When I come home from the grocery store, I’m usually saddled with bags and bags of fruits, veggies, snacks and more. Sometimes I get a little lazy and just stash it all in the refrigerator, wherever it may fit.
To my dismay, the next day I often wake up to wilted lettuce, frozen juice and sad, flavorless tomatoes!
Storing your food in the ideal compartments of your refrigerator can help combat this. This means less wasted food, and a more organized space overall. Organizing your fridge also means you could have more space for my favorite food of all… LEFTOVERS! And just in time for the holiday season.>
The highest part of your fridge is slightly warmer than the rest. It’s perfect for canned beverages, yogurt, leftovers and ready-to-eat items like berries.
The lower shelves are great places to store eggs, milk, deli meat and cheese. You also have option to store flour and oil on these higher areas. While not totally necessary, refrigerating these items does increase the shelf life.
Your bottom shelf will be home to meat, poultry and fish. These items have the highest safety risk, so they should be stored in the coldest area.
The crisper drawers of your refrigerator are perfect for items you need to keep cool and crisp like fruits and vegetables. Keep the crisper’s vent closed for veggies that might wilt to keep the water vapors contained.
Citrus fruits, melons and sweet potatoes should have a half opened vent. You could store tomatoes like this as well if you’re looking to extend their shelf life, but you might miss out on taste. Tomatoes taste most flavorful if ripened at room temperature.
Fruits like apples and pears that have a high likelihood of rotting quickly should be stored with the vent fully open.
If you don’t have a wine fridge at home, the perfect place for wine storage in your kitchen refrigerator is in a top shelf area. This keeps the wine chilled without bringing it down too low in temperature. Perfectly refreshing!
Juices and condiments are best stored with easy access in the door of the refrigerator. Avoid placing dairy like milk here, because it does not stay at as consistent a temperature each time you open the door.
Remember to clean out your refrigerator regularly to keep it free from bacteria and odors that might occur from poorly stored foods. You can do this with a simple spray made of equal parts white vinegar and water and a few drops of essential oil! An opened box of baking soda can also help absorb any odors that perk up from time to time.
Check out this handy-dandy infographic from lifehacker.com for some quick tips on how to maximize your fridge space and keep it fresh!