An untidy fridge can potentially cause issues. From forgotten leftovers to random items stuffed in the fridge — if it’s not tidy in there, then it can create problems for your health and budget. But, good thing we have organizing strategies to help us stay away from those things! By keeping your fridge organized, you can make the most of your available space and keep everything fresh and ready to eat.
Clean and Sort
In organizing a fridge, the first step is to clean and sort all of your fridge items. Go through your refrigerator and check for expiration dates, mold, and other signs of spoiled food. If an item is beyond its expiration date, throw it out. If you come across leftovers or food in plastic storage containers, you might want to throw them into the trash; especially when you don’t remember when you put them inside. When it’s a matter of food, you don’t want to take any chances.
With a neat and free fridge, take the time to deep-clean your fridge’s interiors. Using hot, soapy water or a mild bleach solution, wipe down and dry all surfaces, including inside drawers and bins. A clean fridge means that you can now begin your organization system.
Keeping your fridge organized starts with an inventory of how long the food has been kept inside. While many pre-packaged foods will come with an expiration or sell-by date on them, you might want to keep track of fruits and veggies or food that you bring home or that is leftover from meals so that you know when you added them to the fridge and when they will need to be thrown out.
Consider using a dry-erase marker to write the dates of meals and takeout on the container. For perishables, you can do something similar with the inside of your fridge. By noting both when you brought them home and when they need to be used, your groceries are safe from becoming spoiled and you can protect yourself by avoiding eating leftovers that can possibly make you sick.
Keeping loose items tidy in a fridge can be hard, especially things like fruits, vegetables, and even small condiment jars. To keep everything neat and clutter-free, you can make use of clear storage bins so that you can group loose items together. Think about investing in some quality reusable food storage containers with tight-fitting lids. This can help you store food safely and reduce waste by reusing your containers over and over again.
You can also use a dry-erase marker on the bins and storage containers to keep track of the dates things were purchased. Using bins and storage containers in your fridge will free up space for larger items elsewhere and more easily track expiration dates of perishable items.
Develop a System
As you exchange certain items for others, you should start to develop a system for storing them. You will be able to know exactly where each item is, and you can make your food last longer and make it safer. For example, take note that certain items should be kept in certain places.
Ideally, meat should be kept on the lowest shelf to avoid dripping and contaminating other food. The fridge door is not the ideal place to store your milk as this will expose it to warm air often, leading to spoiling. You ought to also separate your fruits and vegetables, and use trays for messy items to prevent spills.
It’s one thing to clean and organize your fridge — it’s another to keep it that way. So, come up with a plan as to how you can do that! No matter how organized the fridge, eventually, it will need to be cleaned again, and the old items be thrown out. Consider creating a cleaning schedule to ensure that your fridge stays organized. One way you could do this is to set aside a day in a month or week to go through everything, rotating and updating your fresh produce, and wiping down fridge surfaces. Consistently doing this can spare you the dread of having to do a deep-clean and purge of your fridge and freezer.
A few helpful tips can go a long way in keeping your fridge clean and organized. It’s really not that difficult.
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