This Thursday, Nov. 15, is National Clean Out Your Fridge Day. Now is the perfect time to think about something you probably never give a second thought – refrigerator organization. Having an organized refrigerator will not only help you to find the foods you want faster, but will help you see foods that need to be eaten sooner. In turn, you will better stretch your food dollars. So, if you’re unsure whether that lettuce in the crisper is still fresh, or if you’re wary of the mystery contents in the container in the back of the fridge, here are four no-nonsense tips that’ll have the biggest impact.
4 Refrigerator Organization Tips to Try
1- Assess the Situation
Before you go diving into that disorganized cluster of condiments and containers, you should make an assessment. Do an inventory on what is good, what is expired, and what you probably won’t use before it expires. This will give you an idea of what you are working with and will make the task less daunting.
2- Out with The Old
Now that you know what is expired, you can dispose of those items. Next, make a judgment call on items that are close to their expiration. You can choose to make a conscious effort to use them sooner, but let’s be honest. If you don’t plan on eating that last bit of macaroni salad any time soon, into the trash it goes.
3- Scrub It Down
After you’ve tossed everything that needs to go, be sure to wipe down the drawers and shelves. Then, you will be ready to stock all the fixings for the turkey sandwiches you will be having all week after Thanksgiving. You can even make a simple homemade kitchen cleaner by pouring ½ cup of white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of baking soda into a reusable spray bottle. If you aren’t partial to the smell of vinegar, you can mask it with a few drops of essential oils.
4- Stick to a Plan
Now that you have a neat and tidy fridge you want to make sure it stays that way! If during your assessment, you found that you had lots of mostly empty condiment containers, get a smaller size the next time you shop. Likewise, if you found bad produce or milk, then think about consuming more or adjusting the amount you purchase.
Also, if you find that you threw out lots of leftovers because you tend to pack them in the fridge but rarely go back and eat them, consider cooking less or ordering smaller portions when eating out. When storing leftovers, try developing a color-coding system. For example, red lids for leftovers that need to be eaten soonest and green for foods with a long shelf life. To make it easier to find what you’re looking for in the fridge, have a designated place for different types of foods – vegetables in the crisper, deli meats and cheeses in the meat drawer, condiments in the doors, and so on.
Good Luck Cleaning Out Your Fridge on National Clean Out Your Fridge Day!
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