Not a lot of people put in the time and effort to take a look inside their fridge and organize its contents. However, there are many benefits to doing so. For instance, you get to see how much food you actually have, so you can stock up on the things you need or avoid overspending on the stuff you already have. Organizing your fridge also helps prevent food spoilage. This is because you will get to see, and possibly even smell, how long a certain food item has been in your refrigerator. If you are having trouble keeping an organized fridge, here is a list of helpful tips for you to do so.
Separate the Different Food Groups
First, and most importantly, it would be for the best to keep different types of food items separate. Meat, fish, and poultry should be stored in colder temperatures, so the freezer is your best bet. They can also be kept in the chiller of your fridge, but this isn’t necessarily a long-term option. You should also try to keep them as far away as possible from cooked food if they are still raw.
Refrigerators would usually have a separate compartment for fruits and vegetables. This is normally found at the bottom portion of the unit. Also known as a crisper, this part of the refrigerator was specifically designed to keep your produce as fresh as possible before you serve them. The crisper does this by keeping fruits and vegetables in a cool, well-sealed environment. You should also check to see if cold air blows directly into this part of the fridge. If it does, then your produce may dry out quicker.
People have varying opinions about where to keep milk and other dairy products. Some people say that milk should be kept on the shelving right on the door. They say that this keeps the milk fresh for a long time and lets it stand upright to prevent unnecessary messes and spills. However, keeping milk on the fridge door is debatable, as some refrigerators are warmer near the door. This may cause milk to spoil.
Products such as cheese and butter, on the other hand, have to be kept in these warmer parts of the refrigerator. This allows them to remain fresh, but still spreadable straight out of the fridge. Some refrigerator models may even have an exclusive area for dairy products.
Line Your Fridge’s Shelves
You could also put mats on your refrigerator’s shelves to catch spills. You can also wrap the shelves in cling film, so you would only need to remove and replace it. No more need for wiping! If your fridge has foul odors coming from it, even after it is cleaned and organized, try putting some activated charcoal inside it. This helps absorb odors better than baking soda. Since the activated charcoal comes in its own container, there is no more need to clean up after. This is available in most supermarkets and even in pet stores.
You should also remember that when you are trying to figure out how to arrange a fridge at home, you should keep things that need to be cooler near the back. This allows it to come into contact with colder air. However, you have to make sure that these are things that don’t dry out too quickly, as these might just end up going to waste. If the food can keep fresh in a warmer environment, you can put it in an area closer to the front of the unit instead.
Make Use of Trays and Containers
One of the easiest tricks to keeping an organized refrigerator is to compartmentalize. Sure, your refrigerator may already come with baskets, drawers, and even egg trays; but getting refrigerator compartments will take your storage game up a notch. By using these nifty little gadgets, you will be able to separate fruits from vegetables for easier searching. You may even use them to separate older food items from the newer ones in order to lessen the risk of cross-contamination between them.
Fridge organization containers are widely available at home furnishing stores as well as in some department stores. You can even get a bunch of them on the cheap, so you could categorize even further than if you had just a few. They also come in a variety of color and design choices to fit your personality and aesthetic. The different color choices also allow you to color code your fridge. For instance, you could place fresher produce in a blue container, while you could put nearly bad fruits and vegetables in a red one.
Another amazing benefit of using compartments for your refrigerator is that they allow you to save massive amounts of space. For example, you could put leftover salad in mason jars instead of keeping them in a bowl or in a takeout container. Most refrigerator compartments can easily be stacked on top of one another and labeled for easier sorting. Keep some masking tape and a pen, or even a label maker, near the fridge for increased efficiency.
Many people also wonder how to organize a French door refrigerator. This type of refrigerator is newer to the market, but hoards of buyers have already purchased one for its organizational benefits. Many people have also purchased one of these because of its innovative design. You can easily identify a French door refrigerator by its unique design. It has two doors that meet in the middle and open to the sides. This is opposed to a traditional fridge which has a single door that opens to one side via a hinge mechanism. Some units even let you see what’s inside without having to open the door.
Having two doors means that French door refrigerators have more shelving and compartments compared to most of their other competitors. You can put things like pitchers and salad dressing in the extra shelving on the doors. You could also get standing containers to store things like cut up vegetables on the door. You can even put eggs if the shelves come with a dedicated egg tray – which you can purchase on its own if not included. Extra compartments, as previously mentioned, help keep your different food items fresh and separate.
Sort by Temperature and Area
Professional kitchens also have their own way to organize their refrigerators. If you want to keep your fridge looking just like those of your favorite chefs, then you should keep food safety in mind as the top priority. Most chefs organize their refrigerators based on the temperature that a certain ingredient needs to be cooked to. Foods that need little to no cooking time – ready to eat or precooked foods – should be placed on the top shelf. As you go down the shelves of the fridge, you should store the foods that need to be cooked using higher temperatures.
If you find the chefs’ way to organize a fridge too complicated and want a simpler way to organize it, then maybe you should try to follow these much simpler steps instead. You could try to organize your refrigerator based on its different areas. First, similar to the way chefs do it, you should put ready-to-eat to foods on the upper shelves. The lower shelves should be dedicated to raw ingredients. Again, you should always remember not to put raw and cooked items close to each other.
The door of the fridge is its warmest part, so limit it to condiments and water pitchers if you can. If your fridge is cooler, then maybe you could put eggs there as well, but make sure they are on a tray so they don’t fall and crack. Just remember that, as mentioned before, you risk spoiling the foods that need to be in colder temperatures if you put them near the door. This is especially true if that area of your fridge turns out to be warmer.
Meanwhile, the drawers of the fridge can be used to store meat, fruits, and vegetables. Just make sure that you do not mix different food groups in the same drawer. You can further subdivide these drawers by putting fridge organizers in them. You should avoid putting raw meat above produce to avoid contaminating them. However, if you can’t avoid putting raw meat on top, then you could place them in a clear plastic tray or container before placing them in the fridge.
Keep a List
It would also be a good idea to put a list of the items you have and those that you need right in front of your fridge. You can accomplish this by hanging a blackboard or a dry erase board on the fridge door. You could also write directly on the fridge if the material used allows it. You could also take a photo of your refrigerator’s contents to make sure that you don’t buy too much of what you already have the next time you go grocery shopping.
If you’re looking to sort out your refrigerator, then try to follow at least some of these tips and tricks. You could organize it based on temperature or you could do so based on the different compartments your refrigerator has available. Either way, you can be sure that you will save more money and have less food wastage.