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    May 4, 2019

    28 Low-Effort Ways To Actually Keep Your Fridge Clean And Organized

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    1. Empty everything out (especially if you haven't in a while!) then wipe down the inside of the door, the shelves, and the drawers with an all purpose cleaner so you can start with a completely clean slate.

    instagram.com

    I mean, maybe you clean up small spills and crumbs as they happen and are in a good weekly habit of tossing anything that's gone bad. Which, great! But if you haven't recently, wiping down the inside of your fridge is probably a good idea.

    I like Method's grease-cutting all purpose cleaners; you can get the lavender scent as an Amazon add-on for $3.29.

    2. If they fit, you can also probably wash your fridge shelves in the dishwasher. Just avoid the heat dry cycle if there are any plastic parts, and make sure to let everything come to room temperature before starting the cycle.

    Beko / giphy.com / beko.co.uk

    If they're cold right out of the fridge and you hit them with hot water, they could crack! Also, if they have any LED lights on them, the dishwasher's probably best avoided. If you're not sure, check your fridge's user manual. (You can also 100% wash all your shelves by hand in the sink with dish soap and a sponge; don't forget the hot water caveat though!)

    3. Banish any lingering unpleasant odors with a charcoal purifier. All you have to do is set on a shelf and let it work its stench-absorbing magic.

    amazon.com

    Or attempt to hang it on the included suction cup hook, obvs.

    Promising review: "I simply love this thing. I had leftover and perishable things in my fridge before I left for business trip and when I came back it smelled so bad. I cleaned the trays and everything, but it was no use! Finally I decided to order this Moso thing. And omg, the next day everything was back to normal. Wow! It's magic. Only thing, the sticky hook doesn't stick very well, otherwise it's a great product. Must buy!" —Simardeep Singh Kochar

    Get it on Amazon for $7.83.

    4. When you put everything away again, store it according to your refrigerator's ~zones~, because different parts of the fridge will have slightly different temperatures and humidity levels.

    5. Cover your shelves with non-adhesive liners so if there's a major spill, you can pull out and clean the liner instead of the entire piece of glass.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    You will still have to move all your products out to pull the liner off, though. No real way around that!

    Promising review: "I love these! I have a side by side fridge so I have to trim a little off to fit. They keep the fridge shelves clean. The color is light enough it brightens the inside and doesn’t make it dark. They can be washed with soap and water. Or throw them away if there was a sticky spill and you are feeling lazy."

    Melissa hill

    Get a pack of four 17"x11" pieces on Amazon for $8.99 (available in blue, pink, green, or multicolor).

    6. You can also try covering them in Press 'n' Seal wrap, then tossing it if you discover a cemented-on sticky spot.

    amandathevirtuouswife.com

    Based on Amazon reviewers + comments on the original post at The Virtuous Wife, this hack works great for some people but not for others! I think one key here may be that it needs to wrap under the front and back lips of the shelf (maybe bunched in on itself under there?) to really stay.

    If you need some Press 'n' Seal, you can get it from Amazon Prime Pantry for $2.98.

    7. Easily access everything you have stashed at the very back of each of your shelves with a set of pull-out storage bins. They're also simple to pull out and clean in case of a leak or spill because they a) will contain the mess and b) are much easier to wash than the entire shelf.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I jumped on the bandwagon to have a more organized refrigerator and love it! Everything is neatly contained and organized. This also helps me remember what was in the container and what needs to be refilled." —MrandMrsK

    Get the four-piece set on Amazon for $29.99.

    8. If you have a particularly narrow shelf or a tiny fridge, a dual-sided bin can work wonders to make every last square inch of storage space accessible and functional.

    amazon.com

    I have something similar in my small New York studio fridge; I store jams, jellies, and other condiments on one side, and cheeses and deli stuff on the other. Without it, I'd definitely forget anything that got pushed to that far back corner!

    Promising review: "Love this piece, fits very nicely in a couple of places on my fridge and freezer shelves. A great organizer and space saver for bottles, cans, bags and otherwise non-stackable goods. It has a solid grip in-wall handle; you can fill it with cans and bottles, pull it off shelf and it will stay solid. There are little feet on the bottom keep it from slipping on glass or on wire shelves. Unlike some plastic containers, this will break if you throw it. It is hard acrylic, but heavy enough I would image it would take a brick wall to do so." —Amazon Frequent Flyer

    Get it on Amazon for $15.44.

    9. And apply decals to your most-used bins so everyone who opens your fridge knows where to find everything and where to put things away.

    FairyDustDecals / Etsy

    Get the pack of eight words from FairyDustDecals on Etsy for $10.50+ (5 sizes, many colors. Each pack includes labels for fruits, vegetables, eggs, butter, yogurt, sauces, condiments, and cheese. If you have specific words you want, you can probably message the seller for something custom, too!)

    10. Designate one bin as an "Eat Me First" box to help reduce food waste and to create a one-stop spot to double check for what may need to be thrown away.

    clossette.com

    Or even just use an old shoebox! From the now-defunct blog Clossette.

    11. And, whether you have kids or simply want to snack a little healthier yourself, keep pre-portioned snacks in another easy-access bin.

    houseofhepworths.com, organizeyourselfskinny.com

    If you'd rather not use plastic bags, I recommend the reusable silicone Stasher bags ($11.99 each for the sandwich size), which are completely dishwasher safe, work just like regular plastic bags, and come in three sizes. I've had a couple for several years now and love them!

    From House of Hepworths and Organize Yourself Skinny. Get a similar bin on Amazon for $14.99 (available in two sizes or as a set).

    12. Never forget about those condiments stashed in the back again — put them all on a Lazy Susan, and your favorite kimchi will only be a quick spin away from your roommate's hot sauce.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "This product is perfect for organizing almost anything! I bought one to contain my dish soap, hand soap, and counter cleaner by my kitchen sink so the area doesn’t look cluttered. It’s the perfect height — low enough to be able to pull a bottle out easily but high enough to contain them and not risk knocking anything over. I also like the clear design, allowing you to see through, and that it spins easily." —RM

    Get it from Amazon for $13.99.

    13. Quit throwing away moldy strawberries and wilted spinach (and cleaning up the aftermath it leaves on your shelves) by storing them in filtered containers that will genuinely keep everything fresh for almost two weeks.

    Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

    I've been using these pretty much constantly for an entire year now — except for when they're in the dishwasher — and I can't even begin to guess how much money they've saved and food waste they've prevented!

    Promising review: "Oh-my-gosh, they work! I went on a ten-day trip to visit my mom and left my husband home with asparagus, strawberries, and spinach in the containers. He ate some of all of them, but there was plenty left when I got back and they were in perfect condition! I couldn’t believe it! These will save us a lot of money not throwing away food because we couldn’t get through it fast enough. (We shop at Costco and get large containers of produce.) These are TOTALLY worth getting and I will be getting a few more sizes. Excellent product!!!" —Elizabeth Walter

    Get a three-pack on Amazon for $27.52 (one 6.3 cup container and two 17.3 cup containers).

    14. Repurpose the bottom half of an empty cardboard egg carton so all of your mostly-empty condiments and bottles stay ready to use at any given moment.

    youtube.com

    No furiously banging the mustard against your palm, trying to force the last tablespoon of it down to the end where you can actually use it.

    From Alton Brown's YouTube; here are all of his best cooking hacks!

    15. Then once they're 98% empty, scrape out all the last bits with a mini spatula so you can enjoy every bite of food you paid for. That lets you immediately recycle the container, instead of putting it back in the fridge mostly-empty.

    instagram.com, Sarah Han / BuzzFeed

    Besides food jars, these reach into even the deepest corners of makeup bottles, face washes, and lotions so you never have to toss any actual product again, just the packaging.

    Promising review: "I used the Spatty when my makeup was almost gone and ended up getting enough makeup out of the bottle that it lasted another four weeks. If I didn't have the Spatty, the makeup bottle would have been in the trash a month earlier. The Spatty Daddy also works so well in mayo, mustard, and ketchup jars and bottles. Well worth every penny. Thank you, love it!!!!" —Michelle Green

    Get the set of two — one with a 6-inch handle, and another with a 12-inch handle (for different tasks!) — on Amazon for $11.99.

    And yes, they actually work, like, really well — here's our Spatty Daddy review.

    16. Divvy up your wide produce drawer with expandable organizers so you can kiss your days of digging for the parsley beneath a pile of carrots goodbye.

    enjoythisbeautifulday.com

    From Enjoy This Beautiful Day. Get a set of four expandable drawer dividers on Amazon for $19.99.

    17. Avoid cross-contamination by storing your raw meat and fish in its very own bin or drawer, away from everything else.

    Faith Durand / thekitchn.com

    If your fridge has a drawer labeled "meat", stays colder than any other drawer, which can make your steaks, bacon, and chicken last longer before you cook 'em!

    From The Kitchn.

    18. Save part of a package of bacon in this sealing saver, so you can easily peel off and cook just a few pieces at a time.

    amazon.com

    Some reviewers say it's a little short, depending on the bacon you get, but that if you take the bacon out of the original package it can easily squish in.

    Promising review: "This item is perfect for its intended purpose. I buy Oscar Mayer bacon and the whole slab of bacon fits in just fine with no scrunching (you do have to take it out of the package, of course!) The lid closes securely and has unique dual tabs in opposite corners to make it very easy to open (you push down on one part of the tab for leverage and lift up on the other. Do this with both corners at once and voila, the cover pops off). What's more, it is adorable, even cuter than the picture." —operaforbeginnersdotblog

    Get it on Amazon for $7.95.

    19. Package all your meal prep or last night's leftovers in super transparent, shatter-resistant, leak-proof, air-tight containers so you know exactly what you have on hand in a single glance.

    amazon.com

    These heavy-duty plastic containers are microwave-, freezer-, and dishwasher-safe. They even have little vents you can open so you can microwave them with the lid on, preventing splatters!

    Promising review: "I’m pleased with the performance of these glass-like plastic containers. They’re great for meal prep, freezing and microwaving. Even microwaved tomato sauce doesn’t stain these. The clip-on lids mean there’s no spilling or leaking despite frequent drops. The extremely tight seal may be tough for hands which are more arthritic than mine. Many sizes available. I can heartily recommend these." —HollyShort

    Get a seven-container set from Amazon for $51.40.

    For more about why these are so great, read our full Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Storage Containers review!

    20. Transform the side of one shelf into a miniature wine chiller with a sturdy stacking rack.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "This product really helps store wines that are too tall to store upright. It works for other tall containers too. My family frequently uses one of the racks for storing 32oz bottles of smoothies. They are easy to clean and stack very securely." —J. Smith

    Get the set of two from Amazon for $15.99.

    21. And easily monitor your supply of beer, seltzer, or soda with this crystal-clear can holder — the cans will always roll to the front, making them easy to grab.

    amazon.com

    The lidded top lets you take advantage of all of the vertical space above the cans, but pops off for easy loading. Each one holds nine cans, but they also easily stack on one another. Side note: if you don't have an ice maker, one genius reviewer repurposed theirs for ice cube storage!

    Promising review: "Nice and sturdy. Looks so much better than a case of sodas. The shelf on top sits loosely but does not slide around. It is not as long as a fridge pack of sodas. Only holds nine cans." —viciousterra

    Get it on Amazon for $16.99.

    22. Or get a single organizer that efficiently stacks basically any kind of bottle you happen to have at the moment, including soda/seltzer/beer cans, beer bottles, (reusable) water bottles, and wine...and all of them at once, if that's what you need.

    The Grommet

    I mean, you probably don't want to stack a bunch of wine bottles on *top* of a bunch of beer bottles — put the heavy stuff at the bottom — but you get the picture!

    Promising reviews: "Works great, looks good too and keeps everything nice and tidy. Works and looks better than the other clear ones. Excellent purchase!" —Cornelia L

    "I have a small, cheap refrigerator that came with wire racks and it was always a pain to try and stand cans of soda or bottles of water on the racks because they just fell over. I bought this and now all my sodas and waters are neatly stacked on one side and not rolling all over my refrigerator! Highly recommend!"" —Kimberly

    Get it from The Grommet for $6.95 (two colors) or Amazon for $11.70 (three colors).

    23. Close up partly-finished wine bottles with a vacuum sealer that both keeps your wine fresh and makes it easy to stash that bottle on its side in your fridge.

    amazon.com

    I've used one of these for years, and so have my parents; all you do is quickly wet one of the included rubber stoppers under running water, stick it in the bottle, then use the pump to suck out the air that's between the cork and the rest of your wine. When it's done, it makes an audible "click-click!" noise. Then you can lay the wine on its side without any fear of leaks!

    Promising review: "Wow! I have had this for about five months now — it works great! I drink red wine quite a bit and almost always leave a glass or two in the bottle. Prior to buying this, that glass or two was basically vinegar within one or two days (depending on the type of wine). If you have a half bottle or more remaining, this pump will keep that half bottle tasting like it was just opened for three or four more days. If you have about one glass left in the bottle, expect this pump to keep the wine good for a day or two." —Red

    Get it on Amazon for $15+ (two colors available).

    24. Take full advantage of any magnetic surfaces on the inside of your fridge by attaching magnets to the bottom of small plastic containers.

    tatertotsandjello.com

    Of course, this could totally work for storage containers on the outside of your fridge, too! From Tatertots and Jello. Get six strong adhesive magnets on Amazon for $9.99.

    25. Pledge (with the help of an old t-shirt) cleans and polishes your stainless steel in a single, quick, satisfying step.

    thediygirl.com

    I've cleaned a couple of different stainless steel fridges this way, and it does really work! You simply let the Pledge dry, then buff off in circles; I find it helpful to put down a towel while you spray it, otherwise your floors might become a slip-n-slide. From The DIY Girl.

    These days they even make a multi-surface cleaner that works on wood, stainless, glass, and sealed granite; you can get it from Amazon Prime Pantry for $4.48.

    26. Or if you prefer to wipe down your stainless daily or weekly, opt for a spray cleaner that'll have your fridge shining in less than a minute. All you have to do is spritz it a few times, then wipe down with the included microfiber cloth.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "Perfect cleaner for my new Whirlpool stainless appliances. It also seems to make it a bit fingerprint resistant as well. Since I cleaned my fridge down a month ago, I haven't had to do it again yet. I'm sure if I had kids it'd be a little different, but this stuff is where it's at. I've tried cheaper big-box store cleaners and they all take a lot of arm work to get the haze of the initial product to wipe off." —William Blake Fisher

    Get it on Amazon for $16.97.

    27. If you find it terribly annoying that you have to constantly wipe down the fridge's door handles — why can't the people you live with not resist opening and closing it with sticky fingers??? — consider some machine-washable handle wraps.

    amazon.com

    They use Velcro to secure down the back, and are a cinch to put on or remove. And they'll look sleeker than the dirty stainless!

    Promising review: "I was tired of cleaning all the stainless steel handles on my kitchen appliances. With these covers I'm able to open/close the doors on my fridge, microwave, oven etc. without leaving stains. In the washer they go; I make sure the Velcro is closed and put the covers in a washing net to prevent them from getting stuck on clothes." —Watership Down

    Get the set of two on Amazon for $12.99 or a similar style in black for $11.90.

    28. Depending on your model, brushing off your refrigerator coils could help it use less power to keep your food cold, saving you money in the long run.

    frugallyblonde.com

    Now, *some* modern refrigerator coils don't need cleaning, but most fridges do! Check your user manual to see. And all you need is your vacuum, a long brush (like this one, $11.04 on Amazon), and someone to help you move your fridge. From Frugally Blonde.

    Now if only you had a magic spell that would instantly teach everyone you live with to keep everything sparkling!

    Disney / giphy.com

    Shopping for something specific? Check out BuzzFeed Reviews to find the best things for every budget!

    BuzzFeed

    The reviews in this post have been edited for length and clarity.

    Make your life even tidier. Check out some of the best home organization products on Amazon, the best all-natural cleaning products for your home, the best bathroom cleaning products, organization products perfect for neat freaks, and, of course, our ultimate guide to cleaning every single room in your house.

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