It’s a warm summer’s day, and you go to your fridge for a snack. When you open up the door, you find an avalanche of food and containers falling on you. Filling up a refrigerator is a life skill not everyone has mastered, but it is easy enough to learn.
Knowing how to organize your fridge not only makes it easier to find what you’re looking for and avoids a food avalanche, it helps stop overcrowding, which saves you energy, and makes your fridge run better, so you can avoid costly repairs. Organizing your fridge also helps you know when things expire to avoid gross smells.
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Clear Out the Clutter
If your fridge is too full, it’s time to clear it out. If the fridge is over-crowded, it reduces the fridge’s ability to circulate air flow, which makes the fridge have to work harder to keep the air cold. Toss out anything that’s passed its expiry date, and place what you are saving in a safe spot. This is an excellent time to clean the interior of your fridge if you haven’t done it in awhile.
Reload and Reorganize
Once you have sorted out what is going and what is staying, and you have given your fridge a good cleaning, you can start to put the food you are keeping back. A good tip for organizing your refrigerator is to categorize items together. This can include meats, dairy, fruits, vegetables, and whatever else you keep in your fridge.
Keep your meats at the bottom of the fridge: it’s a constant cold spot so they’ll stay fresh longer, plus if they drip juice it won’t make contact with other foods and contaminate them. Cold cuts and cheeses go in a deli drawer, and fruits and vegetables can go together in another drawer. Dressings and other condiments go on the rack inside the door because they can tolerate the change in temperature when the door is opened and closed. Leftovers should get their own shelf so there will be less of a chance of them getting forgotten.
Another tip is to get an erasable marker to write dates on the storage lids of containers in the fridge so that you remember what’s inside, and when it is going to expire.
Sometimes even with clearing out and reorganizing your fridge is still going to be overcrowded. If this is the case, your going to need to remove more things. Some fruits can last outside the fridge for a week. If you have roommates, set a limit as to how much space each person gets to avoid overcrowding. If this doesn’t help, you might need to get a bigger fridge.