Take a moment to remember the very first time you stocked your refrigerator. Everything was nice and clean. Everything had its proper place. Everything was perfect. Over the course of time, things began to change. Old, expired food began hogging up space in the back. Bread crumbs and pickle juice created a sticky mess on the shelves. What was once a neat and orderly refrigerator is now a mess. Fortunately, your fridge is merely a few hacks away from returning to its former glory. Here are 7 tips to get you started:
It would be nice if the contents of food containers remained on the inside of those containers. Unfortunately, this is a difficult act to pull off when you're sharing a fridge with kids or roommates. Careless spills can create layers of thick residue on what was once a clean shelf. After a while, cleaning these messes can become a real chore.
You can take the hassle out of cleaning your refrigerator shelves by creating a barrier between shelves and the foods they hold. There are a multitude of items you can use to line your refrigerator shelves. You can purchase shelf liners at home goods stores. Simply measure each shelf and place the appropriate sized liner on the shelf. When it gets dirty, simply remove it and place a new liner on the shelf.
Alternatively, you can make your own reusable shelf liners. Simply place reusable placemats on your refrigerator shelves. When they get too messy, you can wash them and put them back.
One of the pitfalls of stuffing your fridge is having to take things out whenever you need to grab something from the back. All of this extra work is unnecessary. You also open yourself up to potential spills and messes in and outside of your fridge.
People have been using Lazy Susans for dinnertime convenience for years. By using this rotating tray, people no longer needed to be handed condiments around the dinner table. The same device can be used to make it easier to retrieve items quickly from the refrigerator.
If you take a look around a grocery store, then you will notice that every item has its proper place. As the customer, you are able to find what you need based on the signs above each aisle. These signs keep grocery stores organized. Due to their consistency, customers always know where they need to go.
Use this same logic when it comes to your refrigerator. Designating specific sections for specific food groups will help to create a system of consistency. After creating specific places for each food group, use a label-maker to mark each space. If you have children who cannot read, then you may also use pictures along with the words.
This system will help you to develop a pattern of consistent organization. It will help others to know where to find the items they're looking for. As an added bonus, they will also know where to return them.
The storage space on the inside of the door is perfect for items that are not sensitive to slight temperature changes. This makes it the ideal location to store wet condiments like barbecue sauce, salad dressing and ketchup. Unfortunately, these items tend to come in awkwardly-shaped bottles that make it difficult to keep them organized.
You can combat this issue by transferring your condiments into identical squeeze bottles. These can be found at grocery stores and restaurant supply stores. After transferring your condiments into newer bottles, use a label to identify the contents and expiration date for each one. This creates uniformity and more space for newer items in the future.
While most of your fridge contents will live harmoniously with one another, meat has the potential to disrupt the vibe. Unless your meat products are vacuum-sealed, most of them will leak onto the refrigerator shelves. If your meat products have not been properly sealed, then they can also potentially contaminate other foods in the fridge. Since most of the fruits and vegetables will be eaten raw, this creates a dangerous situation.
You can avoid potential cross-contamination by creating meat dividers. Many refrigerators already come equipped with a meat cubby, so most of the work has already been done. However, utilizing dividers will improve the utility of this section of the fridge.
After portioning out meat into appropriate meal sizes, create dividers with plastic placemats. Unlike cardboard or wood, plastic will not be penetrated by the bacteria contained in each cut of meat. Not only will this bring order to your meat cubby, but also significantly contain bacteria.
In a way, leftovers help to keep your refrigerator organized. Every meal you don't have to make means one less meal you need to prepare. One less meal you need to prepare means less movement of the individual ingredients in the fridge. However, most of us don't store leftovers correctly. We tend to place them in opaque Tupperware containers and forget about them. Likewise, we tend to just shove them in any open space we can find. Unfortunately, this only creates more chaos.
Avoid wasting leftovers by designating a shelf just for them. This shelf should be labeled and contain translucent glassware for storage. The glassware will allow you to identify what you have on the shelf.
If you're in for a bit of extra organization, then label each container's dates of entry and expiration.
Refrigerator organization does not require a great deal of time and effort. Creating space for specific items will create a system of uniformity and help you get into the habit of placing things in their proper place. Using labels will remind you and others where to find and return items. Use of rotating shelves and magnetic containers will give you easier access to food items. Use of uniform-sized bottles and containers will save you space. By using any or all of these hacks, you will have a highly organized refrigerator.