how to organize your fridge for entertaining
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #OrganizeWithBrilliance #CollectiveBias
Here in Palm Springs, the weather is absolute perfection: sunny 80° days, breezy 50° nights. With perfect weather comes house guests, so our calendar is pretty full for the next few months as friends and family come out to stay. I try to make my home as comfortable as I can with amenity kits and stacks of fresh towels in the guest room. I also like to make my kitchen guest-friendly by keeping things super organized and accessible. I like to keep my fridge looking like below year ’round, but when guests come to town, I definitely step up my game with the below tips.
how to organize your fridge for entertaining
clean and purge
The first step to organizing anything is cleaning and purging. The refrigerator can become a black hole for expired condiments and leftovers left too long. Sort through everything and throw out all questionable items. This is a great time to actually eat any recent leftovers (hello leftover night!) to create more space in the fridge.
replace and sort
Once you’ve thrown out expired foods and consolidated multiples, it’s time to figure out where everything is going to go back inside the fridge. Here is where you map out a game plan. You can put your refrigerables (word?) into categorical groups like beverages, dairy, proteins, breads, condiments, high humidity produce, low humidity produce, etc OR you could consider categorizing them a different way. Some might find it more convenient to keep all kids foods together in one area, all breakfast foods in one area, etc. Plan your fridge to fit your lifestyle.
research how to best store produce
The crisper situation varies from fridge to fridge, but I’d say the majority offer places for both high humidity produce and also low humidity produce. Take a look online to see which zone your favorite produce should be kept. The general rule of thumb is to put things that tend to rot in a drawer with a low humidity setting. This includes produce that emit an ethylene gas, like apples, pears, stone fruits, etc. Produce that wilts, goes into the high humidity drawer. So, leafy greens, cucumbers, summer squash, broccoli, etc. Leafy greens also do well in tightly sealed containers with a paper towel in the bottom to absorb excess water.
From here, you can take your organized refrigerator a step further and purchase shelf organizers. I prefer clear containers since that allows you the most visual access. Putting like products into containers is a super good idea for a few reasons. One, if anything leaks, it won’t run all over the shelf and the bins can be easily removed for cleaning (hello raw chicken). Two, if you are organizing by category, say a breakfast bin of yogurts, cream cheeses and English muffins, you can just grab this one container and go… GREAT for house guests to make their own breakfast. Three, items will stay more organized for longer.
There are certain items in your fridge that really need their own space. Consider purchasing specialized containers for fragile or space-consuming items like eggs, wine bottles and soda cans. These will help you maximize your space while storing items in a safe, stackable way.
I also like to put my juices and milks in matching glass bottles. This is mostly for aesthetic reasons but I also make fresh juices in-home every other day and need vessels to store them in. I love these carafe bottles with wired lids. They are great on space!
To encourage healthy snacking, I also have a reserved area for produce baskets. These are great for those times where you open the fridge doors, more hangry than hungry, looking for anything quick to eat. They work! Right now I have strawberries, sweet baby bell peppers, Persian cucumbers and grapes, all washed and ready to eat. This is a great idea for when you have guests as well!
Stacking is everything when it comes to a fully stocked, organized refrigerator. I would suggest buying only containers that can be stacked with like containers. For example, both my wine container and soda bin can be stacked with another. A large bulk of your fridge contents at any given time will be leftovers… leftover ingredients and leftover meals. Best to stick with one product line for all of these since they will be stackable. I like Rubbermaid® BRILLIANCE™ for a number of reasons (see below).
clean the exterior
Now that your refrigerator is the perfect blend of organized and convenient, it’s time to take care of the outside. If you have a bunch of magnets and such on the front, sort through them and purge any out of date Christmas cards or schedules. Give the front a cleaning with a high quality stainless steel cleaner; then sit back and admire your hard work. Good job!
Let’s jump back to Rubbermaid® BRILLIANCE™ and talk about why they are the BEST option for refrigerator storage and organization. First off is purely for aesthetic reasons. Face it, you’re putting a good amount of effort into cleaning and organizing your refrigerator already. Why fill it with mismatched, colored containers that won’t stack safely? Rubbermaid® BRILLIANCE™ offers you 360 degree clarity so you won’t have to play guessing games finding what you need. Crystal clear containers also reduce the risk of forgetting about a delicious leftover past its enjoy by date.
As a person who LOVES to cook and really appreciates fresh, local and seasonal ingredients, I geeked out over the performance of my new 10 pc BRILLIANCE™ set. There isn’t much sadder than a wilted green or a spoiled cheese… Rubbermaid® BRILLIANCE™ have an incredible seal (you can hear the air escape when closing and the suction release when opening) that ensures super fresh foods for longer. They are stain and odor resistant, 100% leak-proof and microwave/dishwasher safe.
Rubbermaid® 10 pc BRILLIANCE™ set is available nationwide at Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Amazon and other fine retailers.