Ina Garten's No-Frills Method For Organizing The Fridge

All good cooking starts with a clean kitchen and an organized refrigerator. It just makes the process flow that much easier. When your fridge is cluttered, you are more likely to forget about ingredients you buy at the store, leading to food waste and money down the drain. That's why we love how Ina Garten employs a no-frills method of organizing hers.

While appearing on Domino Magazine's "Design Time" podcast, Garten explained that she likes to stay organized because when you are piling things on top of each other in the refrigerator, you ultimately lose your system and can't find anything. So how does she avoid this conundrum? Because her perspective was shaped by her time as a specialty store retailer she naturally gravitates to organizing her own refrigerator in the same manner. The Barefoot Contessa said, "If the Evian wasn't lined up perfectly in the refrigerator at the store, it would drive me crazy. All the labels had to be forward. It had to be just right." This is why on one side of the top shelves, she "always [has] milk and cream and dairy things," while eggs are piled up on the other side.

She merches her fridge

Garten also shared that she has a clear drawer where the veggies go and takes special care of those produce items that need to be hydrated by storing them in a damp paper towel in a bag. Carrots are a great example. If it sounds like the cookbook author "merches" her fridge, she conceded that she does. "I do. I make sure it looks good. But also, it's the best way to store something." But the chef has other organizational tricks that can come in handy.

When asked if she has any containers she uses to keep her fridge looking pristine and orderly, Garten said she is a fan of deli containers that come in quart, half-pint, and pint sizes. She simply throws them in the dishwasher when they have been emptied of their contents and reuses them. When it comes to labeling, Garten said that is a practice that is generally reserved for the freezer. But when she does, she makes certain to write what the food is and the date she is placing it into the freezer.