Make room for those apples and holiday cooking by refreshing your refrigerator. Like any other spot in your home, things can build up, sitting unused, and molding, ew!
Ignore the door beeping, and take the time to get everything out of the fridge. Once it’s all on the counter, begin combing through what’s there. Toss (or compost) any wilted or mushy produce. Same goes for any other expired items you come across. And do a little soul searching about whether or not you’re really going to eat that pickled watermelon rind – if it’s been there a while, you’re probably safe to dump it. Unopened condiments and sealed packages can sometimes be donated to local food centers, just make sure they accept refrigerated foods.
Before you start to put things back in, decide on some zones. Once you have an outline, adjust the shelves! People always skip this and it can be very helpful. Maybe it’s worth having a super short shelf (eggs, seltzer, dips…) in exchange for a taller shelf (OJ, milk, iced coffee…).
You’ll want to reserve some space for leftovers at eye level in the center. This helps you avoid losing or forgetting about those meals you worked so hard on. Next, fill the drawers. Be creative if necessary; if you don’t eat much cheese or deli items, designate that drawer for something else. Use doors for condiments and beverages. Then fill in the remaining areas in the way it makes most sense to you. Don’t forget to think about accessibility as well – are there snacks the kids should be able to reach themselves so they can self-serve?
Use containers thoughtfully. It’s easy to go overboard and try to contain every single thing, but think about how you are physically going to access the items and whether or not containing will help. Some of our favorite fridge products are:
- Turntables – small, low turntables work well in fridges for bottled condiments etc
- Egg Container – see how many you have on-hand quickly
- Divided Bins – use bins for extra produce, corralling yogurts or snack items
- Can Organizer – this one is great because it has a lid, allowing stacking on top