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How to Organize Your Refrigerator

A less organized fridge may become home to spoiled food and forgotten items. You might buy groceries you already have stored somewhere in the depths of your refrigerator. Forgotten favourite items may lie behind those used less often for so long that they go bad without you realizing they’re there.

There are many refrigerator organization tips to make the food easy to find and reach. The refrigerator will also look tidy and more inviting, and you’ll be able to clean it up better when everything is in the right place. Not only that, but a well-organized fridge prevents uneven cooling zones. Find out how to set your fridge at the recommended temperature for optimal cooling.

Here are some fridge organization ideas to keep those shelves in perfect order.

Make Preparations for the Refrigerator Organization

A good way to start organizing your fridge is to clean it thoroughly. You should turn the refrigerator off and take everything out. Make sure to have a cooler ready to store all food from the refrigerator while you’re cleaning. This is also a good time to make an inventory of all foods and drinks and get rid of items that have expired, spoiled, or that you know you won’t use.

Once you’ve cleaned the fridge and made the inventory, you can set up the shelves to fit the items. If you know what you’ll be storing in the refrigerator, adjust the shelves and drawers accordingly. At this point, you could also plan the fridge layout and mark the drawers if needed. When planning, keeping similar food items together will help make it very straightforward to find them later.

Find the Right Spot for Everything

There’s a method to what kind of groceries go where in the fridge, and it has to do with the temperature distribution. The less cool parts, like the doors and upper shelves, shouldn’t hold the same items as the cooler parts or dedicated drawers. Here’s an overview of those areas and the best items to ideally store in them:

1. Upper Shelf

The upper shelf is ideal for storing ready to eat foods, drinks, and leftovers. This is where they will stay fresh and remain easily visible. In essence, here's where you should store items that won't stay in the fridge for long and those that don't need more intense refrigeration.

2. The Doors

The doors are the warmest part of the refrigerator, which means they're the best fit for the least perishable items. These include condiments like sauces and dressings, but also some delicacies like olives and dried or marinated packaged food. Contrary to common practice, the fridge door isn't the ideal place to store milk or eggs because those are prone to spoiling and need lower temperatures to keep good. Eggs require consistent temperatures to stay fresh, so the middle shelf is the best place for them. Store milk on a lower shelf, ideally placed toward the back.

3. Drawers

The drawers are perfect for storing fruits and vegetables, especially if your fridge has humidity control for this section. Many refrigerators have two bottom drawers so that fruits and veggies can be kept separately.

4. Lower Shelves

Lower shelves are ideal for storage of raw food items such as meat, dairy products such as milk and yogurt, and other perishables, which should be kept in these colder areas. If some of the upper shelf items don't fit where they belong, you could store them below. Generally, the most perishable items should be on the bottom and, if possible, closer to the back of the refrigerator.

Use Fridge Accessories

Some of the most effective refrigerator organization hacks involve helpful accessories of different kinds. These range from DIY, homemade solutions to containers explicitly made for refrigerator organization. Here are some of the fridge accessories to keep your fridge in perfect order:
  • Containers like transparent glass sets and silicone food bags are excellent for keeping the food fresh and making it easy to locate. You can place the containers on a lazy susan for convenience and use clips or hang baskets to make the most of the space inside the fridge.
  • Bins and additional drawers can make a difference when separating different items and keeping similar ones together. As a DIY hack, you can use file organizers to stack things like yogurts, pouches, and snacks in smaller packaging. Empty egg cartons can also become great holders for sauce bottles.
  • You can line every flat surface with waterproof, washable fridge mats to help keep perishables fresh and make cleaning much more manageable. For the same effect, place the fruits and vegetables on a paper towel lining.
  • Refrigerator air filters are a great way to help keep food scents in check. This might not be directly linked with the organization, but a neatly stocked fridge should be free of odours as well.

Make an Exhibit of Your Fridge

With good organization, any snack, food, or drink you desire will be accessible with ease and no item left to wither away in a crowded corner. It often doesn’t take much effort to get your fridge in order, and there are great handmade solutions if you don’t feel like purchasing accessories.
With a sound plan for storing your groceries, the inside of your refrigerator can look like a storefront window. Plus, you could end up saving money and food!
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