Today, I’m sharing about my Dollar Tree fridge makeover and how to organize your fridge on a budget! Decluttering and cleaning the fridge is one of those things I hate to do (I actually don’t know anyone who particularly enjoys it), but I do love it when it’s done, and a good organizing project is always a fun reward, so here we go!
How Can I Organize My Fridge Cheap?
Dollar Tree. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, Dollar Tree has an ever-increasing number of storage containers you can use to organize every part of your fridge (your freezer, too, but in this post, we’re just focusing on the fridge). Much of what they offer for pantry organization can also work in the fridge, and even storage containers which were never intended for the fridge (i.e. the paper trays I use in this Dollar Tree fridge makeover) can work beautifully in your fridge.
Step #1 Pull Everything Out
Don’t leave stuff in the fridge and try to work around it. Pull everything out onto the counters so you have access to every square inch of your fridge.
Step #2 Declutter and Group Like Items
Once you have everything out on your kitchen counters, declutter the food that’s gone bad or the stuff you no longer want, consolidate items if you can, etc. This is also a great time to wipe down bottles that have become sticky and so forth. Then, group like items together. This step is crucial for getting items organized and having a successful Dollar Tree fridge makeover.
Step #3 Wash and Wipe Everything Down
Wash or wipe down every surface of your fridge. I use Mrs. Meyer’s Multi-Purpose cleaner, and then for the drawers, I pull them out and wash them with soap and warm water. I also pulled the frame of the bottom shelf out and scrubbed it with a cleaning toothbrush. So gross, but the result was so satisfying.
Step #4 Start Adding Dollar Tree Containers
Now that you have a clean slate to work with, start adding Dollar Tree containers in the fridge, moving them around in different spots to see what works. My major goal in this Dollar Tree fridge makeover was to make everything in our fridge visible and accessible (no more fuzzy forgotten leftovers crammed in the back corner). This is a concept I covered in a little more in depth in this blog post.
For our Dollar Tree fridge makeover, I grabbed these shallow paper trays and one larger matching bin (this is a different size but the same style as the one I bought). The options are endless! Dollar Tree has clear acrylic organizers, rubberized trays, stacking bins and more. I chose these paper trays because they were shallow enough to fit on every shelf in my fridge, they had a solid bottom to catch spills, and they will slide in and out of the fridge easily.
Step #5 Put Everything Back
Once you’ve decided on containers and placed them in the fridge, fill them with the remaining food on your kitchen countertops. As usual, I recommend grouping like items together as much as possible. In our fridge, I grouped dairy items, leftovers, thawing meat, meat and cheese, fruits, vegetables, beverages, and condiments. I was left with one empty bin, which will easily be filled the next time I go grocery shopping. After you finish your Dollar Tree fridge makeover, try it out for a week or two and see how things are working for you. It’s great to have a good-looking fridge, but if it doesn’t work for you in the trenches of everyday life, it’s not going to do you much good long-term.
So that’s it! I don’t know why I put off decluttering, cleaning and organizing the fridge for so long. I was easily able to accomplish this in part of an afternoon while my children were napping. In future, I plan to make fridge decluttering and cleaning a regular part of my routine by decluttering and wiping out the fridge right before I go grocery shopping every other week. I know the job won’t grow as big if it’s part of my regular routine, and with this new little Dollar Tree fridge makeover, it should be easy to get it done.