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Clean Refrigerator, How to Organize Your Fridge

Posted By Sol Sue On January 14, 2013 @ 10:47 am In Cleaning,Storage & Organization | No Comments

Are you a dyed-in-the-wool neat-nick, or just don’t want to waste money by letting perishable food go to waste after being “lost” in the fridge? Either way, if you’re looking for the easiest way to organize your fridge and make it effortless to keep it clean, here are some simple, yet effective tips for organizing your refrigerator.

Start with a clean refrigerator.
When cleaning your fridge:

  1. Empty everything into a cooler, or place perishable food on the kitchen counter and cover with heavy towels to keep it cool.
  2. As you take things out of the fridge, use a damp Miracle Cloth to wipe down bottles and packages.
  3. Any perishable food that is past its prime should be tossed. Keep in mind that even bottled sauces and jam have a shelf life. (TIP: in the future, use a permanent marker to add the expiration date to the label. IE: If a container of chicken broth can be kept for 10 days after opening, write “use by” and add the date that’s 10 days out.)
  4.  Depending on the condition of your fridge, you may be able to simply wipe down the walls, shelves and bins with a cloth rinsed in water with a little baking soda added. If you have been putting off the job of cleaning and organizing your fridge, you may need to remove shelves and bins to clean them in an oversized sink or laundry tub. We’ve even known people to use a clean bathtub for that purpose.


Now for how to organize your fridge.
When returning food to your refrigerator, keep these tips in mind:

1. Think about your fridge’s internal temperature zones. The shelves in the door are usually a little warmer than the rest of the fridge, so they are best used for bottles of things with a longer shelf life—pickles, condiments, sauces, etc. Put perishable foods on the main shelves. Is your fridge colder on the top or on the bottom? (This depends on where the freezer and vents are. If you’re not sure about your refrigerator temperature, invest in an inexpensive fridge thermometer you can probably find at the grocery store.) In addition to storing your most perishable foods in a colder zone, you may want to keep things like milk, juice, beer and soda colder.

 

Temperatures to preserve quality and freshness of perishable foods:

  • dairy products 34°F – 38°F
  • meats 33°F – 36°F
  • eggs 33°F – 37°F
  • fresh vegetables and fruits 35°F – 40°F

2. Store large bottles of cooking sauces you use only once or twice a month in the back, so there’s more room up front for the milk and juice you use daily. A Fridge Binz Lazy Susan can make them easy to find and reach, even in the back.


3. Take advantage of adjustable shelves to create spaces that allow you to organize food by size and type. Because it can be difficult to find perishable food on a short shelf that’s just tall enough for yogurt containers or similar sized food, consider using a shallow Fridge Binz container that you can easily slide out to reach what you need. You can also use a deeper Fridge Binz style to make the best use of a vertical space. One big plus is that Fridge Binz contain the inevitable spill. So, even if something makes a mess as it defrosts, you can simply slide out the Fridge Binz and wash it in the sink. Reducing the amount of time it takes to maintain a clean fridge is a gift of time to spend doing something you enjoy—even if that’s putting your feet up with a cold beverage from your clean fridge.

 

What’s with the less and more humidity on crisper doors?
Generally speaking, fruits and veggies with skins last longer with less humidity—oranges, apples, onions. In addition, things such as mushrooms, berries and cucumbers that tend to mold fare better with less humidity. Leafy greens and other veggies that are prone to drying out prefer more humidity.

Keep your fridge clean and neatly organized.

  • Remember to date, date, date everything. Because the manufacturer dates printed on labels (especially on salad dressing!) can become difficult to read, it’s even smart to use a bold, permanent marker to note the expiration date. Eating perishable food beyond its shelf life isn’t worth risking a food-borne illness.
  • Wash and dry fruit and veggies before putting them away. Not only will they be ready to eat or use in cooking, there will be less bacteria to cause spoilage.
  • Wipe up spills immediately. If using Fridge Binz to organize your fridge, it will be less of a chore, but either way, be sure to rinse or wipe off any spilled food that gets on other foods.
  • About once a month, it’s a good idea to take a look inside for any food you’ve forgotten about and check to see if it’s time for a thorough cleaning.

 

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