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Housekeeping 101: Tips to Organize Your Refrigerator

Morrisville 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. The positive side is that there is a way we can avoid this — by using a few organizational strategies! 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

Firstly, organizing a fridge starts with 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 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.

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

Label Everything

The first step in fridge organizing is to jot down an inventory of how long your food has been 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, consider labeling them with dates as to 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. The same concept could be applied to your perishables; perhaps you could use the inside of your fridge. By noting both when you brought them home and when they need to be used, you can use up your groceries on time before they spoil and you can avoid eating leftovers that might 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. So that these items don’t clutter, try using 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

Develop a system for storing everything, now that you are starting to reorganize. 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.

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

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. In time, even the most organized fridge will need to be cleaned and purged of old items that need to be tossed. 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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