Clutter isn’t just for closets. Fridges and freezers can get out of control, too. Regularly clean out your fridge and freezer, tossing anything that’s icky. In addition to basic hygiene, this will help you to see what you have, create space for new food purchases, and reduce the need for occasional, but major time-consuming cleaning.
Here are some easy ways to keep both your fridge and freezer better organized.
Group Foods Together
Group similar types of food together in the fridge. This makes it easier to see what you have when it’s time to make a shopping list. It also means you know where to reach when you need a certain condiment. Use your deep drawer bins to corral items that would otherwise get lost on a shelf.
Use Drawers, Doors, and Crispers
It's debatable whether specialized drawers and crispers actually help produce last longer. But the drawers and crispers expertly separate fruits and vegetables for easier access.
However, it is true that food stored in the doors of the fridge will be exposed to slightly higher temperatures. Keep dairy products and equally perishable items out of the doors and place them in the interior of the fridge.
Water isn't the only thing that tends to drip in refrigerators. However, it is common that foods with higher moisture contents will create more condensation when stored in plastic containers and then refrigerated. Dripping condensation rarely causes a problem, unless the food or container was already contaminated. But it helps to stop unappetizing dripping.
Limit dripping by lining fruit and vegetable bins with paper towels. This makes any drips easier to clean. Put foods prone to dripping, such as meat and poultry, on the bottom shelf where it will cause the least damage to other food.
If you share a fridge with roommates or family members but you don’t share your food, you might want to divide your fridge and freezer space in half. Then, consider labels.
Labeling food or shelves eliminates questions and arguments about which food belongs to whom. If you share with multiple people, especially if some of them are roommates or kids concerned about other people touching their special things, using color-coded stickers makes life easier.
Avoid Mystery Food
Label (and date) anything you’ve wrapped in tinfoil, placed in a freezer bag, or stored in a plastic container so you won’t have to worry about any mystery foods.
Place Food in the Right Spot
Place rarely used items at the back or bottom of the fridge, and more frequently used items within easy reach. If you have a bunch of produce (or some other kind of food) that's about to expire, put those items together and separate them from newer purchases. This way you will automatically use up the old eggs and vegetables before moving on to the fresh purchases.
In the freezer, put small items like a single bagel or a stick of butter in the freezer door, or a bin, so it doesn’t get lost under larger bags and boxes.
Watch Now: 8 Easy Ways to Organize Your Refrigerator
Organize With the Right Tools
As in kitchen cabinets, turntables help you to reach the items at the back of the fridge. Look for turntables with short walls on them to keep items from tumbling out into the fridge.
If you store a lot of food in containers, buy stackable ones of uniform size and shape. They’ll fit into the fridge and freezer in a way that uses less space than haphazardly stacking food in different packages.
Also look for specially shaped organizers for holding soda cans and other uniquely shaped items within your fridge to keep everything neat and maximize space, as well.
Make Shopping Lists
Keep paper for your shopping lists on the outside of the fridge. Use a magnetic pad or a few loose sheets of paper under a regular magnet. Magnetic holders for pens and other small items also come in handy.