How To Spring Clean Your Fridge From Top To Bottom
We can admit that after a year of working from home, whipping up new recipes, and the occasional forgotten Tupperware in the back of a shelf, our fridges have seen better days. But it's a good idea to store food properly and efficiently in your fridge to avoid food waste. According to a study from Johns Hopkins University, nearly 31 percent to 40 percent of our food supply in the U.S. goes to waste and that's just a waste on the planet. So let's get cooking to preserve your food better.
Divide and Conquer
Start by clearing everything out and dividing it all into fruit, vegetables, meats, condiments, and cheeses. And don't forget to make a separate pile for expired products that you need to toss. This way, you can take stock of what you have and you might even be able to condense things.
Before you return anything to their designated spots, you'll want to wipe down the shelves and make sure there are no juices, grime, or mold left behind. Pick a reusable rag that you can throw in the washing machine when you're done and pair it with a non-toxic spray like this all-purpose cleaner from Cleancult.
Store and Organize
There are multiple ways you can keep your fridge in check once you've cleaned it out. Let's break it down by section.
Drawers: You can store fruits, vegetables, and meats here. Since fridges have designated drawers for each, you can keep them separate and organized. For example, green veggies need high humidity while most fruits need low so it's best to keep them separate. Meats usually go near the bottom so that they won't drip onto any of your other food, while your cheeses should be stored in a crisper in the fridge, which will have the most consistent temperature and humidity. Note avoid plastic wrap and use parchment paper instead so your cheese can breathe.
Shelves: Keep smaller items or condiments in baskets so you won't have to guess what's inside, like this basket from Open Spaces. Try round turntables to make bottles easily accessible, and colorful containers that'll keep things looking clean and organized. If your shelves are at different heights, you can keep short and fat items on the top shelf and larger ones near the bottom.
You can also label your containers with chalkboard labels, or just use tape and a Sharpie! If you write the dish name and the date you put it in the fridge, you'll be able to keep track of everything easier (a great hack for leftovers).
Freezer: Use caddies or shelves to maximize your freezer space. You can freeze things flat (think soup in a plastic bag) so that you don't have to deal with a bunch of funky shapes. Since freezers generally have less space than the fridge, it's also important to freeze portion sizes that won't overwhelm your space.
Door: Group your pickle and pepper jars, your salad dressings, and your spreads (like mayo or peanut butter and jelly) in different areas of the door so you always know where things are. Plus, the door is the warmest part of your fridge so avoid putting things like milk or eggs here.
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Brit + Co Editorial Assistant, Swiftie | Chloe is from the Outer Banks of North Carolina (yes, like the Netflix show!). When she isn't writing or updating her blog Pastels and Pop Culture, Chloe enjoys watching Marvel movies or texting her sister about the latest celebrity news. Say hi at @thechloewilliams on Insta!