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Housekeeping 101: Tips to Organize Your Refrigerator

Rochester Woman Reaching into a Clean Refrigerator for a Red Bell PepperA messy fridge can be quite troublesome. From forgotten leftovers to random items stuffed in the fridge — if it’s not tidy in there, then it can create problems for your health and budget. On the bright side, though, we can always resort to organizational strategies to help us avoid this mess. 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

Organizing a fridge means, before anything else, cleaning and sorting all of your fridge items. Sift through the items in your refrigerator, checking for expiration dates, mold, and other indications of any spoiled food. If an item is beyond its expiration date, throw it out. For those leftovers or food in plastic storage containers, unless you know they’re fresh and recent, it’s best to just toss them out. You really don’t want to take any chances when it comes to food and your health.

With a neat and free fridge, 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. In doing this, you can start with a clean fridge for your organizing system.

Label Everything

Keeping your fridge organized starts with an inventory of how long the food has been kept inside. While many pre-packaged foods will come with an expiration or sell-by date on them, you might want to keep track of fruits and veggies or food that you bring home or that is leftover from meals so that you know when you added them to the fridge and when they will need to be thrown out.

To make it easier for you, use a dry-erase marker to write the dates of meals and takeout on the container. The same could be done for perishables using the inside of your fridge. By noting both when you brought them home and when they need to be used, you have a good idea of when you need to use up all your groceries so they don’t end up spoiling. Also, you can avoid eating leftovers that could get 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. Contemplate 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 allows you to know where your items are placed in case you need them. Also, it guarantees that your food lasts longer and that it’s much safer. For example, take note that certain items should be kept in certain places.

Remember that meat should be kept on the lowest shelf so that it doesn’t drip and contaminate other food. The fridge door is not the ideal place to store your milk as this will expose it to warm air often, leading to spoiling. You can 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. Keeping an organized fridge means cleaning it on a scheduled basis. Doing this allows you to clean the fridge and throw out the old items that are no longer usable. Consider creating a cleaning schedule to ensure that your fridge stays organized. One way you could do this is to set aside a day in a month or week to go through everything, rotating and updating your fresh produce, and wiping down fridge surfaces. If you do this frequently, you won’t have to put yourself through the difficulty of having to do a deep-clean and purge of your fridge and freezer.

These are some of the many steps you can take to make sure that your fridge is kept clean and organized.

 

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