Preparing meals for the upcoming week is a good option for those looking to control portion sizes, eat healthier, or save time. Whether you’re cooking everything ahead of time or just preparing food to be cooked during the week, refrigerator organization is an important part of weekly meal prep.

  1. Store Everything Properly
  2. First, ensure that you’re using your refrigerator efficiently. An organized fridge will make it easier for you to eat well and find what you’re looking for.

    Already prepared foods and those that don’t need to be cooked should be stored at the top. This way, any drips will land on food that will eventually be cooked.

    The lower part of your fridge should hold raw ingredients like meat or fish. This will keep your food from becoming cross-contaminated. You can even use a drawer for raw meat and store fresh produce on one of the shelves.

    The door is the warmest part of the fridge, so avoid putting dairy or other especially perishable items there.

  3. Use Bins and Baskets
  4. They will help you find what you’re looking for while ensuring that everything stays put. If possible, use clear bins and baskets so you can see what each one holds. Containers will also help prevent cross-contamination by keeping drips or spills contained.

  5. Choose Containers Wisely
  6. homemade salads in glass jarsUsing clear, matching containers to organize your fridge will make your life easier. You can see what’s inside, and if they match, stacking becomes simple.

    Even if your containers aren’t all the same, multiple sets of matching containers work just as well. Also, use the best container for the food being stored. For example, salads keep better in glass containers. If it’s something you’ll grab on the go, use a travel-worthy container.

  7. List Everything
  8. It’s relatively easy for things to disappear in the fridge, so why not keep a list of its contents? Making a list of what’s in your fridge will help you keep track of everything and waste less food—and keeping the list up-to-date provides you with a handy shopping list when items run out.

  9. Use Labels
  10. leftovers in fridge with labelsLabel anything you think needs to be labeled.

    While it may be a tedious project, it can cut down on the time it takes to find things in the fridge. Labeling shelves and baskets will simplify the organization process over time, since you’ll already know where everything belongs.

    As for food containers, labeling those (including the date the food was prepared) will keep you from getting frustrated with mystery foods and will allow you to quickly determine whether something is safe to eat or needs to be thrown away.

With these fridge hacks, organizing your fridge for weekly meal prep will be a breeze.