Browsing CategoryStorage & Organization

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.

Did you know that 12% of food bought for U.S. households is discarded? That amount of food waste adds up: $600+ per year, per home, in wasted food costs. On a national level, the U.S. throws away almost 50% of the food we produce. To put this into prospective, New York City alone has an annual food surplus of about 50 million pounds.

Here’s a few tips on food storage that could help bring that wasted food bill down in your home.

Your refrigerator is the first place to start. Do you know what temperature it is inside your fridge? Fridge thermometers are cheap and easy to use. The optimal fridge temperature is between 40° – 37° degrees. Anything above 40° is a step closer to a danger zone where food can easily grow bacteria.

Surprisingly, the refrigerator door is the area in your fridge where the temperature fluctuates the most. Make sure you aren’t storing any perishable items like eggs or milk inside the door.

The more open space you leave inside your fridge, the better it will do it’s job. Cramming food into your fridge creates poor air flow—limiting your fridge’s cooling power.

Make sure to cool hot food before refrigerating. It should reach the 40° or below mark within 3 hours after being cooked. Food that needs to be frozen, however, doesn’t need to be cooled before being placed in the freezer, where it should reach 0° for optimal storage temperature.

The longer you store food in the freezer, the more likely you are to loose quality in taste. But you don’t risk your food spoiling as long as it stays at 0°.  Packaging food that will be frozen in multiple smaller containers is good practice. It allows each container to cool faster and helps prevent waste (from thawing too much food at once).  Ideally food should freeze within 2 hours after being cooked.

Quick Tips

  • Store meats on the bottom shelf and on a plate if there is concern of leakage
  • Separate fruits and vegetables. Gases from fruits may spoil vegetables faster or give an “off” taste.
  • Freeze fresh meats if they won’t be consumed within two days
  • Freeze food in smaller portions so you don’t thaw too much at once, frozen food should only be thawed once
  • If freezing soups or sauces, only fill the containers up 3/4 to leave room for expansion

Looking for a simple way to transfer your spices to a glass jar? Use a funnel. If you don’t have one handy, here’s an easy way to create your own funnel using an envelope.

When transferring spices to a jar, create your own funnel using an envelope.
1. Start with a standard white envelope.

2. Cut the tip off one corner.

3. On the other corner, cut the envelope at an angle from one end to the other.

4. Now you’re ready to open it into a cone shape. You can use manila envelopes for larger amounts.

We knew these storage items were winners when we stocked them – but you don’t have to take our word for it! Check out the reviews section for these top sellers to find out what customers like you have to say:

Reader\’s NightStand
84826 Reader’s Nightstand: Just one square foot and this handsome 4-shelf stand is all it takes to organize your books and magazines. Tuck it next to your favorite reading chair or use it as a nightstand.

Spice Stack
84898 Spice Stack: Turn a jumbled stack of spice jars into an organized system that fits compactly on a counter or cabinet shelf. Spices stay neatly out of sight and away from damaging light, but are easy to find.

84926 InstaHanger: This hanger’s decorative wood inlay cover could be mistaken for wall art! But it’s much more practical than that, because it opens to reveal a steel rod that gives you 12” of hanging space.

Drawer Dividers
81639 Drawer Dividers: Utensils and cooking gadgets are easy to find and socks stay sorted when drawers are organized with these wooden dividers. Just put in place to create spaces the perfect width.

Magazine Butler
61638 Magazine Butler: See-through acrylic case organizes up to a year’s worth of magazines – and blends with any décor! Organize cooking magazines in the kitchen, craft magazines in the sewing room or business journals in an office.

62667 Shoe-eze: No assembly – just stack the Shoe-Eze™ sections in your closet. Their patented locking feature provides stability, and their crystal-clear design makes it easy to find the shoes you want.

Roll Out Drawers
80911 Roll-Out Drawers: These easy-rolling, pull-out “drawers” organize cabinets in the kitchen, laundry room, bath, even the garage—just roll out, and you’ll always find what you’re looking for with just a glance!

Mirror Jewelry Cabinet
82325 Jewelry Mirror Cabinet: Hide and organize your jewelry collection behind a handsome, framed full-length mirror!

Overhead Storage Organizer
81096 Overhead Storage: Turn unused ceiling space into valuable storage! This unique storage system gets boxes, sleeping bags and other bulky items overhead and out of the way.

Mission Media Cabinet
84247 Mission Media Cabinet: With 12 drawers for CDs and 5 shelves behind a glass door for DVDs, this Mission-style media cabinet makes it easy to organize a large video and audio collection!

Expandable Drawer Organizer
Bonus 11th Problem Solver
86244 Expandable Drawer Organizers: No more lost pens, notepads or rubber bands – this adjustable organizer has a section for everything and expands to fit a desk or kitchen junk drawer!

Resolution: Get organized.
Advice for sticking to it: We feel more relaxed when our surroundings are neat and orderly! Cut through closet clutter by applying a “two-year” rule: if you haven’t worn it in two years, you probably never will. Don’t let the mail stack up – sort through each day when it arrives. Look for unused storage spaces under furniture and behind doors. Schedule time each week or month to clear away clutter.

More ideas: An organized closet is possible!

Featured product: Stack pots and pans without scratches!