Welcome to Coming Clean, a monthly column where writer Lauren Viera finds the best products for the toughest-to-clean parts of the kitchen. Along the way, she just might convince you (and herself) to actually enjoy this whole cleaning thing.
There’s something about autumn that says, “Stop procrastinating and live your best life already.” Maybe this motivation to do something major—to accomplish something—is thanks to the residual emotional effect of countless back-to-school seasons. Years of adolescent rituals—the sharpening of pencils, the creasing of new notebooks —have conditioned us to associate fall with taking care of business. And right now, the kind of taking care of business I'm suggesting is organizing your fridge.
First up? Empty it. Of everything—including all those random condiments. Next, clean it like you mean it. Now you’re ready to transform that chilly blank box into an oasis of food so inviting, it’ll inspire you to cook more often (and, in my case, eat more fresh fruit). Behold: the most practical, beautiful, and earth-friendly refrigerator organization ideas and tools to help you live your best life, starting now.
Sponges are gross. What’s the alternative? We did a lot of research, and found one (or two) clear winners.
OXO Greensaver Produce Keepers
Produce doesn’t lie: when it’s past its prime, you know. Extend the longevity of your fridge's most precious cargo with these brilliant containers. The built-in basket protects produce from moisture puddles, and the adjustable lid vent is fitted with a slim carbon filter to help reduce spoilage. There’s even a date indicator and a companion app to remind you when to change the filter.
Glass Herb Keeper
If you fancy your herbs worthy of museum-quality display, or just want to keep them fresher longer, invest in one of these. Made of sturdy glass, this keeper’s slim design allows it to slip into the door of your fridge.
20.00, Crate & Barrel
Five Two Airtight Silicone Lids
Of all the tools considered here, these are the most versatile. Cover leftovers with these surprisingly strong airtight silicone lids and pop ’em in the fridge. When you’re ready to reheat, they’re safe to use in the oven up to 550°F. They make great splash guards, they’re dishwasher-safe, and the color palette is just so good.
If you haven’t yet ditched plastic wrap, do it for your fridge makeover. The best alternative is beeswax wrap, and Bee’s Wrap is my favorite. It does everything plastic wrap can do, and looks way cuter doing it.
Saving half an avocado for later? Give it a hug. Need to cover your ramekin of olives? Here, have a hug. Stashing a half-eaten cucumber for tomorrow’s salad? Hug it. These stretchy silicone sealers add little pops of color all over the fridge, and are the perfect no-fuss way to cover half-eaten produce without using single-use plastics or dirtying a dish.
OXO Good Grips Glass Food Storage Containers
At last: an excuse to ditch all those junky takeout containers. Made from crystal-clear borosilicate glass, these come in all sizes, are tough as nails, and neatly stack together when they're not holding leftovers in the fridge.
Stasher 100% Silicone Reusable Food Bag
What first appears to be a basic reusable version of the classic Ziploc bag is so much more. Made of nontoxic silicone, Stashers are heat-safe up to 400°F, making for seamless fridge-to-range marinades, sous vides, and more.
BINO 12-Inch Lazy Susan
Why more people don’t use a Lazy Susan in the fridge is beyond me: it’s perfect for that back corner relegated to pickles, hot sauces, and salad dressings. Stick those orphans on a merry-go-round of condiments, and they’re way more likely to get noticed and way easier to access.
Fridge Monkey Can Stacker
Rack-style bottle storage is great if your fridge has the real estate. But in smaller spaces, even a six-pack of Spindrifts can crowd a corner. Go vertical with this simple rubber stacker designed to stack 10 12-ounce cans or bottles, or nine-ish wine or spirit bottles.
7.00, Container Store
iDesign Linus Pantry Bins
Picture it: a world without towers of yogurt (or applesauce, or whatever) threatening to topple from the top shelf. Bins are great for wrangling these strays, and give your fridge instant “organized adult” status.
11.00, Container Store
Originally Appeared on Epicurious