October 5, 2020
How to Add Zones to a Fridge and Freezer
After years of using a French door refrigerator, we recently went back to a side by side. It has taken some configuring and getting used to the new set up, but I finally have it organized in a way that makes sense for us. Just like our French door refrigerator, I created zones – this refrigerator is quite a bit larger. We also have a stand-up freezer and the old refrigerator in the garage. This has been a huge blessing when it comes to meal planning, grocery shopping, and having food in storage.
The kitchen had a space for a built-in refrigerator but it was never placed by the original owners. We found one that would fit the space perfectly and went for it. It’s a Kitchenaid 30.0 cu. ft 48-Inch Width Built-In Side by Side Refrigerator with PrintShield™ Finish. If you’re wondering about the “PrintShield™ Finish”, it’s amazing! I was skeptical but it doesn’t show prints or smudges at all and it looks like regular stainless steel.
If you’re curious what the inside layout is, here’s a factory image from Kitchenaid. I wasn’t sure if I could go back from a drawer freezer to a side-by-side, I love this layout. I love that there isn’t a water or ice dispenser in the door and and I love how much room there is in the refrigerator and freezer.
QUICK TIP: Wipe down your refrigerator weekly (I use Bar Mop Towels – find them here) as you’re doing a grocery list/menu planning. You’ll be able to maintain your clean fridge status and you won’t have nearly as much food waste. I do this on Fridays as part of my Catch-All Day Routine. You can see more about the Clean Mama Routine here.
If you have never thought of adding zones to your refrigerator/freezer I recommend completely emptying it and decide on zones for your refrigerator and freezer. If you want to plan it out a bit you can use sticky notes on the shelves to figure out where things will fit.
The zones are fairly universal – tweak to fit your diet and the typical food that is stored regularly. Fruits, vegetables, dairy condiments, beverages, leftovers, food that is going to be cooked in a day or two (meat tray and flex), etc. I find that keeping the fruit and vegetables – fresh in the refrigerator and frozen in the freezer in the same area in both is helpful.
I also find it helpful to separate the sweet condiments from the savory condiments – this just keeps things easy for locating and helps us to know what we have so we can use it up.
The biggest dilemma I ran into was that the drawers are large and it was hard to keep things separated and easy to grab. I found these acrylic kitchen organizers and put one in the dairy drawer, three in the fruit drawer, and one in the vegetable drawer.
They come in different sizes – measure and make sure that they’ll fit. They fit snugly in our refrigerator and can be removed and washed in the sink with warm, soapy water. I love the organization that they add.
Here’s a look at the fruit and veggie drawers – these change depending on the season, what we’re eating and what we’re cooking each week. I always keep limes and lemons in the fruit drawer!
I’ve talked about this tip – I keep a quarter sheet pan in the refrigerator and put uncooked meat on it – this keeps the shelf clean and keeps those proteins at the ready for the week.
I hope this helps give you some ideas for organizing your refrigerator and freezer into zones – once you have your zones set up, it’s so much easier to keep it that way!
What zones will you add?
Looking for more Organizing Inspiration?
Get Access to Clean Mama's Free To-Do List Printable
You'll also get access to the entire free printable library!