You return home with this week’s groceries and start putting them away. You open your refrigerator and take one of two approaches. Do you…
- Stack everything inside ensuring it fits and the door shuts
- Place items in suitable locations that ensure they remain fresh and keep your refrigerator sorted
If you ask us, approach two is the only way to go!
Keep reading as we show you how and why you should be sorting your refrigerator.
When sorting your refrigerator, it’s important to pay attention to when you will be likely to eat items. Use the upper shelves to store items that do not need to be cooked. This may include containers of leftovers, deli meats, packaged foods and prepared salads.
The upper shelves are also ideal for storing berries, as it provides easy access and you don’t need to dig through a drawer to find them.
Your middle shelves are the ideal place to store dairy products, such as butter, yogurt, milk and eggs. You may also use this area for cans of soft drink and similar items.
The bottom shelf is the coolest area of your refrigerator. As such, it should be used to store raw meat and seafood. When selecting a space to store cold meats, choose a flat small area. Be sure to keep meat in its original packaging and store it on a plate to avoid any dripping or spillages.
Try not to overfill your refrigerator either. When you store too many items on a single shelf it makes it harder for cold air to flow through and around each item. This is important in ensuring items remain fresh for longer.
Most refrigerators have two types of drawers. Small drawers are ideal for cheese and large drawers are suitable for fruit and vegetables. However, be sure not to place fruit and vegetables in the same drawer.
Many fruits produce ethylene which is a chemical that helps to ripen them. Unfortunately, this same chemical can cause vegetables to spoil early, turn yellow and sprout. Something no one wants to experience when they’ve just purchased a week’s worth of groceries!
The refrigerator door is the warmest area of the refrigerator. It is exposed to many temperatures as we use it to select food and drinks all day and therefore should be used to store items that do not spoil easily. This includes juice, spreads and refrigerated condiments.
Still looking for space?
If you’re still running short on space within your refrigerator, consider these tips:
- Use baskets and labels – this is a great tool for maximising space. Baskets can be used to store snack foods, pouch yogurts and even pre-cut fruits or vegetables.
- Utilise more space by reducing the size of large items – if you find yourself purchasing large or awkward sized items, consider chopping them into smaller sections for storage. This works well for wheels of cheese and large vegetables such as pumpkin.
- Consider purchasing cans instead of bottles of soft drink – these often take up a smaller amount of space and are useful as single serves.
Once you’ve sorted your refrigerator to save and extend the life of its contents, you’ll never go back!