When you stuff your fridge full of cheap produce and other items from a month-end sale, you restrict the airflow, increase energy consumption and shave away the life of the refrigerator. As a result, it can break down more easily. When that happens, you can search for “refrigerator repair near me” and hire a pro to fix it. However, it’s important to avoid such problems in the future. You need to keep your fridge clean and organized. Let’s check out how you can do that.
Tips & Tricks
- Baskets – Visit the dollar store and search for inexpensive baskets that come in all sorts of colors. These brightly colored plastic baskets can help you organize all sorts of items inside the refrigerator. You can designate different colored baskets for different items and sort them out neatly. For instance, poultry and dairy items like cheese, butter, and eggs can go into one basket and pickles can go into another. Make sure that the plastic baskets are food safe and BPA-free.
- Line the crisper – Crispers drawers have been in existence for a long time and are one of the greatest innovations to hit the fridge. They help you keep your veggies and fruit fresh for a long time by isolating them from the rest of the fridge and extracting away certain gasses. However, crisper drawers tend to be the messiest since they collect crumbs, juices, and particles from the fresh produce.
However, there’s an easy way to keep the crisper drawers clean. Instead of washing the crisper drawers numerous times, line them with newspapers or paper towels. That lining will collect all the residue from the fruits and veggies and can be thrown out when necessary to be replaced by a new layer of lining.
- Remove unnecessary clutter – People often treat the refrigerator as a pantry. They often keep items that don’t need any form of refrigeration and would be perfectly fine outside it. You need to move out those items and keep only the items that require refrigeration. Some of the common items that people keep in the refrigerator but don’t belong there include:
- Potatoes and Onions
- Ketchup and hot sauce
- Unbag the veggies – When you keep veggies in a plastic bag inside the fridge, the gasses emitted by the produce don’t have any room to escape. Some vegetables and fruits emit ethylene and other types of gasses that quicken the ripening process. That’s why the crisper drawer exists. It extracts excess moisture and other gasses to keep your fresh produce, well, fresh for as long as possible.
Make sure that you take veggies and fruits out of the plastic bag that you got from the supermarket. It’s even better if you get a permanent eco-friendly tote bag and use it every time when you shop for groceries and produce. It saves the planet, and you don’t have to remind yourself of putting those veggies out of the plastic.
- Enforce the one bottle rule – As mentioned above, ketchup, hot sauce and many other kinds of condiments don’t need to be refrigerated. However, some do. As a general rule, it’s best to store condiments that have veggies, fruits, and dairy in them inside the refrigerator. On the other hand, condiments containing alcohol, salt, vinegar, and sugar usually don’t require refrigeration.
However, you need to limit the condiments that go inside the refrigerator. This helps minimize clutter, keeps the fridge cleaner, and also keeps you from wasting money. Enforce the one bottle rule. That means you keep just one bottle of mayonnaise, salad dressing, or ranch dressing in the fridge. You buy a new bottle when the existing condiment is all used up.
- No plate rule – Most people have a habit of storing leftovers inside the fridge along with the plate. If you wrap up that plate in sheets, then you avoid spills inside the fridge. However, most folks don’t do that. That’s why it’s better to establish a no-plate policy for your fridge. Keep a bunch of dollar store containers inside the pantry. When leftovers need to go inside the fridge, they need to be filled up in one of those containers. This helps you minimize spills and messes inside the fridge.
- Throw out leftovers – When leftovers get too old, they need to be thrown out. This does not just keep the fridge clean and organized but also helps you avoid illnesses. The FDA recommends you throw out leftovers after four days to avoid illnesses. To keep track of leftovers, mark the leftover container with the date and time. For instance, if you’re storing leftover meatloaf on a Thursday evening, mark the container as such.
- Boot the meat – If you have raw poultry or meat inside the refrigerator, it shouldn’t stay there for more than two days. When you check those leftovers, check the meat stock as well and shift them to the freezer after the two-day mark.
- Pay attention to date labeling on food packages – You should also pay attention to the dates on the packages and make sure that things that are about to go bad are always front and center. Food packages often have “best-by” and “use-by” dates. While it doesn’t mean that the food that has overstayed the label date has gone bad, the date is a great guide and it’s best to stick to that date.
Make sure items that are approaching their labeled date are always in front and consumed quickly. Check the fridge every week and bring those items forward, throw expired items out and do meat and leftover check at the same time.
Refrigerators are advanced home appliances. However, when used the wrong way they can break down. If you keep your refrigerator clean and organized, cooking and meal prep becomes easier, you waste fewer resources, and the fridge doesn’t break down as often. If the fridge does break down, you can search for “refrigerator repair near me” and hire a pro to fix it.