How to Organize a French Door Refrigerator
(18 Insanely Good Tips!)
Below I am sharing my TOP tips that I’ve learned while researching how to organize a french door refrigerator, how to optimize your food storage, how to make your produce last longer, and how to organize your fridge after meal prepping. There are reasons why your fridge is over-full, you open it up to find nothing to eat, and you throw away food often. Let’s dive in!
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USE AN “EAT ME FIRST” CONTAINER
Tip #1 I learned from Balcony Garden Web and it is to have an “Eat Me First” container for all the food that will expire soon. I love how it puts the focus on the items that need to be eaten before they expire and it reminds me to try to incorporate them into my meals before anything else. Smart!
USE CRISPER BINS AND/OR DRAWERS
Tip #2 is to use crisper bins or drawers! Supposedly the fruit and veggies can circulate air and not get crummy at the bottom in crisper bins. After reading more about these bins, I realized that our fridges, or at least most, come with the crisper drawers built in for your fruits and veggies to balance humidity.
Vegetables last best in high humidity and fruits in low humidity. Most fridges will have settings on the crisper drawers to adjust the level of ventilation. If your french door fridge does not have these drawers, you can also buy crisper bins individually.
CONSIDER REMOVING THE PLASTIC FROM YOUR PRODUCE
Next is tip #3: consider taking veggies out of the plastic when you come home. This varies on the produce, but wirecutter had a really handy chart that showed which produce should be removed from their original container or not.
If you do this, consider how you’d want to organize your vegetables, especially if they are touching and affect the flavors and or ripening of nearby veggies.
I also realized I was contributing to the carbon footprint poorly by all my plastic use and should do a better job at visiting farmers markets. Here in America, we do have a heavy usage of plastic, which is terrible.
MEAL PREP YOUR FOOD PRIOR
Tip #4 is to meal prep your food first, then organize it in the fridge.
This makes the MOST sense to me! We are more of a meal prepping family. There is no cooking during the week like incredibly time-savvy people do, okay. During the week, we are workin’, gymmin’ and tv watchin’ people. So I loved the idea of sorting meals out into containers then organizing those meals in the fridge versus organizing ingredients and not leaving space for leftovers/meals etc.
These are the best meal prep containers we use (they are glass , affordable, and the perfect size!).
USE MATCHING CONTAINERS AND BINS IN YOUR FRIDGE
Tip #5 is to have matching containers or bins for your food organization, namely glass or fridge/freezer friendly ones. I’ll share about my favorite fridge organizers below. This just helps the fridge look SOOO good and I know many people reading this care about that kind of stuff.
VARY YOUR STORAGE CONTAINER SIZES
Tip #6 is to either plan which organizers you’ll buy ahead of time for your fridge organizing extravaganza OR do what I did and buy an excess amount of them so you have OPTIONS when organizing. I also do this sometimes for my decor pillow planning, by the way.
When it comes to organizing a french door refrigerator, the good thing is that there is a lot of space to work with. The first thing I did was experiment with different container sizes in my fridge to see which sections I could carve out and which sizes I preferred based on our needs.
HAVE YOUR FRIDGE MATCH YOUR LIFESTYLE
Which leads me to Tip #7 which is to consider your lifestyle. For example, I remembered John and I go out to eat at least once a week and we usually have to go boxes. When I was planning out my fridge containers, I thought having a wide clear storage bin for to-go boxes would be perfect!
USE GLASS JARS TO SEPARATE LIQUIDS AND MAKE THEM “ON-THE-GO”
Tip #8 is to separate your juices or other large containers of liquid into smaller jars. I got these jars on amazon that fit perfectly on the top shelf. I got both 8 oz glass jars for juices and 16 oz glass jars for things like coffee or flavored water. These jars are also pretty handy if we were making our own dressings or sauces OR if we wanted to send something home with our guests, such as apple cider during the holidays!
Overall, I feel like sorting out the liquids promotes us drinking them versus having the large bottle just sitting there taking up space and they’re great for on-the-go.
CHECK IF YOU HAVE A COUNTER DEPTH FRIDGE OR NOT
Tip #9 is to check if you have a counter depth fridge or not. We do NOT have a counter depth fridge. After testing these bins in the fridge, we still had space behind them. So I realized we probably could have been fine going with a counter depth fridge.
HOWEVER, I did look it up and saw they tend to be a bit pricier. I’m fine with the extra space in the back if we ever needed it. Or we can push the bins further back and have a bit of space in front of the bins – *if needed*.
PULL YOUR ITEMS TO THE FRONT
Which leads me to tip #10 which I learned from The Home Edit book. It’s okay to pull your items to the front and have unused space behind them IF that’s going to keep you more organized. Honestly, that has worked wonders for our pantry spice organization, which I have a video on that one too!
Overall, the concept is that you don’t need to move things around to see what’s behind, instead, it’s all in the front and there is nothing hidden.
AIM FOR A 2/3 FULL FRIDGE
As I was playing around with the bin layout, things got a LITTLE TRICKY as the bins were rubbing against one another so tip #11 is to aim for 2/3rds full fridge instead of a full-full fridge.
I don’t know how possible that is for most people, because we all have different fridge sizes, maybe have a lot of people in the house, and sauces are taking up like 53% of the fridge.
Comment down below if your fridge has been commandeered by sauces like ours has!
STEP BACK AND TAKE A PICTURE
Tip #12 is to take a picture of your fridge after you’ve done your first round of bin organizing because you’re going to want to stand there with the doors open thinking “is this the best way to organize them?”. And while you’re sitting there contemplating life, you’re letting all of the cold air out and like my dad would say, “you’re burning money”.
CREATE A FREE FOR ALL SPOT
Tip #13 is to have a FREE FOR ALL spot in your fridge for things that might not work in your tidy system you’ve created. After using my fridge for a couple weeks, I decided on a spot that I felt like would work for us. It’s also a back-up spot when the fridge doors are full.
STORE YOUR EMPTY MEAL PREP CONTAINERS IN THE FRIDGE
Tip #14, which is probably going to catch you off guard, is to store your empty meal prep containers IN the fridge. This will remind you to cook and replenish your food for the week.
In general, you don’t need to store them and take up other kitchen space when the containers are going to be in the fridge either way. Radical idea – I know, but so far so good for us!
It also discourages anyone from using that space that you’ve dedicated for your meal prep containers. The empty containers will act as placeholders.
PLAN YOUR FRIDGE ORGANIZATION VIRTUALLY
Tip #15 is to plan your fridge organization virtually! I use CANVA for all my e-design projects. It’s easy to use and I use it for everything in my life and business. Now including “how to organize a french door refrigerator” apparently lol.
CONSIDER WHICH PRODUCE TO STORE IN THE FRIDGE OR WHAT’S BETTER LEFT OUT
Tip #16 that I learned from people on YouTube is that there are RULES regarding keeping your produce fresh in the fridge – or surprise – OUT of the fridge.
I saw SO many comments on other fridge organization videos, saying – “tomatoes don’t belong in the fridge because they lose nutrients and/or flavor”. Along with “un-cut onions- those belong in a dark cool area. Don’t wash or cut your fruits and veggies days prior to consuming because they spoil faster”, etc.
Many people recommended exploring which foods should be in the fridge and which ones are better left in the pantry. Not only that, but also HOW to handle produce when coming home from the store.
So question for you, how do you handle your typical produce when you bring it home? How have your methods lasted for you? Let us know in the comments!
I think it’s going to take some trial and error to figure out what lasts best using certain methods. But here’s what I’ve learned so far:
From mashed.com, for fruits that are typically cut or peeled, it’s better to leave them uncut until you’re ready to eat them because their outer shell or skin is what is protecting its insides.
And one of my favorite tips I learned for keeping berries fresh in the fridge were from homeandkind.com, where she shared her experiment with washing or not washing certain berries to see how they performed over a 3 week period. From that I learned that:
Strawberries are best washed, ventilated, and eaten within a week.
Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, grapes perform best washed and in an airtight container, such as a mason jar and can last up to 21 days
To wash, you can soak these in a big bowl of water and ¼ cup of vinegar mixture and let sit for 5-10 mins then dry on a towel before transferring to the airtight container.
PLACE PRESERVATIVE ITEMS IN THE FRIDGE DOORS
Tip #17 is to reconsider storing your milk in the fridge door. Some say that because the door opens frequently that the milk can spoil faster.
However, considering we only drink plant-based milk and haven’t ever had this problem – I’m afraid my opinion on this one is irrelevant.
In general, consider your items with preservatives safe for the door. If you are worried about something without preservatives spoiling, then maybe tuck it further into the fridge.
THINK ABOUT HOW YOU WANT YOUR FRIDGE TO WORK FOR YOU
Tip #18 and which is the overall theme of this video, is to optimize your fridge organization based on how YOU live. We are OBSESSED with our vegan protein drinks so we had to make sure we made space for them!
We are busy so sometimes we prep our coffee, juices and food ahead of time. Therefore, it was important for us to have space for our food meal prep before anything else.
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