The kitchen is the busiest and most used room in the house. But when it comes to appliances, it’s the fridge that sees most of the action. This is never truer than in summer when we fill up with cold drinks, host outdoor parties and heave watermelons into the fridge. This summer, be prepared by streamlining and organizing your refrigerator so you have space for everything and you’re able to find it.

Time and money

Because refrigerators run all day every day, they use more energy than other appliances. When you’re looking for something in your refrigerator, being able to find it quickly means you can get in and out of the fridge fast and help it conserve energy. And you know exactly where to look, saving time rifling through jars and containers. Perhaps, more importantly, having an organized refrigerator means finding what you need when you need it and lessens the frustration of having to empty out shelves to find that one jar of sauce.

Storage system

Almost all refrigerators have specialty storage areas such as door shelves for tall juice and milk cartons, as well as butter and egg shelves. While these are just fine, you might find that it’s easier to store the eggs in a wine holder shelf if you eat and cook a lot of eggs. In the egg spot, add items that you don’t use as often like butter quarters or garlic bulbs. Just because the fridge has specific storage areas, doesn’t mean you have to use them that way. Simply use them the way they’re most helpful to you.

Like your closet or drawers, refrigerators need organizers. Today’s kitchen stores have all manner of clear refrigerator storage containers. A rectangular condiment organizer will hold all your mustard, ketchup and barbecue sauce so you can simply grab them and place them on a picnic table. When looking for storage containers for your refrigerator or your food, always opt for square and translucent. Square items will store more compactly and orderly than round containers that leave a lot of space on the shelf.

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Divide and conquer

Make it a habit to only place certain foods on particular shelves, such as all dairy on one shelf, meat on another and jars or storage containers on another. Placing items such as leftovers on the center shelf will help you see them and use them faster. Do the same in the freezer, using certain shelves only for vegetables, packaged items or meat.

If you have a fresh meat drawer, line it with a cleanable cabinet liner or repurpose an old place mat. Use those in your vegetable drawers, too, to keep the drawers neat, clean and dry. When the place mat or liner gets stained or dirty, they can be tossed into the washer. Another key to keeping the fridge organized and clean? Give it a quick clean out, and wipe the shelves down before unloading your groceries after shopping. It only takes a minute, and you’d be amazed at how your fridge will stay clean and tidy.