If you often fill every inch of your fridge after going to the grocery store, you’ll probably need to know how to organize your fridge. Not only will it make things easier to find, but storing foods in the right temperature zones will make foods last longer.
It’s always disheartening when your favorite food (that you’d been looking forward to tucking into!), has gone bad quickly. Or you’ve forgotten about the expired foods at the back of your fridge.
Knowing how to organize your fridge properly means wasting less food, saving you money in the long-run. So before you throw out any more spoiled food, follow these 5 tips to organize your fridge and make food last longer.
If you want a bigger fridge or upgrade, check out the best refrigerators before you buy. While you’re organizing, these are 3 reasons why you shouldn’t overfill your freezer.
How to organize a fridge
1. Store leftovers and drinks on the upper shelves
This area is best to store ready-to-eat foods that have a shorter shelf life. These include yogurt, cheese, deli meats, and any leftover meals. Keep any opened jars, condiments and chilled drinks on the top shelves.
2. Keep raw ingredients on the lower shelf
This is the coolest part of the fridge, so it's the best place to store raw ingredients for cooking. These include packaged raw meat, fish, dairy products and other perishables. Always ensure raw meats/food are tightly wrapped with plastic film, or in an airtight container to avoid bacteria.
3. Avoid mixing fruit and veggies in the crisper
The crisper drawer in your fridge is the ideal place for fresh produce. However, avoid putting fruit and vegetables next to each other. This is because ethylene from fruits can result in vegetables spoiling quickly. So if your fridge doesn’t have two crisper drawers, keep your fruit and veggies separate. Ensure leafy greens are wrapped well or in a sealed plastic bag to maintain their freshness.
4. Don’t store milk or eggs in the door
The refrigerator door is the warmest part of the fridge, so only condiments should be stored here. While most of us store our milk or eggs in the door, it’s recommended these should be placed on the lower shelf, as this is the coolest part of the fridge. Other items such as sauces, butter, and less perishable groceries are suitable for door storage.
5. Use clear food storage containers
Organize and group ingredients or meals in clear storage containers like these 32 Piece Food Storage Containers Set ($29, Amazon) Not only will this keep it fresh for longer, but you can instantly see exactly what you need to eat. If you want to go one step further, label each container by type of food or expiration date.
Other tips on how to make food last longer
- Always keep the temperature between 32° F (0°C) and 41° F (5°C)
- Don’t leave the fridge door open
- Never leave chilled food out on the counter, and put it back as soon as possible
- If you have a full fridge, always turn down the temperature to prevent ice forming
- Avoid cramming items in the fridge to allow air to circulate and keep a constant temperature
- Eat leftover meals within two days to avoid contamination