Leftovers gobbling up space in your refrigerator? Here are some tips for keeping things organized, efficient, and tasty.
Dreaming of a clean refrigerator, but not sure how to organize? We’ve got some cool ideas.
Front and center
Give prime fridge space to priority items, says professional organizer Kathi Burns, founder of Add Space to Your Life.
“If you want leftovers to be eaten, keep them front and center on the middle rack, at eye level,” says Burns. “That goes for healthy snacks, too. If you have leftovers, don’t cram them in the back.”
For large food items, slice and store in several containers, says professional organizer Abbey Claire Keusch. If your refrigerator has adjustable shelves, you can move them around for specific items. Have a plan for the food you keep.
The only items that really need to go in the fridge are meats, dairy products, and certain vegetables (unless you’re going to eat them right away).
Items that should never go in the refrigerator include:
- Tomatoes (they’ll get mushy faster if they’re cold).
- Onions (they’ll soften, plus all your other food will smell like onions).
- Honey (it’ll get too thick).
- Potatoes (cold temperatures turn starches into sugars, giving your taters a sweet flavor when you cook them, and not in a good way).
Pulling out one bin instead of many individual items is faster, too, so your refrigerator door doesn’t stay open as long. For smaller refrigerators that don’t have drawers, long, rectangular bins can be used for easy organizing.
“Same goes for the freezer — just use a Tupperware bin for frozen veggies, so you can pull out all the bags of veggies in one fell swoop,” Burns says. “It works really well.”
Hip to be square
Refrigerators are more efficient when they’re fuller, but that doesn’t mean you should cram as much stuff in there as possible. Square or rectangular containers are the way to go for leftovers — they’re easily stackable and fit into corners neatly.
“Stay away from round containers,” says Burns. “That’s just wasted space.”