An open French door refrigerator with various food items inside

HOW TO ORGANIZE A FRENCH DOOR REFRIGERATOR

With two half-width doors and a space-maximizing layout, the classic style of a French door refrigerator and its specialized storage compartments can grant you greater visibility to help you quickly grab snacks and ingredients. 

Knowing how to effectively organize this essential kitchen appliance can also help you maximize storage space and get the most out of your fridge. Read on for helpful French door fridge organization ideas to streamline the cleanup process in your kitchen.

A woman taking juice out of the door of a French door fridge A woman taking juice out of the door of a french door fridge

HOW TO ORGANIZE A FRENCH DOOR FRIDGE FROM TOP TO BOTTOM

One of the greatest ways to maintain a clean, streamlined kitchen space for easy food prep and cooking is to keep your storage spaces neat. To effectively organize your French door refrigerator, it’s important to know optimal locations for storing various items and ingredients, as well as how to clean the appliance properly. Read the following steps for a helpful overview of how to organize your French door refrigerator. 

SUPPLIES:

  • Mild detergent or other non-abrasive cleaner

  • Warm water

  • Stainless steel cleaning spray (optional)

  • Absorbent liners

  • Labels

  • Airtight storage containers

TOOLS:

  • Clean sponge or soft cloths

  • Pen

A person cleaning the outside of a French door fridge with a cloth A person cleaning the outside of a french door fridge with a cloth

STEP 1: CLEAN THE FRIDGE

To get your appliance ready for organizing, begin by cleaning the inside and outside of the fridge. This includes the exterior of the fridge as well as the interior surfaces, the shelves and the storage bins. Taking the time to clean your refrigerator is also a great opportunity to take inventory and throw away any items you don’t need.

When cleaning your French door fridge, avoid using abrasive cleaning tools or harsh cleansers to protect the appliance from damage. Clean the inside of your fridge by following these steps: 

  • Remove all contents from the fridge and freezer compartments

  • Unplug the appliance

  • Remove all storage shelves and bins

  • Hand wash the fridge walls, the door and permanent shelves using a clean sponge or soft cloth and a mild detergent or other non-abrasive cleaner with warm water

  • Dry all parts and surfaces with a clean cloth

  • Place the removable parts back inside the fridge

  • Plug in the appliance

Clean the outside of your French door with a gentle cleaner. If you have a traditional stainless steel fridge without a fingerprint-resistant coating, consider using a solution like affresh® Stainless Steel Cleaning Spray1 for dedicated care of your stainless steel appliances. 

A person taking milk out of the door of a French door fridge A person taking milk out of the door of a french door fridge

STEP 2: ORGANIZE THE DOOR

The contents of the door are often the first things you see when you open your French door refrigerator, making them the ideal spot for placing frequently-used items, such as butter, condiments or dressings. Storing these smaller, less perishable items in the fridge door is also a great way to free up valuable space on the shelves. 

Because temperature fluctuations can affect different areas of the fridge, the doors may be a few degrees warmer than other parts of the interior. As a result, avoid storing temperature-sensitive items like milk or eggs in the door.

Various food items on the shelves and in the bins of a refrigerator Various food items on the shelves and in the bins of a refrigerator

STEP 3: SORT THE UPPER AND LOWER SHELVES

Organize the shelves of your French door refrigerator while keeping in mind differences in temperature throughout the fridge. As a rule of thumb, items best suited for cooler storage environments should be stored on the lower shelves, while less sensitive items can go on the warmer upper shelves. For example, the upper shelves are generally best for storing prepared foods, leftovers and beverages — they’re also a convenient area for placing regularly used items, such as milk or eggs.

Keep meat, dairy and other perishable items on the lower shelves. Prevent cross-contamination by designating specific areas for storing foods to be cooked at high temperatures, such as raw meat, poultry and fish.

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TAKE ADVANTAGE OF VERTICAL SPACE

Most refrigerator models come with adjustable shelves that you can use to get the most out of the vertical storage space in your fridge. Adjust the refrigerator shelves for increased storage flexibility for keeping tall items like soda bottles or pitchers of juice.

A person taking cheese out of a fridge drawer A person taking cheese out of a fridge drawer

STEP 4: SORT THE FRIDGE DRAWERS

If your refrigerator has them, use the dedicated drawers to sort items according to type, which allows you to exercise greater control over storage environments and conditions while keeping your fridge clutter-free. 

For example, most French door fridge models come with dedicated crisper drawers for storing ingredients according to humidity, which work well for keeping fruits and vegetables — simply adjust the airflow in each drawer with the slider as needed, allowing at least ⅓ of space in the drawer to provide ample breathing room for fresh food and ingredients. Another useful component is the deli drawer, which you can use to store items like sandwich meat or cheese. 

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USE REFRIGERATOR LINERS

Consider using a replaceable absorbent liner on the bottom of your storage bins to reduce spills for easier cleanup.

Various frozen items in the freezer drawer of a French door fridge Various frozen items in the freezer drawer of a french door fridge

STEP 5: SORT THE FREEZER

Keep your freezer compartment looking clean and organized by sorting items according to their type. For example, try stacking TV dinners on top of one another while designating a special place for frozen desserts like ice cream or popsicles.

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LABEL FRIDGE AND FREEZER ITEMS

Labeling your items in the fridge and freezer is a great way to keep track of expiration dates. Try labeling items with dates and names to help prevent wasted food. This is particularly helpful when managing freezer items with longer storage times.

Produce and leftovers in storage containers on the shelf of a fridge Produce and leftovers in storage containers on the shelf of a fridge

WHAT FOODS SHOULD I PUT IN CONTAINERS?

The storage bins and containers of your French door fridge are great for storing a variety of food and ingredients, such as fresh produce like fruits or leafy greens, as well as deli ingredients like lunch meat or sliced cheese.

In addition to the built-in storage compartments of your French door fridge, you can also use separate, airtight storage containers for keeping the last few bites of yesterday’s dinner or breakfast leftovers like eggs and sliced fruit. Remember to use clear storage and organization containers to easily and quickly identify items.

A French door fridge slightly ajar A french door fridge slightly ajar

WHAT IS THE COLDEST PART OF A FRENCH DOOR FRIDGE?

The lower shelves of a French door fridge are typically the coldest parts. Because this area is cooler than the upper shelves or bins, use the lower shelves to store perishable items like meat or dairy.

Because certain parts of a fridge will have cooler temperatures than others, becoming familiar with the areas of your refrigerator that remain cooler can help you determine where to place certain items as you organize.

SHOP MAYTAG® FRENCH DOOR REFRIGERATORS

From party-size platters for entertaining to ingredients for everyday meals, your fridge helps you store everything you need to fuel your busy life. The powerful temperature controls and features like the Wide-N-Fresh™ deli drawer or the Soft Freeze Bin on select refrigerators by Maytag brand are designed to keep it all effortlessly cold and organized. Browse the full collection of fridges by Maytag brand to find the appliance with the right storage and organizational features for you. 

DISCOVER MORE REFRIGERATOR TIPS WITH MAYTAG BRANd

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1. affresh® brand products and the recommending brands’ products are all owned and distributed by Whirlpool Corporation.