We know! Organising your fridge isn’t in your top ten TO DO list. Unfortunately, it’s something you have to do. Having a well-organised fridge will help you with the rest of the kitchen organisation, minimising the food that goes to waste and finding easier everything you need, and you know it’s hidden somewhere in your fridge.
But how easy is it to organise your fridge? What do you need to have, and how can you do it? No worries. You are in the right place. We will show you how to organise your fridge once and for all and keep it in tiptop condition.
Table of Contents
Why is it important to organise your fridge?
Organising your fridge is essential for both food safety and your time. And by that, we mean that there are different temperatures among the shelves. The coldest part of the fridge is at the back and bottom shelves, and the warmest part of the fridge is on the doors. Each food needs a different temperature to be preserved. Thus, you should know where to store each food to prevent food damage.
What’s more, organising your fridge will save you time and money. You won’t have to spend time looking for things; hidden food won’t go bad. Or spending money buying condiments and food items you believe you didn’t have.
What do you need to organise your fridge?
You’ll need some things to organise your fridge that will help you find everything you store in and keep them in order. Let’s see some of the best storage solutions:
- Glass containers: They are the most suitable for keeping leftovers. You’ll be able to see what’s inside without opening it up.
- Glass storage jars: They’re ideal for keeping your kitchen and fridge tidy and organised. They’re perfect for storing dry food, preserving jam and general storage from herbs and rice to sauces.
- Lazy susan: It’s very difficult to know what’s happening at the back of a fridge, especially if it’s full. A lazy Susan, though, will make every item accessible. You can place jars, snacks, condiments and spin them whenever you need something.
- Baskets: Baskets in the fridge will help you group your items. You can put in leftovers, sandwich ingredients, or sauces.
- Drawer dividers: Dividers can be used in all types of drawers. Thus, they are a convenient tool for your fridge drawer as well. Use them to divide into groups your veggies.
What should you do before starting the fridge organisation?
Before organising your fridge, you have to clean and disinfect every shelf and drawer inside. It’s the hardest but the most essential part. It would be a good idea to defrost and clean your fridge freezer as well. Now, here’s how you can do it:
Step 1: Empty the fridge
The first step is to take everything out of your fridge and have access to all the surfaces so that you can wipe dirt, stains and spillages. Now, it’s the perfect time to declutter your fridge as well. Throw away anything that has expired or gone rotten and leftovers you have forgotten.
As for the perishable items you have to take out of the fridge, don’t let them at room temperature because bacteria may multiply, instead, store them temporarily into cooler bags.
Step 2: Wipe all the surfaces
Once you’ve emptied your fridge, it’s time for a thorough cleaning. Wipe away any debris and stuck juices/spills from every surface, including door shelves, drawers and shelves. You can use a glass cleaner or an all-purpose cleaner to wipe. But you can do it with your DIY cleaning solution:
- Dishwashing liquid
- Warm water
- White vinegar
- Clean cloths
Steps to follow:
- Dissolve in a bowl filled with warm water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid.
- Soak a sponge in the warm soapy water ad wipe everything. Then, rinse the surfaces with a damp cloth.
- Grab your vinegar and wipe down all the interior surfaces with a dry cloth or paper towels. White vinegar is the perfect disinfectant and a safe and natural way to kill mildew.
Oh! And don’t forget about the removable compartments you took off. They need to be cleaned too before putting them back to place. Let them soak in the sink in hot soapy water and let them dry before placing them back.
Step 3: Deodorise
It may sound strange; however, your fridge needs a deodoriser. It’s the place where you store different kinds of foods, raw meat, veggies, herbs, dairy products and leftovers. As you’ve probably noticed, smells are getting mixed up, creating foul odours in your fridge. However, there’s a simple and inexpensive way to get rid of bad odours; You need baking soda. The natural odour killer!
Place a plate or a small cup of baking soda inside your refrigerator, and the smells will go away. Just remember to replace it every three months.
Step 4: Reassemble
When you finish cleaning your fridge, let it dry and then place everything back.
How to organise your fridge
Professionals know all about fridge organisation. They know where to place everything according to the temperature an item needs to be stored and cooked to avoid food poisoning and keep food fresher.
Thus, pros suggest putting those that need no cooking at the top shelf, like leftovers and prepping food, whilst others place them on the rest shelves. Store those that are to be cooked at high temperatures at the bottom, which is the coldest part of your fridge, like raw meat.
If you keep in mind how the experts organise their kitchen, you’ll stay safe from any cross-contamination. And that’s because storing the contaminated items at the bottom will prevent any spillages and drip from raw food to other things.
Hence, bearing the professors’ advice in mind, you are ready to organise your fridge and put an end to food waste. The first thing to do is separate the fridge into sections—the upper, middle, bottom, drawers and door.
The best is to store food that doesn’t need cooking on the top shelves, like leftovers, deli meats, and anything else that doesn’t require cooking. Store leftovers in plastic/glass containers to minimise the chances to be affected by harmful bacteria transferred from the raw food.
The middle shelf
It’s the shelf where someone should store dairy products – milk, yoghurt– cold puddings, eggs. Yeap! You heard it right! Eggs shouldn’t be stored in the fridge door. They need consistent temperature, which doesn’t happen if you keep them in the door due to the frequent open-close. The same lies with the milk. You should place it on the same shelf as the eggs.
The bottom self
Here you can safely store raw meat and fish as it’s the coldest part of your fridge. The cold temperature will prevent it from going bad. Keep them wrapped to minimise the risk of cross-contamination from spilling blood onto other foods.
The crisper drawers
It’s the lowest shelf of the fridge where we keep fresh fruit, vegetables and salads. That’s why it’s also known as the salad drawer. The drawers don’t come in contact with the back of the fridge. Hence vegs won’t freeze or lose their quality.
However, avoid storing fruits and vegetables together in the same drawer. Keep them separate. Fruits produce a gas (ethylene gas) that promotes the ripening process. Storing fruits and your veggies together, then your delicate vegetables will deteriorate.
The fridge door
The door is the warmest part; that’s why it’s wise to place items that contain preservatives and are high in vinegar and salt, like jar jams, juice and condiments like ketchup. If you are used to storing your milk or eggs in the refrigerator’s door, it’s time to change that habit. The better place to keep them is on the middle shelf.
What’s the correct temperature a fridge should have?
Keeping the right temperature prevents the development of bacteria and food from spoiling. Unfortunately, we don’t all know what’s the optimal temperature. The coldest part of the fridge should be between 3-5 degrees Celsius, a temperature that average household fridges don’t run. Household fridges are at 7 degrees Celsius, which is too warm.
A factor that affects the fridge temperature is the number of items you keep in. If you keep your fridge full, you end up with a device that doesn’t work right. The air inside your fridge needs space to circulate and chill your perishables. On the other hand, if your fridge isn’t full enough, cold air will stick at the lowest shelves and crisper drawers, leading to freezing food. However, if your fridge is sufficiently full and keeps freezing your items, you should check it and find out why it’s freezing.
Keeping your fridge clean and well organised is something you should schedule regularly. It might be a tedious task, it’s essential, though, for your health and wallet. Apply the above tips and stop wasting your time in the kitchen looking for leftovers you can’t find.