An organised fridge is the stepping stone to a healthy lifestyle, no exaggerations. Not only will your fridge function better but you’ll also be able to save time on finding food items for everyday cooking. Setting up a chaos-free zone within your fridge also allows you to categorise items by temperate and type. It will also ensure that the food stays fresh for a longer period of time.
Hack 1: Clean Out Your Fridge before You Restock and Engage in Meal Planning
The first tip requires you to literally make a fresh start. This means cleaning out your fridge to see what’s going bad and removing said items. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Check the labels of all your sauce and condiment bottles and remove ones that have expired.
- Eliminate any item that you feel is no longer fresh.
- Once all the items are out, wipe the shelves and clean the fridge inside out.
Once you’ve done all these steps, you can head to the grocery store to restock your fridge and start your month on a cleaner note.
Hack 2: Use Different Kinds of Bins and Trays to Store Items
This one’s a saviour. To maximise the shelf space, invest in a variety of storage containers–from vertical see-through containers to round glass boxes, you can choose from diverse options. If you do end up buying any trays, ensure that they are removable and washable. These trays allow you to categorise similar items for easy storage.
Hack 3: Create a Dedicated Section for Leftovers
Take inspiration from the image above and create an “Eat Me First” section within the fridge. When segregating food items, you can put all your perishables in this area to help reduce food waste. This sign will instantly allow you to know where to look first and drive a simplistic and sustainable food-saving concept. You can also mark the leftovers by date and remove items with one simple glance!
Hack 4: Segregate Food by Temperature and Type
If you want to keep the food fresh for a longer period of time, you need to store it right. The first thing to understand is how to segregate food based on type and temperature. Here are a few dedicated areas for which you can store different types of food items.
- Upper section: Snack items, aerated drinks, etc.
- Middle section: Eggs, dairy and meat products
- Bottom section: Raw meat and fish
- Door section: Butter, cheese, condiments, juice, fresh herbs
- Higher humidity section: Vegetables
- Lower humidity section: Fruits
Also, remember the following points:
- Warmest parts of the fridge: The door and top shelf
- Consistent temperature: Middle shelves
- Coldest part of the fridge: Bottom back
As a thumb rule, the drawers allow you to control the humidity levels, which can have an effect on the freshness of the fruits and vegetables.
Hack 5: Prep Produce the Right Way before Placing It in the Fridge
Typically speaking, most people wash fruits and vegetables once they’re back from the market. While this is a great practice for maintaining health and hygiene, water can make fresh produce go bad way more quickly. So, keep the following tips in mind when it comes to prepping the food the right way prior to placing it back in the fridge. You will find useful tips on what to store where:
- Let your fruits and vegetables thoroughly dry before you place them back in the fridge.
- You can place washed peppers, carrots, and other similar items within the bottom drawer once they are dry.
- Make sure to air dry washed lettuce to the extent possible and wrap it in paper towels. Place this within a large zip-top plastic bag and put it in the fridge.
- If you are planning to chop veggies and fruits in advance for a couple of days, make sure to store the cut pieces in an airtight food storage container.
Hack 6: Think about What to Store (And Not to Store) In Your Fridge
Here’s another food prep and fridge organisation idea that works wonders. You need to start understanding what to store and what not to store within your fridge. Here’s a list of items you can keep out of the fridge if it is bursting at the seams:
- If your banana, avocado, and any other fruit is still unripe, simply leave it on the counter.
- If the weather allows, keep tomatoes, melons, and berries at room temperature and eat them within a day or two. If you want these to last longer, you will need to store them in the fridge.
- You can keep oils, coffee, potatoes, bread, onions, and garlic outside the fridge, preferably in a cool, dark place (probably your pantry).
Hack 7: Engage in Bite-Sized, Mini Clear-Outs Every Week
Instead of viewing fridge cleaning as a mammoth, painful task; tackle it once a week. You don’t need to do any kind of deep cleaning every week. Simply straighten out the shelves and clear out unwanted items as needed.
There you go. As you might have guessed, it doesn’t take much to categorise your fridge into useful segments and keep it a no-chaos zone. For more tips and tricks on home improvement, head on over to HomeLane.