1. Remove everything and wipe out
If you are going to do it, do it right. Take everything out, grab a rag and some all-purpose cleaner, and wipe it out. You will enjoy the effects for weeks to come.
2. Check expiration dates
There is stuff in your fridge that is old and expired. Get rid of it and make a list of things you need to replace. Condiments are repeat offenders on my list.
Put all the leftovers together in one area on your counter. Make piles for all the fruits, veggies, deli items, condiments, etc. This will help with containment later as well as allow you to see if you have duplicates to get rid of.
4. Make an "eat me first" section
Leftovers and ingredients that will soon perish should reside together in one section of your fridge. I like the top shelf (usually) but do what will work best for you. The key is visibility - so front and center please.
5. Zone it out
You guessed it. Now that you have sorted and purged, you must decide where each category should go based on accessibility. If you use it often or need to use it up soon, put it up front. Condiments usually fit best on the door, but go one step further, group all the salad dressings together and all the sandwich/burger condiments together.
6. Set the controls on your drawers
Fruits and veggies typically go in drawers. Give these 2 categories their own separate drawers and use the correct humidity controls. Low humidity is for anything that rots easily (like fruit) and high humidity is for anything that wilts (like greens).
7. Contain like items together
Fridge bins allow you to group like items together. I use these to contain soda cans, yogurt cups and dessert toppings in my fridge. Consider getting a bin for categories that have a lot of stuff - to keep like items together.
8. Don't be afraid to get creative with your organizing solutions
9. Label - so others know where to put stuff
Facilitate easy days ahead by labeling shelves, door sections, and bins. Make "putting groceries away" a task you can delegate! I love chalkboard labels because they are cute and reusable.
10. Keep it fresh and tidy
If you want to line drawers and bins with paper towels, it makes clean up easy. Just replace the paper towels every 2 weeks. Redo this mini-project every 3-6 months to keep your fridge working for you!