I have a few embarrassing confessions. Once upon a time, I had a love/hate relationship with my refrigerator… but more hate than love. There never seemed to be enough room in the fridge despite my efforts to randomly push, stack and balance containers of food. Fruits and veggies often spoiled in the crisper drawer. I felt like I was constantly buying duplicates because the things I needed were hidden in the deep dark depths of the fridge. Sometimes I’d even find forgotten leftovers and moldy treasures. What a waste of money, food and time!
My life was incredibly busy and my fridge had become wasteful chaos. That chaos was costing me money, time and my patience. Not to mention wasting perfectly good food. Even though I was short on time, I decided to find the root cause of each problem and come up with the quickest/easiest solution.
The two pictures below were taken 19 minutes apart. All the food from the picture on the left is also in the picture on the right. I did not throw anything away or remove any food from the fridge. I simply used the strategic solutions now follow religiously.
The “after” picture isn’t perfect but perfection isn’t the goal. The goal is for the fridge to be functional and effective for day-to-day life in as little time as possible which is what the “after” picture represents.
The key is to focus on simplicity, organization, transparency and clutter reduction. To achieve these things is a small amount of time, I’ve come up with a 4-step system using only the most effective ways to strategically organize food storage spaces like the refrigerator. Using this system you can:
- Double or even triple the amount of food you’re able to store.
- Spend 3 seconds or less looking for what you need.
- Eat more vegetables and leftovers instead of letting them spoil.
- Stop wasting money buying unnecessary duplicates.
The 4-Step System
Time is a valuable and sparse resource. This 4-step system focuses on the 20% of actionable items that create 80% of the results. Spend a quick 20 minutes upfront, using this system, to reap 10x the time-saving benefits afterwards.
Although this system can be used at any point, I recommend using it right after grocery shopping and prior to putting groceries away.
Designate locations in your fridge for specific categories of food. I recommend having an overflow spot for when you need more storage space for any specific category of food. This helps make your storage space flexible while remaining consistent.
Tip: Designate a shelf that is easy to access and directly in your line of sight for fruits and vegetables. Avoid storing them in the crisper drawers. If all the fruits and vegetables can’t easily be seen immediately upon opening the fridge, they are far less likely to be eaten before they spoil.
Step 1 – Designate Locations
Step 2 – Reduce Packaging and Clutter
Step 3 – Simplify Storage Containers
Step 4 – Fill and Stack Backwards
This quick system has changed the way I store and use food. My fridge is clean, organized and functional. It makes it easy to eat everything you buy because you can see it which means less waste. Give it a try! Don’t hesitate to shoot me an email your questions or comments.