Organizing your fridge might seem to be a Herculean task. But with the right tips to organize your refrigerator, things should be simpler and easier than you feared! For proper refrigerator organization, it is best to consider professional and restaurant kitchens as models, since food safety is top priority for them. They arrange items in their fridge based on what temperature the foods need to be cooked to- and that’s the most intelligent way to go about cleaning and organizing your home refrigerator too! Basically, foods that can be consumed safely without (further) cooking like leftovers or prepared foods are kept at the top and everything else is organized downwards based on the temperature they need to be cooked at. Foods that need to be cooked to the highest temperature find at a place at the bottom (like chicken and meat). The logic behind this is that even if food drips from top to bottom, there’s likely no harm from cross-contamination- since food at the bottom has to be anyway cooked to a higher temperature than food at the top. Here’s what it means to apply the same strategy to refrigerator maintenance at home.
How to organize your refrigerator properly
- Keep leftovers, drinks and ready-to-eat foods like cheese and deli meats in the upper shelves.
- Resign raw materials to the lower shelves.
- Eggs are best kept in the middle shelf, where the temperature is most consistent. Store them either in the original egg cartons or get an egg holder to keep your eggs protected. They are better ideas than the refrigerator egg tray.
- Milk needs to be stored where it’s coldest. Hence it should be at the bottom, right at the back. Do not keep milk in the refrigerator door, because it’s the warmest part of the fridge and temperature fluctuates too much in there- so it could make your milk go bad faster.
- Packaged raw meat goes straight to the bottom most shelves where it is coldest. Not only does that align to the food safety strategy, but it also means that just in case juices drip, they won’t contaminate the whole fridge.
- Vegetables need a bit of humidity to stay fresh for a longer time. So choose the one marked vegetables or high humidity from among your refrigerator drawers to store your veggies. Preferably, keep them in their original packing or in loosely tied plastic bags. Fruits need low humidity spots. Keep fruits and vegetables unwashed until you plan to use them; water can cause bacteria to develop on them.
- If you’re wondering how to organize your refrigerator door, here’s what all can go into it. Butter and soft cheeses can stay in the fridge door, as they don’t need to be kept very cold. Ketchup, mayonnaise, salad dressing, pickles and jarred salsa all do well in the door. Nut oils, like sesame and walnut oils also need to be refrigerated- and they’re ok to stay in the door. Pasteurized orange juice can also stay in the door.
- Mason jars are the best and most endurable way of keeping salads- that way; they’ll stay fresh for up to 2 weeks.
- A superb refrigerator organizing tip is to use baskets to keep things in place. These refrigerator organization containers have very convenient handles, so they’re easy to slide out. You can label them as well, to avoid confusion.
- Mark out things that are going to expire soon or must be consumed quickly. You can color code your baskets- for instance, keep a red box to hold things that are going to expire soon. Or label an ordinary storage container to identify stuff that must be consumed at the earliest.
- Keep a roll of masking tape and sharpie handy near the fridge so you can label containers on the day that you open them. Once you know when a jar was opened, you won’t waste time standing near the fridge wondering how long it is before a product is no safer to eat.
Refrigerator cleaning tips
- Make your own refrigerator cleaner at home with readily available kitchen ingredients. Mix one cup clear ammonia, half cup vinegar, one fourth cup baking soda in a gallon of hot water. Pour it into a dispenser and use it to degrease your entire refrigerator.
- If you’re too lazy to clean every once in a while, line your refrigerator with easy-to-clean mats or plastic placemats. You can even use plastic wraps or cling film. When spills happen, just peel off and discard.
- You can use toothpaste to remove tough stains- it has a gentle abrasive and a nice fragrance that’ll leave your fridge smelling fresh and clean.
- Some fixes for nasty odors- you can use activated carbon (available in pet stores) or sprinkle vanilla extract on cotton balls and keep them in a shallow dish inside the refrigerator.
With these organization and cleaning tips for your refrigerator, you should be able to get your fridge clean easy and quick.