Best Ideas to Organize a Small Refrigerator for Maximizing Space

how to organize a small refrigerator

Refrigerator is not only a place to store food, but also an area that is often not cleaned regularly. Dirty things or expired foods can be found, etc. Knowing how to organize a small refrigerator to maximize space is necessary, especially if you have a small fridge.

Changing the habit of organizing food in a refrigerator will makes it easier and more convenient for your daily use. It also saves electricity and makes the most effective use of a refrigerator. Here are tips and solutions to organize a small refrigerator that you should apply to have more storage space.

Notes when you have a small refrigerator

Small refrigerators have the advantage of not taking up much space, suitable for all small spaces and saving electricity. But there are things you should also take into consideration.

Obviously, you must consider carefully about how you fill it. Ideally, you should only buy food for a few days or a week at a time. This not only keeps the refrigerator from getting overloaded, but it also reduces food waste.

If you’re love shopping and want to stock up when prices are low, be sure to buy only quantities that can fit in the fridge without overloading it.

How to organize a refrigerator to keep food fresher

When the refrigerator is tidy, you will know what you lack and need. Sorting foods based on use-by and expiration dates is also healthy. When done right, an organized refrigerator also helps reduce waste and cuts down the amount of groceries you have to buy.

In fact, there is no perfect method for organizing a fridge as everyone has different dining preferences and space needs. However, some layout will help your small refrigerator neat and optimal for storage.

Fridge door

The door is the warmest part of the refrigerator and is subject to the most fluctuations in temperature. Here, you should only store spices, jams and foods with good resistance to spoilage. Eggs and milk should not be stored in the fridge door. Milk should be stored in the bottom compartment because milk needs a low temperature to keep longer.

Top shelf and middle shelf

The top and middle shelves are usually the second cold zone, and the temperature is constant. This section should be for ready-to-eat or take-out foods, snacks and dairy (such as yogurt, sour cream, and cheese), desserts, prepared meals, and leftovers. Berries and eggs can also be placed on the top and middle shelves.

HOOJO Refrigerator Organizer Bins


YouCopia FridgeView Fridge Turntable

Lower shelf

The lowest shelf is usually the coldest part of the refrigerator. This section must contain large, heavy items such as beer bottles and soda cans as well as meat and fish.

Storing meat on the bottom shelf is a smart idea to avoid cross-contamination in the event of a package leak. To be on the safer side, try storing meat in labeled containers. If there is a case of water leakage, it will be stored in the box immediately.

Meatball Master


Refrigerators have drawers, the lower the temperature, the colder it will be. The low humidity crisper drawers should be used to store ethylene-emitting fruits prone to rotting or perishable products, such as apples, pears, melons and other pitted fruits.

The high humidity compartment should be used to store thin-skinned vegetables that are prone to wilting: leafy greens, cucumbers, lettuce cauliflower and eggplant.

YekouMax Fridge Drawer Organizer


Steps to organize a small refrigerator

Clean the fridge

Throw out expired items, take out the drawers and shelves one by one, clean them, let them dry, and then put them back in their proper places.

Further reading:  How to Choose a Good Outdoor Commercial Ice Maker

Sort foods into categories

Divide your food into categories so you can see exactly what you have. Cooked or prepackaged foods should be separated, fruits and vegetables, dairy products (eggs and milk), spices, meats, and cheeses.

Restock the refrigerator

When loading items back into the fridge, it’s a good idea to start with the meat. Wrap it up and keep it near the bottom of the fridge so it doesn’t leak and contaminate other foods.

Then, put the fruits and vegetables back in the drawer.

Next, fill the remaining shelves with leftovers, snacks, drinks, and more. And I ended up putting the spices in the fridge door.

Further reading: How to Set the Mini Fridge Temperature

Organize refrigerator with storage devices to maximize space

Use large containers for the refrigerator

Large containers labeled with different foods will make the refrigerator much neater and more organized. The large container is also easily stacked to make the most of the space in the fridge. Thanks to these food containers, the small capacity refrigerator can completely hold a large amount of food.

Assembly-Free Soda Can Organizer for Refrigerator


Alpacasso Fridge Organizer Storage Bins


YouCopia RollOut Fridge Caddy

Use a tray to store eggs and sauces

Not only store-bought trays, you can also take advantage of an egg tray that can help keep your refrigerator tidy when used to store sauces. The egg tray also helps to prevent some plastic bottles or other lightweight containers from easily being moved and cluttered in the fridge.

iDesign Plastic Egg Holder for Refrigerator

Store vegetables in the refrigerator with bottles

Storing vegetables in a jar will help them stay fresh for a long time and won’t take up much space in the fridge. You will not have to worry about the fruits losing minerals and vitamins after processing, simply to soak them in a glass jar makes a nutritious juice.

Vegetables and tubers can be kept longer even clean and fresh in this way, and also help keep your refrigerator tidy.

Ball Wide Mouth Pint 16-Ounces Mason Jars with Lids


Fit & Fresh Divided Glass Containers


Rubbermaid 8-Piece Brilliance Glass Food Storage Containers


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mDesign Plastic Kitchen Organizer – Storage Holder Bin with Handles for Pantry, Cupboard, Cabinet, Fridge/Freezer


Non-Skid Pantry Cabinet Lazy Susan Turntable

Make a magnetic box to save space for the fridge

Magnetic boxes use the free space in the refrigerator effectively. A very creative idea for your refrigerator. Just put a fridge sticker on the bottom of the box and you have an instant food arrangement like this.

Using Magnetic boxes
Using magnetic boxes

Ways to keep your fridge smell fresh

Once your fridge is organized, you should keep it always smelling fresh.

Clean the fridge with a natural recipe

The Lemon and Vinegar mixture is an all-natural, effective deodorant that you can make at home. Leave a small cup of vinegar lemonade in the refrigerator for a few days to allow the water to evaporate on its own and spread evenly all over the refrigerator.

This is a safe, simple but very effective way to deodorize, especially for parts that are difficult to clean and smell easily when no specialized tools are available.

Air filters and Deodorizers

Arm & Hammer Fridge Fresh Refrigerator Air Filter


Freshenbag Air Freshener


iTouchless Replaceable, Stick on Deodorizer


Fridge Deodorizer – Compact and Lightweight Ionic Refrigerator Freshener with High and Low Modes


The tips above will make a small refrigerator much more spacious and also help you save electricity significantly. You will also take advantage of the storage space inside the refrigerator more.

If you find that your refrigerator doesn’t hold enough food, maybe you should think twice before buying a new refrigerator.


Jenny Brown
Hi, I’m Jenny. On my blog, you will find helpful advice about using and organizing the kitchen appliances. You will also receive the recommendations on choosing a compact refrigerator or freezer that best fits your demands. Besides, frozen meals from the freezer bring many incredible benefits because they ensure freshness, deliciousness, and full nutrients. Many helpful tips from experts on frozen meals will also be found.