17 refrigerator organization ideas to make your life easier

Take advantage of staying in and organize the most important part of your kitchen.
By Megan Foster

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With social distancing becoming the new normal, we are spending more time at home than ever before. So it's the best time to get your kitchen back into tip-top shape and organize your fridge!

Though the term makeover typically brings about thoughts of beauty items and trendy wardrobe necessities, our refrigerators probably need more attention than they get.

If you think about how often you use this trusty household appliance, you'll understand how it can easily turn into a mess. TODAY guest Jill Bauer stopped by the show in Oct. 2019 to help three women tackle some of the most obnoxious fridge issues.

From storage problems to organizational dilemmas, you'll learn how to fix your fridge one step at a time. Check out some of the must-have buys that will make your total refrigerator makeover one you'll want to show off.

Kimmie's Problem

Kimmie stores her leftover food in plastic bags. After sealing, she puts the bags in her fridge — and over time it begins to smell.

Swap plastic bags for reusable bags.

1. Reusable Silicone Food Storage Bags

This six-piece set contains two extra large bags and four medium bags that will help seal in freshness while keeping odors and leaking liquids at bay.

Store leftovers in charcoal-based bags.

2. Activated Bamboo Charcoal Air Purifying Bags

Did you know that activated charcoal actually absorbs bad odors? Bauer recommends these, which filter and trap unwanted smells, absorb excess moisture and purify air that reaches the produce.

Put bags in a pull-out storage bin for easy viewing.

3. Pull-Out Storage Bin

Maximize your space with an extra drawer. This one is suitable for most standardized refrigerator shelves and comes fully assembled to make installation simple.

Divide your refrigerator based on "zones."

4. Adjustable Drawer Dividers

If you didn't know your fridge had zones, now you do. Milk dairy and eggs go in the middle, condiments and pasteurized juices go in the door, and meats go on the bottom shelf. Separate them further with these dividers.

Jenny's Problem

Jenny's fridge is overstuffed with produce, leftovers and unnecessary packaging. She never knows what she has, so it has a tendency to go bad.

1. Use a Lazy Susan to easily access similar items.

mDesign Plastic Lazy Susan

You know the drill: Buy your groceries, push items to the back of the fridge, and find them six weeks later, well after their expiration date. This Lazy Susan will help you keep everything toward the front with just one spin.

2. Make use of the magnetic interior of your fridge.

Magnetic Glass Spice Jars

If your refrigerator is already packed, you might want to make use of the walls of your fridge. A 15-pack of these spice jars comes with labels and won't take up too much valuable space.

Magnetic Spice Rack

Similar to the spice jars, this rack connects to your fridge on the inside or outside depending on preference. The strong magnet ensures that it stays in place.

3. Use clear storage so you can see what you have.

Chef's Path Airtight Plastic Container Set

Seal your leftovers with these airtight containers. This pack from Chef's Path includes containers in five different sizes, labels and a chalkboard marker for labeling.

Mind Reader Egg Holder

If you've ever started a recipe and realized you don't have enough eggs to complete the task, this egg holder will serve you well. The coolest part about this one is that you can store additional containers on the top without the fear of crushing your eggs.

Fridge Binz Water Bottle Holder

Keep your water bottles cold and organized with this container, which allows you to easily grab a bottle on the go. It's sturdy enough to hold up to nine bottles at a time.

iDesign Soda Can Organizer

If you would rather grab a soda, this container is a worthwhile buy. It holds nine cans and will keep you from shoving them in any open space in the fridge.

Sarah's Problem

Sarah does something most moms do. She buys a lot of fresh produce for her kids when they ask, but they never actually eat it. She needs to figure out how to keep her fruit and vegetables fresh for longer.

1. Separate fruits and vegetables to minimize spoiling.

iDesign Fridge Binz Divided Deep Tray

Some fruits and vegetables produce ethylene, which causes foods to spoil quicker. Separate your items to help slow down how quickly they go bad.

iDesign Linus Clear Divided Stackable Bins

Put your new fruits and vegetables in a large bin like this to keep it all in one place. Bauer recommends removing your produce from the store bags; this causes over-ripening.

iDesign Plastic Modular Bin

This is another style bin from iDesign. Similarly, you can separate each of your items based on category to keep your food fresh for a longer period of time.

iDesign Stackable Egg Storage Bin

This egg bin can keep your precious bundle from cracking when your fridge gets a bit too packed.

2. Save halved food separately.

Hutzler Classic Food Savers

This nifty pack of food savers allows you to keep sliced food fresh.

3. Pre-cut veggie snacks for a quick to-go snack.

Rubbermaid FreshWorks Produce Saver

Need to get to soccer games? Late for the bus? These Rubbermaid container is perfect for fresh on-the-go snacks like chopped fruits and veggies.

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This article was originally published on Oct. 9, 2019.