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Housekeeping 101: Tips to Organize Your Refrigerator

Southwest Waterfront 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. 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. Go through your refrigerator and check for expiration dates, mold, and other signs of spoiled food. Any item past its expiration date should automatically be thrown out. 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’s a matter of food, you don’t want to take any chances.

A cleaned-out fridge allows you to 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

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, keep track of them by having a system in place that notes when you added them to the fridge and when they need to be thrown out.

You can use 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. To keep everything neat and clutter-free, you can make use of clear storage bins so that you can group loose items together. 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. You will be able to know exactly where each item is, and you can make your food last longer and make it safer. 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 should also separate your fruits and vegetables, and use trays for messy items to prevent spills.

Plan Ahead

Since your fridge has already been cleaned and organized, what you can do now is to come up with a plan to keep it 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. You could dedicate a day per month or every other week to go through all of your items, rotating and updating your fresh produce, and wiping 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.

A few helpful tips can go a long way in keeping your fridge clean and organized. It’s really not that difficult.


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