When a fridge is disorganized, it is easy to overlook food items that have gone way past its expiry date. This could affect the freshness of the other food stored inside, not to mention the foul smell that will greet you every time you open the fridge door.

We cannot stress enough how important it is to have a clean and organized fridge - it allows us to look for the items we need quickly especially when we’re hungry or in a hurry in the morning, ensures that what we eat is as fresh as possible and free from contamination, and, most importantly, cuts down food wastage and thereby preventing the waste of hard-earned money, as well. With that said, here are some easy-to-follow tips to get you started in keeping your fridge neat and tidy every day.

Dig Deep and Clean Thoroughly

When was the last time you looked into the contents of your fridge? Before going straight to organizing, you have to perform some deep cleansing and purging first. Take out all the contents of your fridge and wash the drawers and shelves with soap and water to remove deep-seated stains and crumbs. Don’t forget to wipe the door seal too because they can also trap crumbs and food bits in its lining.

Next, group the contents according to food categories and scrutinize the expiry date of each product. Remove leftover meals that have been in your refrigerator for more than four days to avoid possible food poisoning. 

Use Proper Containers and Label, Label, Label!

Ever checked your fridge to look for food only to end up spending precious minutes scouring every shelf and opening every jar? Annoying, right? Invest in clear containers so you can immediately identify what’s inside. Choose the smaller sized ones for easy stacking. For leftovers, stick a post-it on their containers indicating the date when they were cooked or opened. This will help you track how long you have been keeping them in the fridge. You can also post labels on the rest of your fridge’s shelves and drawers so you’ll know where to place certain food items. If possible, get a Lazy Susan for your bottles for easy access.

Proper Positioning

Even something as simple as placing your food in the proper location will help in preserving its freshness. Here are the things you need to remember:

Main Compartment

Freezer – Frozen meat; Heat- and light-sensitive food like ice cream.

Top Shelf – Ready-to-eat prepared food; condiments; pickled products; fridge-friendly fruits like apple, oranges, and grapes

Middle Shelf – Left-overs; cheese; eggs in carton (store them in the back where it’s colder); cold cuts; sandwiched bread

Bottom Shelf – Raw meat and fish (make sure you put this on a tray with lining to catch any drips); milk and other dairy products

Crisper – Vegetables and herbs (keep them in their original plastic covering if they have one)

Fridge Door

Top Shelf – eggs (if you go through a carton in a few weeks); butter and frequently used cheeses.

Middle Shelf – condiments in original packaging or bottles; vinaigrettes

Bottom Shelf – drinks

Make a Refrigerator Inventory

Track the contents of your refrigerator to avoid making unnecessary repetitive purchases of the same products and overcrowding your shelves. You can make use of a small whiteboard or paper and tack it on the fridge door with a magnet so you can see it all the time. Plus, you can also use it as inspiration on how you’ll maximize the food you already have.