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Housekeeping 101: Tips to Organize Your Refrigerator

Yukon Woman Reaching into a Clean Refrigerator for a Red Bell PepperA fridge that’s in disarray can produce a few problems. Forgotten leftovers and other stuff can lead to a disorganized fridge, which can also lead to problems for your health and budget. With a few organizational strategies, though, you can easily avoid these potential problems. 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 you see anything that is already beyond its expiration date, don’t hesitate to throw it out. With leftovers and food in plastic storage containers, it would be wise of you to dispose of them, especially when you can’t be certain if they’re still fresh or not. You can never be too careful with food when it comes to your personal health.

Now that your fridge is empty, 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. You can begin implementing your organization system with a clean fridge.

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, 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.

Consider using a dry-erase marker to write the dates of meals and takeout on the container. As for your perishables, you can use the inside of your fridge. By noting both when you brought them home and when they need to be used, you can make sure that your groceries are being consumed before they spoil, and that you avoid eating leftovers that could potentially 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. To group loose items together, what you can do is use clear storage bins. This allows you to keep everything tidied up and free from clutter. A good investment would be 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 go about your organizing, it’s wise to develop a system for storing things. Aside from immediately knowing where your items are, you can also make sure that your food lasts longer and that it’s safe. For example, take note that certain items should be kept in certain places.

Meat needs to be kept on the lowest shelf so that you can avoid it dripping and contaminating other food. If you don’t want your milk to spoil, don’t store it where it’s exposed to warm air too often, such as the fridge door. You can also separate your fruits and vegetables, and use trays for messy items to prevent spills.

Plan Ahead

It’s one thing to clean and organize your fridge — it’s another to keep it that way. So, come up with a plan as to how you can do that! 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. Have a specific day in a month or week to go through your fridge, rotate and update your fresh produce, and wipe down fridge surfaces. Being diligent in this routine will mean that you won’t have to resort to a deep-clean and purge of your fridge — something that is not at all enjoyable.

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

 

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