to store: Deli meats; cheese

“What the pullout bin does is give you extra drawer space that you wouldn’t otherwise have,” says Tunit. “They are easy to clip on and off and you can get however many you think will fit. What I love about them is that they don’t take up actual shelf space; they hang. So you’re creating extra space without taking away any space.”

7. mDesign Stackable Food Storage Container Bin

What to store: To-go avocado packs, hummus, dressing packets, veggie dip

Tunit suggests using stackable bins because “they’re narrow, not bulky, which is a space saver. They also have lids, so you’re able to stack them. You can go three, four, however many levels up you want to go based on the size of your fridge.” While she loves to use them for snack-sized containers, they are also another great way to store deli meats and cheese.

Storage ideas using products around your house

These storage ideas don’t require buying special products. Instead re-purpose things you likely already have lying around your house:

  • Egg carton: “This costs zero dollars, other than the eggs that come with it,” says Tunit. Once you’ve eaten all your eggs, simply cut off the lid of the carton and place it in the door of your fridge. “Take condiments that are more narrow on top and flip them upside down,” says Tunit, who adds that this is also a great trick to prevent those last drops from getting stuck at the bottom of your ketchup or salad dressing bottle.
  • Ziploc baggies: “I love using freezer bags in the actual fridge for lots of things,” says Tunit. “For one, it’s the easiest thing to store marinated meats in. People often use a bowl, but that’s less efficient and also forces you to use a lot more sauces. I also love transferring produce, fruits, cheeses, etc. to bags because I feel they stay fresher longer as well as keeping everything separated.” She recommends labeling each bag to make the storage trick even more efficient.
  • Office supplies: “I love using a stacked office paper holder to add levels for storage,” says Tunit. “I think using an pen/pencil holder is also awesome for things such as string cheese, yogurt sticks, etc.”

Watch these products in action here:

MORE TRICKS AND TIPS FOR A BETTER HOME

  • Want a cleaner kitchen and a cleaner world? Get a composter for your food scraps
  • How to design your kitchen for weight-loss success
  • The kitchen is the germiest room. Here’s how to deep clean everything.
  • How often to clean (almost) every appliance in your home
  • 7 products under $25 that will organize your pantry

Want more tips like these? NBC News BETTER is obsessed with finding easier, healthier and smarter ways to live. Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

DIY Fridge Magnet Organizer

53 Shares

Your child probably has a pile of fridge magnets–animals, numbers, letters. They are probably stored on the fridge. Personally, I like to keep my fridge free of too much clutter so I came up with a solution for this magnetic mess–a fridge magnet organizer! This magnet bucket will help to clean up the front of your refrigerator, but it will also provide an opportunity to teach your child(ren) to clean up after they are finished playing as well as keep small magnet toys out of reach from your younger kids. You can use this magnet organizer for more than just ABCs and 123s as well; it works well for keeping some writing utensils available or a few recipe cards. Keep in mind that the amount of items you can store in your magnetic refrigerator organizer depends on the item weight, container size, and magnet type/strength. You will want to use a bin that is not too deep (in how far it protrudes from the refrigerator) so it does not stick out too far but also so the magnets are able to keep the bucket in place properly.

What You Need

  • Small, lightweight bin (I purchased a small 3″ x 9″ kitchen utensil drawer organizer from Walmart for a few dollars)
  • Magnets (about 6 small round magnets or a strip of magnetic tape or another type of strong magnet)
  • Glue (hot glue, super glue, other strong glue)

What to Do

1. Find out where you want to place your magnets. For using the round magnets, I found it best to place them at the top on either side and in the bottom center. If there is a lip on your container, make sure you place the magnets on the flat side or that they are wide enough to pass up the lip. You will want to measure to ensure the magnets are even with each other. 2. Glue down the magnets. I used hot glue for this to keep it simple, but if you can use a stronger glue, use that. A tight bond is important. *Note: if you are using the button magnets or multiple of any magnets, and putting them close together, make sure they “agree” with each other. Magnets have two poles and if you do not make sure they attract first, they will not stick properly. 3. I found that one each of the round magnets was not strong enough for all the little magnetic pieces we were needing to fit inside so I doubled them up. Add glue in between the magnets for a tighter fit (I recommend super glue for this step as it will make the bond stronger–my son peeled the ones connected with hot glue apart.)*Note: magnets have two poles–make sure when you are connecting the magnets that they are pulling together rather than pushing apart or they will not stick together. 4. Let the glue dry completely; it should dry fairly quickly. I would still recommend waiting at least an hour before using the magnetic organizer for the refrigerator door. You can, however, test the bin briefly to make sure that you have enough magnet strength to hold up the bin as well as the magnetic alphabet letters or other magnetic toys you are trying to hide away in case you need to move magnets or add more.

^^^And yes, my son stuck a suction cup toy to the fridge and I was not having the easiest time removing it so I just left it. It’s OK to laugh.

Know someone who could use this? Hit the “share” buttons below! Be sure to follow Arts & Crackers on social media (buttons at the top right of the page.)

-Are you going to try this? Share your pictures on my Facebook wall! Check out my easy bath toy organizer HERE.

53 Shares

VibeX ™ Magnetic Refrigerator Door Toilet Paper Plastic Storage Box Wrap Roll Holder Kitchen Wall Shelf Bathroom Accessories Fridge Organizer

Multipurpose combination shelf – towel rack, hook rack, cruet stand, surface box frame, side tray holder Kitchen busy, they often find to find a seasoning cans, aluminum foil or plastic wrap, but also overturned turn, very inconvenient, if we can integrate these small things in the same place, the more ideal – right, Life is to be more convenient, and more progress. Multipurpose combination of frame, you can integrate your seasoning cans, plastic wrap, aluminum foil, paper towels, gloves, and even some small items Kitchenware, wall-mount design and adsorption, when used only to access to the same place, you see – is so convenient, so humane, save kitchen space, allowing you to access at any time. 1. Installation five functions, towel rack, hook rack, cruet stand, surface box frame, side tray holder. 2. Back with powerful magnets can be adsorbed on the refrigerator side, full use of kitchen space. 3. The kitchen is the savior, the daily little things all together. The separate design can adjust with the user space. 5. Totally does not occupy space, easy access for your convenience.

Beverage Soda Coke Can Dispenser Storage Rack Refrigerator Kitchen Organizer Kitchen Storage & Organization

Beverage Soda Coke Can Dispenser Storage Rack Refrigerator Kitchen Organizer 190715019432, See the seller’s listing for full details, See all condition definitions : MPN: : 16938, undamaged item in its original packaging (where packaging is applicable), Free shipping for many products, Beverage Soda Coke Can Dispenser Storage Rack Refrigerator Kitchen Organizer Kitchen Storage & Organization, unused, such as an unprinted box or plastic bag, Beverage Soda Coke Can Dispenser Storage Rack Refrigerator Kitchen Organizer, UPC: : 190715019432

Manufacturer: : Fixturedisplays: Brand: : FixtureDisplays, Condition:: New: A brand-new, unopened, Kitchen Storage & Organization Beverage Soda Coke Can Dispenser Storage Rack Refrigerator Kitchen Organizer, Find many great new & used options and get the best deals for Beverage Soda Coke Can Dispenser Storage Rack Refrigerator Kitchen Organizer at the best online prices at, Beverage Soda Coke Can Dispenser Storage Rack Refrigerator Kitchen Organizer Kitchen Storage & Organization, Packaging should be the same as what is found in a retail store, unless the item is handmade or was packaged by the manufacturer in non-retail packaging