When it comes to ensuring the produce you buy stays fresher for longer, there’s no understating the importance of a quality fridge in the kitchen. To help you make the most out of your refrigerator, we share 5 essential tips on how to organize a fridge.
A hard-working refrigerator is an essential part of any home, no matter how big or small. From compact fridges to larger french-door iterations, a quality fridge can have a major impact on preserving your food, while also helping you minimize waste in the home.
While we all know that fruit and vegetables belong in the crisper, many newer models of fridges on the market have added more and more compartments, making organizing your fridge easier than ever before.
To help make it easier, we asked Colin Jones, the Category Expert at Appliances Online to share his top tips for how to organize a fridge.
As a general rule, the lower the shelf, the cooler it is inside the fridge, which means the warmest parts are the shelves in the fridge door, as well as the upper shelves. The bottom shelves should be reserved for more sensitive produce like meat and fish, while the upper shelves are ideal for cooked foods and leftovers.
The middle shelves of the fridge are ideal for storing dairy products, while the fridge door itself is best for juices, condiments, and snacks. The best way to preserve all of your fridge’s contents for longer is to minimize the frequency of opening the door.
So, if you’re wondering what’s in the fridge for the fifth time in an hour, LG’s InstaView fridges allow you to tap on the glass “door within a door” to peer inside.
Samsung’s FamilyHub, on the other hand, boasts built-in cameras that allow you to survey your fridge’s interior at a moment’s notice, and some models also feature a dedicated Entertainer’s Drawer which you can adjust at the touch of a button.
Pay Attention to Your Crisper Drawer
The crisper drawer in the fridge is often one of the quickest sections to be filled with fresh produce, and for good reason. The bottom of the fridge tends to be the coolest, meaning your food can be preserved for longer.
To make the most of your crisper, however, you’ll want to pay careful attention to the humidity controller, otherwise you may be doing your produce more harm than good.
“Crisper sections should be used for your fruit and vegetables. Use the humidity controller to adjust the level of humidity, according to what fruits and vegetables are inside, as you want them to last longer and keep fresher,” explains Colin. Depending on what produce you’re storing, you’ll want to toggle the humidity accordingly.
“For instance if you have a lot of leafy items, you want to close the vent up to make it more humid inside so it lasts longer,” he adds. “Refer to your product manual if you are not sure of what levels to have your humidity controller set on, as it will give you some great examples of fruit and vegetables.”
Think Inside and Outside the Box
We’ve all seen countless photos of beautifully organized pantries with perfectly labelled jars, but did you know that some of these organizational tips and tricks can be easily transferred to the fridge?
“To reduce waste and ensure you are aware of all items inside your fridge, use a tiered shelf or rack system, so that you can see items at the back of your fridge,” advises Colin.
Tiered shelves from IKEA are inexpensive additions that can instantly double the amount of storage on a shelf. Don’t be afraid to play around with shelf heights as well to maximize your space.
Some newer models of fridges like Samsung’s Family Hub and LG’s InstaView french door fridges make organizing easy by coming with a number of additional containers that do all the organizing for you.
For those of us working with simple shelves, there’s nothing more important than ensuring you store your food in careful airtight containers, as sealing your food will help to preserve it for longer. If you have multiple containers, you’ll want to be mindful of how you stack them on your shelves. After all, accidents can easily happen when heavier objects are placed higher, as anyone with kids will know.
“When stacking items in your freezer, ensure that the heavier items are placed in the storage bins normally located at the bottom of the freezer compartment, not on the shelves taking up room,” says Colin.
Fresh and Clean
Keeping your fridge fresh and clean is one of the best ways to ensure your food stays in tip-top shape for longer. After all, mold and bacteria can still build up in neglected fridges which can rapidly affect fresh produce in your fridge.
Luckily, keeping your fridge clean is easier than you think! Whether you use an eco-friendly cleaning product or a natural cleaning solution, a regular wipe-down of the interiors of your fridge will go a long way.
“Clean your fridge regularly and get rid of bad smells, by mixing a few drops of vanilla extract with water in a spray bottle and use that to clean out the interior of your fridge,” suggests Colin. “Alternatively, you can soak a cotton ball in vanilla extract and leave it inside the fridge, to keep your fridge smelling nice.”
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First For Women.