Top 10 Tips To Keep Your Fridge Organized and Clean

Your fridge is becoming more modern, and methods of storing, cleaning and organizing may need a remake as well. Check out these tips to keep your fridge clean, organized and running at its best!

  1. 30% empty or 70% full. More space for you! A ready place for leftovers or that last-minute shopping trip and no stress wondering if you have space for it. Less clutter in your fridge means better cold air circulation, a better visual on what you do you so you are not buying repeats. Better circulation of air means the temperature stays steady, and your fridge lasts longer.
  2. The best temperature for your fridge? Less than 41 degrees. Warmer than 33.8 degrees. Colder temperatures may be needed for a freshly packed fridge, especially if you were shopping in the summer heat, warmer temperatures will help save energy when it is cold outside.
  3. What should be cleaned, and how often? Clean spills right away, handles every day, and the door once a week. Also once a week, check for those items that are nearing spoiling. About every three months, empty the entire fridge and freezer, take all removable parts out and clean with hot water and soap.
  4. How do you deep clean your fridge? Baking soda and a toothbrush will help all of those spots that regular cleaning cannot fix. Vacuuming vents and under your empty fridge to clean out dust-coated fans and coils prolongs the life of your fridge. Although three months is recommended for this, I would go with every 6 months.
  5. There are modern ideas of what should and should not be refrigerated. This list could shock you! On the DO NOT refrigerate list: Tomatoes, cucumbers, farm eggs you bought at room temperature, potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, winter squashes, beets, and other root veggies, hot leftovers, products past the use-by date, bread, and open cans. On the DO refrigerate list: ripened fruit, citrus, berries, milk yogurt, meat, fish, opened product that says “refrigerate once opened”, eggs bought cold, cooled leftovers, deli-style products that are ready-to-eat, large amounts of any nut butter so oils won’t separate, and opened wine.
  6. The fridge has the best places for everything- top shelf: anything that doesn’t need cooking, middle shelf: all dairy and eggs (never keep in the doors), bottom shelf: meat and fish. Veggie drawers should have fruit, veggies, herbs (store in a glass jar with a little water), washed/dried/paper towel wrapped lettuce in its own space away from the colder back of the fridge. The door shelves should only have juices, condiments and spreads, all items with a longer shelf-life.
  7. Storage Basics- put items in the fridge like-with-like. Meat goes with meat, fish goes with fish, do not mix fruit and veggie because spoilage could happen. Keep your fresh herbs and lettuce away from that cold back of the fridge, they will freeze and become useless.
  8. Organization – most fridge shelves are adjustable so stack with care. Use long flat containers so you can use your fridge all the way to the back. Store in order of height, with taller items in the back. Glass containers with secure lids, are best to see what food is inside, and its condition! Using labels to make the date of purchase or opened helps keep use-by dates easy to understand.
  9. Odd Smells- aside from your well-sealed glass container, an open box of baking soda on the bottom shelf and sprinkled in your veggie drawer and covered with a paper towel, works wonders. (Side note: don’t cook with it after using in the fridge for 3 months! Use as a cleaning agent for your bathtub or toilet instead!)
  10. A shared fridge: if members of your home keep items separately, fair space use will keep arguments down, as well as clear definition of what is communal and who will replace the communal items and when.

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