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Housekeeping 101: Tips to Organize Your Refrigerator

Huntingtown Woman Reaching into a Clean Refrigerator for a Red Bell PepperA fridge that’s not properly organized can pose some problems. Whether it could be leftovers or misplaced ingredients, a fridge that is not properly organized can pose problems to your health and budget. However, there are organizational strategies that can help you avoid these. 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. Make sure that you check everything in your refrigerator for expiration dates, mold, or any other hints of spoiled food. If there is anything that is past the expiration date, toss it! 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 comes to food, you really just want to be cautious.

Because your fridge is now clutter-free, you can 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 is a great starting point for your new organization system.

Label Everything

Your next step in maintaining your organized fridge is keeping an inventory of how long the food has been kept. While many pre-packaged foods will come with an expiration or sell-by date on them, for fruits and veggies or food that you bring home or that is leftover from meals, it would be wise to have some kind of note as to when you added them to the fridge or when they 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.

Use Containers

Keeping loose items tidy in a fridge can be hard, especially things like fruits, vegetables, and even small condiment jars. Clear storage bins can be used to group loose items together so that you can prevent clutter inside your fridge. 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

It’s important that you develop a system for storing, especially as you go about replacing items. This makes it possible for you to know where all of your items are. You can make your food last longer and safer, too. For example, take note that certain items should be kept in certain places.

Meat must be kept on the lowest shelf to avoid dripping and contamination of other food. And, don’t store milk in the fridge door because it can lead to spoiling when exposed to warm air too often. You should also separate your fruits and vegetables, and use trays for messy items to prevent spills.

Plan Ahead

Now that your fridge is clean and organized, the best thing for you to do moving forward is to come up with a plan as to how you can keep your fridge that way. 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. Here’s an easy way to go about that: set aside a specific schedule, whether it’s a day in a month or a week, to go through your stock, rotate and update your fresh produce, and wipe 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.

It’s not rocket science, really. All you have to do is follow these simple steps to keep your fridge clean and organized.

 

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