If your refrigerator is anything like ours, it's probably crammed with condiments, leftovers, and who knows what else. Sound familiar?
The refrigerator is one of the most used appliances in the kitchen, so it’s important to keep it clean and organized.
Here are some tips for keeping your refrigerator neat all year long:
#1: Clean out your fridge regularly
At least once a month, go through your fridge and toss any expired food, old leftovers, and anything else that you no longer want to eat – this will make it easier to keep track of what’s in your fridge and will help you avoid wasting food.
If it’s been a while since you last cleaned out your fridge (as in, over 3 months), it might be due for a deeper cleaning:
- Start by removing everything from the fridge, including food, condiments, and any loose items. Check expiration dates and discard any expired food.
- Wipe down all shelves, drawers, and surfaces with mild soap and warm water. Be sure to wipe down the door gasket as well.
- Rinse food containers and bottles before putting them back in the fridge.
- Once the inside of your fridge is clean, put everything back in, starting with the most perishable items.
- Wipe down the outside of the fridge and vacuum the coils if necessary.
- If your refrigerator has a water filter, check when it was last replaced. If it’s been over 6 months, you should consider replacing it.
#2: Create an organization system
Once your fridge is clean, it's a good idea to create a system for what goes where.
Start by designating specific shelves or areas for different types of food. You can group items by type (e.g. dairy, produce, meat, etc.), by meal (e.g. breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, etc.), or something else entirely. Just remember that the door is the warmest part of the fridge, so it isn’t the best place to store perishable items.
It may sound like a pain, but one of the best ways to keep your refrigerator organized all year is to store your food in airtight containers. Not only will this keep your food fresher for longer, but it can also help you maximize your fridge space.
And don’t forget to label your containers with the name of the food and the date it was stored! This will help you to quickly find what you need and makes keeping track of expiration dates much, much easier.
Finally, create an inventory of what you have on hand, what you’re low on, and what expires soon. This can help you to use up food before it goes bad and also help you to plan your meals.
3. Be consistent
Now for the hardest part: being consistent with your plan!
The fact is that how successful you are at keeping your refrigerator organized depends on how consistent you are at sticking to your organization system.
Try to build regular schedules and routines around your fridge’s organization. For example, if you tend to buy groceries on certain days of the week, schedule time to clear out and reorganize your refrigerator before or after your visit to the supermarket.
Another strategy is to install a smart door monitor on your fridge to track when your fridge is being opened/closed throughout the day. This can give you better insight into who's opening the fridge, when, and how often – especially helpful if you have small children who like to get into things they shouldn't!
All you have to do is install a Notion Sensor on your fridge door and you'll receive alerts on your smartphone whenever it's opened. You can even turn notifications off for periods of the day, like when you're home from work making dinner.
And that’s it! By following these tips, you can help keep your refrigerator organized and running smoothly all year long.