Let’s face it nobody likes organising a fridge.
It takes a lot of time, it’s messy, and it’s just not very much fun. Quite often I’ll find some puddles of vegetables in the bottom and a half eaten somethings in the back so I avoid it.
However, a well-organised fridge not only saves space it can also save you money!
If your fridge is organised, you run less of a risk of having food pushed to the back and forgotten about, at least until you can start to smell it.
Instead of wasting all that food, use these tips to keep your fridge space used to its maximum efficiency!
1. Put the larger items in the back
Keep the larger, more easily visible items at the back of the shelves so they don’t block the smaller items. There’s nothing worse than reaching for a bottle of milk, only to find that it was blocking 3 week expired cheese from view.
When my fridge isn’t full, I usually pull everything up to the front as much as possible. That way I don’t accidentally forget about something small back in the corner.
2. Keep the Condiments on the Door
This goes for anything you use frequently. Condiments like salad dressings, mayonnaise, or mustard have a pretty high turnover rate in my household, along with butter, yoghurt, and eggs.
I keep these on the door so that I don’t have to juggle all those little bottles around when I want something behind them on the shelf.That’s more likely to end up in a mess than anything else. Yes they say that this is the hottest part of the fridge – but if you have a high turnover – it doesn’t matter so much.
If you enjoy eggs but don’t go through them quickly, keep them in their original carton in the body of the fridge – they last longer that way!
3. Keep similar items in the same place
Another great tip is to keep all the similar items in the fridge in the same place. That way your inventory is easier to manage. I keep all the dairy products like cheese, philly cheese, yogurt and cream on the very top shelf.
I can see them instantly when I open the fridge and always know I must use them before they go bad…. if dairy gets put back in the wrong place, I know I’ll be removing a science experiment at a later date!
4. Empty the Crap from the Fridge BEFORE Going Shopping
After a few hours buying food, waiting in line, then sitting in traffic on the way home, it’s very tempting to just pile everything in and shut the door so you don’t have to look at it anymore. I admit that I’ve done this a lot.
However, it will be a lot easier to organise in the future if you just take a few extra minutes to do it whenever you add more groceries.
5. Use Transparent Containers
Why watch a horror movie when you can just go through all those unknown leftover containers sitting at the back of your fridge? If you’re like me, leftovers can sit in the fridge for weeks until I’ve forgotten what each container held in the first place.
Using clear containers will allow you to quickly see what’s in there so you don’t have to play guessing games with your food.
In keeping with the earlier tips, stack these containers together at the front of the fridge so that you’re more likely to eat those leftovers before they go bad.
I love the clear Chinese food type containers – I buy a bundle of 5 Black and Gold brand from IGA and they are terrific – you can even put them in the dishwasher and use again and again!
6. Do a quick fridge clean every week
Finally, the best way to make sure you don’t waste too much food is to go through the fridge at least once a week and re-organise everything.
The best time to do it is just BEFORE you head to the shop to buy more food.
That way when you get home you have a place to put it all!
7. Have a ‘Nearly Expired’ Basket
I have a bright pink rectangle container in the top of my fridge. When items are getting precariously close to their expiration date, they get popped into the basket. These items are to be used first and foremost when cooking, in fact, I plan my meals around the ‘Nearly Expired’ basket. This reduces food wastage significantly!
8. Keep a Box of Bicarbonate of Soda in the Back
Grab a box of Bicarbonate of Soda, pop it open and put it in the back of the fridge. This absorbs any odours and keeps your fridge smelling fresh and clean. Replace it every three months or so (make sure you bin the old one – don’t use it!)
You don’t need to do a full cleaning here just make sure nothing got pushed to the back, take note of what’s about to expire, and throw away anything that’s starting to go bad.