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Housekeeping 101: Tips to Organize Your Refrigerator

West Fargo Woman Reaching into a Clean Refrigerator for a Red Bell PepperAn untidy fridge can potentially cause issues. Whether it’s forgotten leftovers or lost ingredients — a fridge that is messy can pose potential issues to 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

A key step to organizing a fridge is to clean and sort all of your fridge items. Take everything out of the refrigerator and inspect for expiration dates, mold, or other indications of spoiled food. If there is anything that is past the expiration date, toss it! If you have any leftovers or food in plastic storage containers that may have been in there for who knows how long, you should throw them out. You can never be too careful with food when it comes to your personal health.

With an empty fridge, you should 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.

Label Everything

One tip to keeping your fridge organized is to write an inventory of how long your food has been kept in storage. 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 might do you well to write down a note about when you added them to the fridge and when they need to be thrown out.

What you can do is use a dry-erase marker to write the dates of meals and takeout on the container. Using the inside of your fridge, you could do something similar for your perishables. By noting both when you brought them home and when they need to be used, you can guarantee that your groceries will be put to good use before they get a chance to spoil. Also, you can avoid eating leftovers that could 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. Keep your fridge clutter-free by making use of simple clear storage bins to group loose items together. You might want to invest 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 substitute certain items, it’s important that you develop a system for storage. You will be able to remember where your items are stored for when you need them, and it makes your food last longer. It also makes your food safer, too. 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. With milk, it’s best not to let it get exposed to warm air often as this spoils it. So, avoid keeping it in the fridge door. You ought to also separate your fruits and vegetables, and use trays for messy items to prevent spills.

Plan Ahead

After you’ve cleaned and organized your fridge, it is key that you come up with a plan to keep it that way. You can have the most organized fridge and still eventually need to clean it, to free it from old items that might not be needed anymore. 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. Regularly doing this means you don’t have to do a deep-clean and purge your fridge and freezer.

These tips may seem simple, but in reality, they are quite effective in ensuring a clean and organized fridge.


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