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Housekeeping 101: Tips to Organize Your Refrigerator

Denham Springs 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

Organizing a fridge means, before anything else, cleaning and sorting all of your fridge items. Check the items inside your refrigerator for expiration dates, mold, and any signs of food that’s spoiled. If there is anything that is past the expiration date, toss it! 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. When it comes to food, you really just want to be cautious.

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. You can begin implementing your organization system with a clean fridge.

Label Everything

An organized fridge is one that has an inventory of how long the food has been inside. 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 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. 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 help you 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.

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

After you’ve cleaned and organized your fridge, it is key that you come up with a plan to keep it 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. 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. 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.

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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