Learn to organize your fridge and save money in a few simple steps. Follow the valuable tips below to keep your food fresh, properly stock the shelves, and keep your fridge working at the right temperature.
How do you organize your fridge?
Believe it or not, there is scientific reasoning behind organizing food in your fridge. There are plenty of fridge hacks to follow to avoid foodborne illnesses. Follow the tips and guidelines below on what goes where and how long to keep them in the fridge.
But first, let’s discuss a few critical factors about maximizing your fridge capacity and reducing food waste.
Know your fridge and your food
Do you have the right fridge? Are you always looking for food and can’t find what you need? Are the shelves and drawers reachable? If you answer no to these questions, then you have a problem. You do not want to keep having backaches because of your fridge. You probably have to determine what fridge works best for you, size, and height.
Do you know what you can keep in the fridge and what not to refrigerate for your food? The FDA states the following:
“Foods that require refrigeration should be put in the refrigerator as soon as you get them home. Stick to the “two-hour rule” for leaving items needing refrigeration out at room temperature. Never allow meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, or produce or other foods that require refrigeration to sit at room temperature for more than two hours—one hour if the air temperature is above 90° F. This also applies to items such as leftovers, “doggie bags,” and take-out foods. Also, when putting food away, don’t crowd the refrigerator or freezer so tightly that air can’t circulate.”
Here’s a helpful chart from the FDA to download and keep handy. https://www.fda.gov/media/74435/download
Best ways to organize your fridge
Let’s start with the refrigerator door or doors. Doors are excellent storage for tall bottles and pitchers of juice. They are also perfect for shelf-stable items you don’t want to be too cold, such as ketchup and mustard.
- Cold Drinks: bottled water, juice, and soda
- Condiments: ketchup, mustards, cooking helpers/condiments such as oyster sauce, soy sauce, coconut aminos; mayonnaise, pesto, pickles, relish, maple syrup, chutneys, jams, jellies, sour orange juice, and lemon juice. And any other condiments requiring refrigeration.
The Upper Shelves
The upper shelves are the warmest/not as cold as the bottom shelves and best for the following:
- Dairy products: hard cheese, butter, yogurt, cottage cheese
- Leftover meals
Middle or Second shelf
- Best for eggs
- Store leftovers
The lower shelves are usually colder than the upper shelves.
- Meat, Poultry, and Seafood: use this shelf to defrost raw meat, poultry, and seafood; also best for marinated meat.
- Dairy products such as milk, and heavy cream.
Follow the instructions on the drawers for humidity control, “crisp” and “crispier.” Some fridge models allow you to control the humidity. It is always a good idea to take advantage of this function. The drawers are best for the following:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Fresh herbs
If you do not have drawers, create your own with containers. They can be used to replace drawers and to organize other items.
Many model refrigerators have a drawer for cheese and cold cuts; use the space.
Useful tips to organize your fridge
- Read your refrigerator manual to familiarize yourself with the settings and how to set up the right temperature.
- Always keep your refrigerator clean. Use soap and water to clean your fridge. You may also add a little bit of vinegar to the water. Do not use harsh chemicals – they might damage the shelves.
- Remove any spoiled food as soon as possible to avoid contamination.
- Use baking soda to keep your refrigerator smelling fresh.
- Organize the items in your refrigerator by heights and size if possible so everything is visible.
- If you wish to use refrigerator storage bins, make sure to maximize the shelf space.
- Take a look at what is inside your refrigerator before going food shopping.
- Take a look at what is inside your refrigerator before preparing your meals. Do this to avoid food waste.
Organize your fridge for food safety and stay healthy.