It’s amazing how a well-organized refrigerator can look like. Apart from saving space, an organized refrigerator also saves you money and time. Since you know what’s inside the fridge, mealtimes and grocery shopping become easy. Moreover, you will have less food to waste, as well as unpleasant smells.
The fridge is a space that you access at least thrice a day. Establishing order in the fridge means you’ll have a stress free experience when preparing your meals. Now, let’s look at 8 refrigerator organizing ideas.
Clean your fridge
The first thing to start with is a full cleanout of the refrigerator. When you do that, you will realize that it’s far much easier to organize it to your desired results. No matter how you’d like to organize your refrigerator, make sure that you keep the following in mind:
- The bottom of the refrigerator is the coldest area. Therefore, it’s the best place where you should store items that can spoil easily like fish, raw meat, and yogurt.
- The upper area of the fridge is the warmest, and it’s ideal for drinks, bread, leftovers, and ready to eat foodstuffs.
- The door tends to be a bit warmer than the rest of the fridge because of the warm air that gets when whenever you open the fridge. Therefore, put items that are less likely to spoil there.
Work on one session at a time
This is essential as it will prevent you from being overwhelmed when organizing the fridge. Therefore, it’s best when you start tackling one area at a time. Remove all the times from the chosen section, and then put them in a cooler. Then, dispose of any item that’s already expired.
When rearranging the items again, remove their packaging whenever possible—this will save you some space in the fridge. Moreover, go ahead, and indicate the expiration date on every time with a permanent marker. When the refrigerator section is empty, use a damp cloth to wipe down the surfaces. If you notice that the fridge has some foul smell, use a DIY fridge deodorizer like a jar of coffee or baking soda.
Furthermore, you shouldn’t forget that the shelves on your fridge are adjustable. Therefore, you can adjust the shelf heights depending on the size of the stored items. At the end of the day, you will be surprised by the amount of space that you create by simply adjusting the shelves.
Keep soon-to-expire items in the front
This is very important—all items that are bound to expire soon should be put in a box, and then labeled. Then make sure that you place these items upfront for easy access. Each week, go through the items in your fridge and see what’s about to get spoilt before the due date.
Put these items in a container or bin and then let your family members know that they should be eaten first.
Create space for a snack box
A snack box is essential if you have kids. At times, you will realize that it’s a big challenge to keep them out of the cookie jar or candy cupboard. But, having a snack box makes it easier for your kids to find them.
Don’t forget to label the snack box. This will make sure that your kids won’t re-arrange every other item on your fridge when searching for their favorite snacks.
Keep fish and meat at the bottom drawer
If you didn’t know, the bottom drawer is the coldest area of a fridge. Therefore, you should always keep your uncooked fish or meat products in this area. Also, you can use a crisper drawer for your meat and fish products as this keeps it away from other items in your fridge, thus preventing cross-contamination.
Before putting these products on your fridge, you can opt to remove their original packaging, and then wrap them in a foil. This will help in extending their shelf life. However, you shouldn’t keep any of your fish and meat products in a refrigerator for more than four days.
Store and arrange items according to their category
Most people tend to randomly toss things in their refrigerators—something that makes a fridge to look disorganized. Therefore, the next time you are arranging or restocking your fridge with fresh supplies, consider keeping items that go together in the same area.
For instance, you can keep your jelly and peanut butter, deli meats, cheese, milk, and eggs in the same area. Also, you should group all your groceries. This not only makes your fridge look neat and organized, but it also makes accessing your refrigerator more convenient. So, you need to think about your eating habits. Then, find the items that you tend to reach more often. This will minimize the time that you spend on your fridge searching for items.
Label all the items in your refrigerator
Some people have already adopted this exercise. However, if you haven’t thought of it, you are missing out on a big way to make your fridge look organized. Regardless of whatever you are packaging—be it in your storage containers, zip-lock bags, or wax paper, make sure that you label the packaging. The best way to do that is to write the name of the item on both sides, together with its storage date.
This will assist you to know what you’ve kept in the refrigerator the longest. Moreover, you will start to prioritize what you should sue first, and what you need to restock the next time you visit the grocery store.
Keep some fruits away from veggies
You can keep most of your veggies in a perforated plastic bag, and then store them in the crisper drawer. However, you should keep the veggies away from fruits that produce ethylene. The main reason behind this is to prevent these veggies from decomposing at a faster rate. Examples of these fruits re stone fruits, apples, mangoes, kiwis, pears, and passion fruit.
Fruits and vegetables that can be affected by ethylene include carrots, broccoli, cucumbers, eggplant, avocados, and lettuce. However, you can still capitalize on the power of the ethylene to ripen some fruits—like avocados. For other items like mushrooms, it’s recommendable that you keep them in their original packaging. When you open these items, wrap the entire package with a plastic wrap, or cling film to preserve their freshness.
Bonus point: let the frosting on untouched cakes act as a seal
Most frosted cakes can easily be kept at an area with room temperature. However, there are a few exceptions to this: areas with high humidity and temperature, or cakes with cream cheese frosting. If this is your scenario, you can then store the frosted cake in your fridge, but it must be unwrapped. The frosting will create a seal that will prevent the cake from losing its moisture. Therefore, you will not need to wrap the cake with a plastic wrap and risk ruining your beautiful icing work.
Following these tips will not only make your fridge look organized and neat, it will also assist in making your fridge energy efficient. Also, this will ensure that your food doesn’t go bad before its due date. However, if you notice that your fridge isn’t efficient as it was before or food is going bad before the due date, let a technician from Hartman’s Appliance Repair in Tampa inspect your fridge.