You spend hours sweeping the floors, dusting the tabletops, scrubbing the bathrooms, and mopping the tile. You light candles, turn on music, and set the food out. Your guests arrive to a beautiful home and head straight to the kitchen to talk to you while you prep the last few bites. As you go to open the fridge you cringe for a moment, remembering how unorganized and filthy it is…67 kids cups, wilted lettuce you bought because you told yourself you were going to start eating more salads, leftovers that were left over weeks ago and let’s face it, the longer they’re in there, the less you want to be the one to get rid of them.
Sure, this might not make you feel the best in front of guests, but the disorganization of your fridge can lead to stress and poor meal choices all year long. I’ve learned something as of late, and being aware of it has allowed me to keep things in check: if our fridge is a mess it’s a pretty good indicator that my life is in stress. Whether it’s cluttered and filled with bad food or desolate and forcing us to eat out, good food and the organization of it leads to better living.
COHESIVE CONTAINERS Just like storage in your closet or drawers, having the same containers makes the space feel intentional. Investing in good quality pieces that seal tight means food stays fresh, and you don’t have to keep replacing your containers every year or so. I finally got a set of OXO Smart Seal Glass Containers, and their versatility is exactly what I needed. They are made from thermal shock-resistant borosilicate glass, so they can be kept in the refrigerator or freezer, and they can go straight into the microwave or oven . And the glass means I don’t have to cringe anymore when my husband heats up his leftovers in the microwave.
TURNTABLES If you’re not using these in your fridge you’re probably not able to easily use every square inch of your space, especially if you have a standard depth fridge. Ours is counter depth, but lazy susans still make finding things toward the back and corralling jars much easier. I use the 11″ turntable in here to hold dips and my supplements, but a standard depth fridge would easily fit a 16″.
ATTACH IT TO SOMETHING ELSE Have you heard the saying that in order to make a new habit you have to attach it to an old one? Well, my new habit was cleaning my fridge and my old one was putting the groceries away. It doesn’t always happen, but when I come home from the store I make it a point to organize, toss out old, and integrate in the new right away.
MAKE THINGS ASSESSABLE If I want my kids to eat the fruit, they need to be able to see it and reach it. If I want them to put away the juice or add it to their own lunchbox it can’t be on the top shelf. Placing items for convenience makes for healthier eating and a more organized fridge we can all be held accountable for.
INVEST IN YOUR FRUITS AND VEGGIES One of the best decisions I made when we renovated the kitchen was to go with a full fridge and freezer. I am almost never running out to the garage fridge now, and there is no excuse not to buy perishable i.e. healthy foods. And less dry goods storage and more produce storage forces me to buy more of the later. In the last few years my diet has changed quite a bit. When it comes to eating my motto is “get in as many fruits and vegetables as you can in a day.” That’s not restrictive, that’s inclusive, and it really works for me. Instead of limiting myself, I’m just trying to pack in as much of the good stuff as I can. But making sure I get that good stuff in doesn’t come without work. Perishable foods come with a lot more prep and can mean many more trips to the store. Plus they go bad quickly.
Recently I discovered OXO’s GreenSaver containers, and they have saved me time and money with less trips to the store and less food in the trash. From a large container for your greens to smaller versions for fruits and berries, they store it all. OXO even has inserts for your fridge’s fruit and veggie drawer to collect the gases that perishables give off. I love taking produce out of its packaging and putting it right into the drawer. My kids seem to eat way more of the healthy stuff when there’s not a barrier between them.
Along with lots of fruits and veggies, I try to always have fresh herbs on hand a Whole30 will teach you how to love cooking with them. In the winter, when I can’t grow my own, they can add up on the grocery bill and oftentimes so much of it goes to waste. The herb keepers definitely keep them fresher, longer.
Our fridge is certainly not always this orderly, but when it is life just seems a little easier. Do you have any fridge storage tips or hacks? Other than fruits and veggies lasting longer, the lazy susans have been game changers around here!
* This post is in partnership with OXO but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
LET’S CONNECT! FIND ME ON…