4 tools to organize a messy fridge when you have roommates

Living with roommates always has its ups and downs. Sharing a fridge is no different. 

Refrigerators are bound to get messy. Leftovers pile up, things get moved around and, eventually, nobody knows what belongs to whom. Watch as In The Know’s Phoebe Zaslav shares her four tools on how to organize a fridge when you have roommates. 

“The way my four roommates and I do it is we each share drawers and shelves, but we buy separate groceries,” Phoebe says. “What we really share are condiments and some drinks. And while it works great, it definitely leads to a veryvery messy fridge.” 

Before anything, you’ll want to reset with a thorough cleaning to make sure the fridge is spick and span. 

“Take everything out, and yes, I mean everything, and clean that bad boy out,” she says. 

1. Use drawer dividers

Drawer dividers can split your fridge bins into sections, making it easier to stay on top of who owns which items.

“There are two roommates per fridge bin in this house, so I took this adjustable divider and separated the produce bin in half,” she explains. “Now each roommate can see exactly what they have and no one gets confused over which apple is theirs.” 

2. Maximize space with additional shelves

You can take advantage of every inch of space by adding extra shelving. Just be sure to select the optimal size.

“These 3.5-inch shelves are amazing for adding leverage and way more extra space to your shelf. I found that the average height for shelves was 6 inches but the 3.5-inch is perfect for making sure you can stack your groceries to their fullest potential,” Phoebe advises. 

3. Labels are your friend

Phoebe labeled all of the bins on the side door of her fridge to group condiments together in categories like dressings, marinades, mayos, etc. Labels just making navigating any space that much easier.  

“This is not only so aesthetically pleasing but now every time I go to look for a specific condiment, I know exactly where it’s supposed to be,” she says. “I also got a little label-happy and decided to label the bin sections for each roomie. Now no one is getting confused.” 

4. Organize beverages with drink bins

Drink bins are designed to store cans compactly to save space. For anyone with a bad LaCroix habit, they can be a godsend. 

“Our bottom drawer was full of miscellaneous soda and seltzer cans,” Phoebe says. “So I found these drink storage bins that are perfect for holding 12-ounce cans. I put these on the top drink shelf since we mostly share these.”

When Phoebe was done, she actually had room in the fridge to spare. 

“Our fridge is ready to be stocked to the brim!” she says. “We even have an empty bin that we are still debating on what to use it for, but it could even be for something like skin care!” 

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