Refrigerators, especially in the homes of active families, can be difficult to keep organized and free of expired foods. We’ve talked in the past about using a meal plan to help food move through your refrigerator before it rots. However, using a meal plan doesn’t necessarily keep a refrigerator from looking like it was hit by a very small tornado when its door was closed.
Like any storage space in your home, organizing your refrigerator to meet your needs can save you time and money over the long term. Here are some organizing helpers for inspiration:
- If you or your family regularly consumes drinks from cans, you might benefit from a beverage dispenser or a can organizer.
- Instead of cans, if you store a lot of bottles, you might need a bottle stacker.
- Stackable, removable shelves are helpful for adding surface space in refrigerators and freezers.
- And, shelf liners can keep foods from rolling to the back of a shelf and being forgotten. Shelf liners are also nice because they make cleaning shelves easy.
When putting food into your refrigerator, make sure that you’re storing food in its recommended location and cleaning the shelves and door seals regularly as recommended by your refrigerator’s manufacturer. If you’re not familiar with the different temperature zones in your refrigerator, use a thermometer to find out the variances within your unit. You might be surprised to find that there are multiple variances even on a single shelf (the back of our shelves are three degrees cooler than the fronts). Be sure to follow the FDA recommendation and keep your refrigerator set at 40F degrees or below on all shelves to prevent listeria and other food-borne pathogens. Also, check out StillTasty.com if you have any questions about the shelf-life of the food you’re storing.