Mini fridges are a convenient option for small spaces, but their limited storage space can be a challenge. My son initially struggled with fitting groceries into his college dorm mini refrigerator. 

“As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases made through links in this post”

Luckily, there are ways to make the most of your small fridge’s storage space. I’ll be sharing tips and tricks for maximizing storage space in a mini fridge so you can have organization without chaos.

Midea WHS-87LSS1 Refrigerator, 2.4 Cubic Feet, Stainless Steel

Understanding the Layout of a Mini Fridge

First things first, let’s talk about the layout of a mini fridge. Mini fridges have a variety of compartments, including a freezer, refrigerator, and door shelves. There are also compact fridges without a freezer or door shelves, however, these are usually referred to as beverage refrigerators.

Understanding the layout of your mini fridge is key to making the most of its storage space. Let’s take a look at each mini refrigerator section.

Freezer Compartment

The freezer compartment is great for storing frozen dinners and ice cream. However,  keep in mind that it’s not as spacious as a full-size freezer. 

The freezer section of most many fridges will just be a separate area to the top right or left of the fridge section. For context they can usually accommodate about 3 or 4 frozen dinners or a couple of pints of ice cream.

There are larger mini fridges that have a separate freezer with its own door. These types can accommodate many more items but they’re nearly double the price of the standard size mini refrigerator.

Refrigerator Compartment

The refrigerator compartment of the compact refrigerator is where you’ll store most of your perishable items, such as fruits, vegetables, dairy and meats.  Also, it will be the place where you’ll store any leftovers from cooked food or takeout. Many people also use this section of the mini fridge to store any medication that requires refrigeration.

Door Shelves

And finally, the door shelves are a great spot for storing items that you use frequently. For instance, my son keeps his beverages, condiments and yogurt in the door shelf of his dorm mini fridge. The shelves will usually have a little rail to keep anything from falling out when opening and closing the door.

What is the Best Way to Organize a Mini Fridge

Now that you understand the layout of your mini refrigerator, let’s talk about organizational techniques. Using just a couple of these tips will assist in maximizing storage space in a mini fridge. 

1. Use shelving and racks

One of the most effective ways to organize a mini fridge is by using shelving and racks. A compact fridge will already have at least one rack. 

However, inserting additional shelves and racks in your mini fridge can give you more space to store items, by separating them and lifting them off the bottom of the fridge. 

2. Stackable containers

Stackable containers are also a great option for maximizing storage space. These containers come in different sizes and shapes, and can be easily stacked on top of each other, saving a lot of space. 

You can use them to store items separately from each other such as fruits and vegetables, cheese, deli meats, or any other type of food that needs to be kept fresh. Stackable containers also have tight-fitting lids that help keep the food fresh by sealing out air and moisture. 

3. Use chip bag clips or binder clips

Now here’s an idea that won’t cost you a thing since these are items almost everyone already has. You can use chip bag or binder clips to find hidden storage space in a mini fridge. Use them by attaching fairly flat bagged items to the door shelving and secure with the clip.

Chip bag clipped to mini fridge shelving

4. Use food storage bags

Plastic sandwich bags single handedly transformed by son’s dormitory mini fridge! All those wayward condiment packets and mini candy bars were placed into sandwich bags and tucked neatly or attached to a shelf with a chip bag clip. 

Maximize Vertical Space in a Mini Fridge

Adding shelving, racks and stackable containers are great items that can be purchased to make the most of your mini fridge space. However, let’s discuss maximizing space without purchasing any add-ons.

Another way to maximize storage space in a mini fridge is by using vertical space. This means stacking items on top of each other, rather than placing them side by side. I do this all the time with my water bottles and yogurts. 

Door shelves are a great spot to utilize vertical space, as they’re often deep enough to hold items such as tall bottles and jars. 

What Should I Fill My Mini Fridge With?

Lastly, let’s talk about food and drink selection. The type of food and drinks you store in your mini fridge can greatly affect its storage space. For example, bulky packaging can  take up a lot of space. 

We know that the freezer compartment of a compact fridge is really small. Do you use freezer items that come in bulky boxes, such as frozen dinners, corn dogs or waffles? If so, space can be saved by removing the food from the boxes and placing them in freezer bags.

You should also consider filling your mini fridge with smaller sized beverages to maximize space. Try switching from full 12oz or 20oz sodas to mini-sized sodas. This change not only gives you more space but also saves you money and lowers your caloric intake.

FRIGIDAIRE EFR376-BLACK 3.1 Cu Ft Black Retro Bar Fridge with Side Bottle Opener

Smaller items like yogurt cups, fruit cups and string cheese are also great choices because they take up less space. Just remember to remove them from their packaging and stack when you can to save even more space. 

Lastly, if you prefer fresh fruit like apples and oranges, it’s a great idea to cut your fruit into slices. You can place them in storage bags so they stay fresh. This will take up considerably less space than whole pieces of fruit rolling all over your mini fridge.

Our Final Thoughts

Maximizing storage space in a mini fridge is possible with a little bit of planning and organization. Remember to understand the layout of your mini fridge, use organizational techniques, and maximize vertical space by stacking items.

Also, select food and drinks that are small in size or that can be rehomed into space-saving packaging. I hope these tips and tricks will help you make the most of your mini fridge’s storage space. Let us know if you tried any of our ideas!