Monday, January 2, 2023

January Organizing - Fridge Envy


Last week I posted a sneak peek of my January organizing series with a post on properly storing your fine china. Click here if you missed it. Then we looked at storing your Christmas decorations so they are safe and sound - click here.

All these posts are projects that are designed to be easy and budget friendly, but important elements in having a beautifully organized home. Today we are looking at some refrigerator organization tips.

1. The temperatures are not uniform in your refrigerator. The doors and upper shelf are the warmest spots and things get progressively colder as you go lower. So store condiments in the door, dairy and eggs on the top shelf, meats and milk on the bottom shelf, and fruits and vegetables in the crispers.

2. Take things out of plastic bags and cardboard cartons and packages and organize things in clear bins. Not only will your refrigerator look better, but you can see everything you have and won't forget about items. Food wastage is a big issue in this country.

How much food waste is there in the United States? Each year, 108 billion pounds of food is wasted in the United States. That equates to 130 billion meals and more than $408 billion in food thrown away each year. Shockingly, nearly 40% of all food in America is wasted.

8 Stackable Refrigerator Organizers

3. Separate fruits and vegetables into separate crispers or bins as fruit gives off gases that makes vegetables decompose faster.

4. Upgrade your leftover containers to clear containers so you know what they are. I just ordered these Kate Spade ones.

Kate Spade Good Taste Food Storage Set

5. Tired of replacing the box of baking soda all of the time to keep odors at bay? This beautiful stainless steel deodorizer works better than baking soda and lasts for 10 years with no maintenance. It is fragrance and chemical free.

Refrigerator Deodorizer

6. Clean out your refrigerator weekly checking expiration dates. And go through those condiments in your fridge - No, they do not last indefinitely.

Here are guidelines for how long you can keep opened containers of common condiments (commercially produced, not homemade) in your refrigerator:

BBQ Sauce: 4 months

Capers: 1 year (brined)

Horseradish: 3-4 months (prepared)

Hot Sauce: 5 years

Jam and Jelly: 1 year

Ketchup: 6 months

Mayonnaise: 2-3 months after the “Use by” or “Best by” date

Miso: 1 1/2 years

Mustard: 1 year

Olives: 1 year or date on the package (jarred or canned), 2-3 months (from the deli)

Pickles: 1 year

Pure Maple Syrup: 1 year

Relish: 1 year

Salad Dressing: 6-9 months (sold unrefrigerated), 6 months or date on package (sold refrigerated)

Salsa: 5-7 days (sold refrigerated), 1 month (sold unrefrigerated)

Soy Sauce: 2 years

Tartar Sauce: 6 months

Worcestershire Sauce: 2 years


  1. Been repackaging for years. We try to be as plastic free as possible. Have very similar containers to the ones you just bought. I have square baskets in my crisper drawers to keep things separated. I love to see my stacked containers and everything "facing". (Stocking term for everything facing in the same direction)

  2. Been alive for 76 years and I don't take much stock in expiration dates, I honestly think it's a way to sell more products. I certainly am not throwing away perfectly good items because a day printed on it has passed! Love your posts though , thanks for your hard work!

    1. I said to check expiration dates - not throw out. People lose track of how long things have been in the fridge and expiration dates are a good reminder to check items and to make sure they are fine.

  3. My husband places bottles & jars in the refrigerator backward. It makes me NUTS! Is there something wrong with me??🤪

    1. That is one of the grounds for divorce in Virginia.

  4. Great post, although what I really need is an entirely remodeled kitchen!

  5. This is such good information. Now, I just need to implement.

  6. Great post. I've been married for 30 years (not young!!) and did not know about the temperature differences in the fridge! The stats on food waste are shocking.