Back-to-School-Organization-{A-Pretty-Life}

10 Tips to Organize Your Fridge for Back to School!

I actually can’t believe that I’m doing a back to school post!

But the start of school is really not that far away (I mean, who’s counting…)!  And I figured I better get organized during this week while I actually have some down time before we go away again.  So this week I’ve been cleaning, organizing and getting school supplies for the kids all ready.  I’m finding if I don’t do it now, the stores are darn near cleared right out by the end of August!  So the kids now have their new clothes, shoes, backpacks and supplies!  Don’t you just love new school supplies?!

So after all that shopping was done, I turned my sights to my home.  You may have seen my confession on Facebook about my home being a D.I.S.A.S.T.E.R.  I’m talking like a bomb went off kind of mess.  Stuff everywhere.  Floors that desperately needed steam cleaned.  Laundry that needed put away.  An overflowing pantry.  And a very disorganized fridge.  I may have mentioned before that I’m kind of a neat freak…having things organized and clean just makes me feel good.  For me house chaos = mind chaos!  And I just couldn’t take it anymore, so I took advantage of a few rainy days and got my life organized!

Starting with my fridge.

 Back-to-School-Organization-{A-Pretty-Life}

Organizing my fridge was not such a hard task, considering I was lucky enough to have been given a Frigidaire Gallery® French Door Refrigerator at the beginning of this summer!  Now that my fridge has been here for a while it was time to really make it my own.  So I got busy with some ideas that I used in my previous fridge, and put them to work in my new fridge…

DIY Fridge Mats {A Pretty Life}

Tip #1:  Fridge Mats

I like to use mats on the shelves inside my fridge so that if you have a spill, or your fridge needs a good cleaning, all you have to do is remove the mats and give them a quick wash in your sink.  I just bought some cute placemats from our local grocery store, and cut them to fit the tops of my shelves.  So now, clean ups are super easy!  And how cute do they look?!  Even your fridge can be pretty!  😉

Fresh Veggie Snack Drawer {A Pretty Life}

Tip #2:  Organize your Fruit & Veggie drawers:
Make a drawer of washed, prepped and ready-to-eat fruit & veggies.

We eat a lot of fresh fruit and veggies in our home, so the crispers are always full.  Like really full, and a bit overwhelming for the kids.  So why not make one crisper just for ready to eat fruit & veggies?  This makes packing lunches and snacks super easy!

Tip #3:  Organize your Fruit & Veggie drawers:
Or make one drawer just for fruit and one drawer just for vegetables.

That way, everyone knows where things are when they need something to snack on.

Juice Box & Lunch Organizing {A Pretty Life}

Tip #4:  Storage bins are your friend.

For me, packing lunches is one of my least favourite things to do.  I really, really don’t like this task for some reason.  But it’s not so bad if I can at least find things properly (for some reason yogurt containers flee to every corner of the fridge…no longer…we keep ’em contained).  I like to use labelled containers in the fridge to hold juice boxes, snacks and yogurts.  That way things are easy to find, and it also helps me keep track of what is getting low on supply.

School Lunch Organization {A Pretty Life}

Tip #5:  Keep lunch meats, cheeses and snacks together and within easy reach.

Now that I have this full width drawer, making lunches will be even easier!  I’m using it to hold all the lunch meats, snacks and cheeses I need for the kids lunches.  Easy to reach and easy to find means it’s easier making lunches!

Tip #6:  Get your kids involved in lunch making too!

Keeping on that same thought…having deli meats and cheese accessible, it also makes it easy for the kids to help make their own lunches!  When kids can visually see what they have to work with, they are often more than willing to pitch in and help make their own sandwiches!

Breakfast Organizing {A Pretty Life}

Tip #7:  Have breakfast items within easy reach.

Now that my kids are old enough, they can get up and get their own breakfasts ready.  So I make sure that what they need is easy to find and easy to reach.  I use a container to hold all of our jams so they don’t have to search for them. And we keep the milk and juice accessible too.  I love this because as moms/dads we feel like we have to do everything but we don’t.  Having the kids make their own breakfasts is good for them and good for us because it helps to make our school mornings run so much smoother for everyone.

Freezer Organization {A Pretty Life}

Tip #8:  Keep ice packs handy for lunch kits.

I always put ice packs into my kids lunch kits, and I cannot stand it when I have to dig around in the freezer trying to find one.  So now I keep a bin full of them in the freezer.

Tip #9:  Make your kids empty out their own lunch kits and put away their ice packs when they get home from school.

Get your kids involved in keeping things organized.  The first thing my kids do when they get home is empty and clean out their lunch kits.  They know where the ice packs go, so I don’t have to tell them.

Freezer Zones {A Pretty Life}

Tip #10:  Organize your freezer into zones for lunches and weeknight dinners. 

When the kids are in school, our meal patterns change too.  Weeknight dinners need to be more thought out and organized, so one way to do this is to keep my freezer organized too.  I have my freezer separated into different zones, so that I always know how much of something I have.  Things are easy to find.  Just the way I like it.

Here is how I organize things:
1 bin for ice packs
1 bin for raw meat
1 bin for cooked, leftover meat
1 bin for bread products
1 bin for frozen juices
1 bin for frozen fruits & veggies

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I hope that you were able to get some organizing inspiration here for your own home!  Do you have any fridge tips to share?  Leave a comment if you do!

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Have an organized and lovely day!
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Disclosure: I am part of the Frigidaire Canada Ambassador program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

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35 Comments

  • Reply Shannon August 12, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    I love the mat idea! I was using the sticky plastic wrap but your idea is WAY prettier.

    • Reply Jo-Anna August 13, 2013 at 9:02 PM

      Thank you Shannon! I love the extra little prettiness too! 🙂

  • Reply Sarah [NurseLovesFarmer.com] August 12, 2013 at 8:51 AM

    Awesome tips and those mats are so pretty!

  • Reply Sam August 12, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    Great ideas, especially love the mats!

    • Reply Jo-Anna August 13, 2013 at 9:03 PM

      Thank you Sam! I love the mats too – they are SO handy!

  • Reply Inspire Me Heather August 13, 2013 at 6:25 AM

    Great tips Tami, I have to always have an organized fridge/freezer too! I can’t stand it if items get out of place and not where they should be – I need to see it where it’s supposed to be or I’ll go buy more!

    • Reply Jo-Anna August 13, 2013 at 9:07 PM

      Thank you Heather! I love an organized fridge…it just makes everything run a lot smoother in the kitchen!

  • Reply Lauren August 13, 2013 at 8:38 AM

    Such fantastic ideas. It never fails – the thing I need in the fridge is at the VERY back. (ugh) I need to get a grip on my fridge. 🙂

    I’d love for you to share this at our new link party, Tell Us Tuesday! http://muchadoaboutsomethin.blogspot.com/2013/08/tell-us-tuesday-2.html

    xoxo Lauren
    http://www.muchadoaboutsomethin.com

    • Reply Jo-Anna August 13, 2013 at 9:08 PM

      Thanks Lauren! We find way too many things we need and that are expired hidden off in the back of the fridge, so the bins definitely help us out!

  • Reply Kelly August 13, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    Love the mat idea! I used similar things before, but those look cheaper and very pretty!

    • Reply Jo-Anna August 13, 2013 at 9:06 PM

      Thank you Kelly! It’s super cheap to do, and they look great too! Major win! 🙂

  • Reply Karen@NourishWithKaren August 13, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    I am inspired says the Mom with the messy fridge! What great ideas! Love the mats!

    • Reply Jo-Anna August 13, 2013 at 9:05 PM

      Awesome! I love to inspire! And trust me when I say that my fridge sees many a disorganized day! 🙂

  • Reply nicolette @ momnivore's dilemma August 13, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    Hi Jo-

    Great ideas! I don’t use sticky mats-but you’ve sold me on them now, but I am bin obsessed…I pinned this post at our Back To School board at The Classroom Creative. 🙂

    N

    • Reply Jo-Anna August 13, 2013 at 10:24 PM

      Love it! And yes, you need the mats, lol! Thanks for pinning Nic!

  • Reply Dani @ lifeovereasy August 14, 2013 at 12:21 AM

    Mats? Who would have thought of that??? Great idea, except now I have to add my fridge to the long list of areas I need to organize in the house!

    • Reply Jo-Anna August 15, 2013 at 8:24 AM

      Thank you Dani! They really are very handy! Now I just have to tackle the rest of my home! 😉

  • Reply Emily L. August 14, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    A cute fridge?! How did you come up with that? So clever! I am trying to be a little more like you and organized. This is some great tips and such a cute idea. Now I need to go measure my new fridge and do some shopping. 🙂

  • Reply Shauna @Satori August 14, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    You are such a smarty pants! This is the first year I won’t be doing school lunches. My son is off to college and it’s on his shoulders now. I’ll miss him, but probably not the packing lunches part 🙂

    • Reply Jo-Anna August 15, 2013 at 8:26 AM

      Haha, thanks Shauna! Wow! College!! Now that is a big change!

  • Reply Mama and the City August 16, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    I only have a toddler, but liked your ideas.

  • Reply Tia August 16, 2013 at 8:45 PM

    YEP! My fridge needs this so badly right now. Great tips for organizing. Now… to find the will power.

    • Reply Jo-Anna August 21, 2013 at 9:39 PM

      Thank you Tia! It is hard to get started, but once it’s done it feels so great! I think I need to take my own advice now because my fridge is a bit of a disaster at the moment, lol!

  • Reply Anne@DesignDreams August 17, 2013 at 6:58 AM

    I love the mat idea too – wanna come over and organize my fridge now?? Pretty please??

    • Reply Jo-Anna August 21, 2013 at 9:39 PM

      Haha! You can do it, I promise!! 🙂

  • Reply Great Ideas -- 20 Organizing Ideas! August 18, 2013 at 1:07 AM

    […] Fridge Organization Tips @ A Pretty Life in the Suburbs […]

  • Reply Our Sunday Best Link Party August 18, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    […] 10 Tips to Organize Your Fridge for Back to School […]

  • Reply Home Coming August 19, 2013 at 8:32 AM

    Great ideas for any time of the year! I’d love for you to link up to The DIYers: http://homecomingmn.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-diyers-and-our-country-weekend.html

  • Reply Phyllis Clish September 18, 2013 at 7:50 AM

    I have a frig just like yours and what I did was put a lazy susan on the top shelf to put salad dressings, jams, etc. That way nothing gets lost in the back.

    • Reply Jo-Anna September 18, 2013 at 9:04 PM

      What a great idea! I’m going to see how I can fit one into my fridge! Love it!

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