Did you know that learning how to organize a refrigerator for efficiency reaps many rewards? Your refrigerator is likely one of the most widely-used appliances in your kitchen. It does not matter whether you want a cold drink, are looking for a snack, are grabbing the ingredients to make dinner, or sneaking a bite of ice cream late at night – your refrigerator and freezer are opened many, many times every day. And if you have a house full of people, then, well, you do the math.
Unfortunately, every time you open the refrigerator, you are letting out the cold air and causing the temperatures inside to fluctuate. And this can potentially cause wasted energy. The more disorganized your refrigerator is, the longer it takes to find what you are looking for.
Organize your refrigerator and boost its efficiency. And, we’ve got everything you need to know to get it done.
Make it Practical
There is nothing in the rulebook that says your eggs have to be stored in the same place that your mother and grandmother stored them. And you don’t have to line your soda cans up in the same way, either. You and your family have your own favorites and most-used foods. So, when organizing your refrigerator for efficiency, you want these foods in practical spots.
It is important to note that each area of your refrigerator may be warmer or cooler, depending on its location. By keeping certain foods in certain areas, you can prolong their life. For instance, putting milk in a warmer area may make it spoil faster. Here is your rundown:
Top shelves tend to be the warmest, with the shelves getting cooler as you go down. The doors tend to be the warmest, too, and the area is most likely to shift in temperature.
The ideal way to organize your fridge based on temperatures is:
–Condiments should go in the door
–Eggs, dairy products, butter, etc. should be on the top shelf
–Milk and meat should be on the lowest shelve where it is the coldest
–Fruits and vegetables should be in the crisper drawers
The rest of the space is open for the taking. Just note where these things are because they are claiming their spot. The key to keeping this organization is being consistent so once it is in order, keep it that way after your next grocery haul.
Invest in Clear Bins
You’ve likely seen the trend of buying clear bins for organizational purposes. And, quite honestly, these people are on to something. By removing the original packaging, you are not only making it easier to reach and grab for whatever it is you need in the refrigerator (reducing energy waste), but you are also saving space and keeping it from looking so cluttered.
Packaging can keep you from seeing all areas of the refrigerator – and it can be very bulky, too. With clear bins, you can store these opened products neatly and in an organized fashion. That way, you can see exactly what you are going for and don’t have to fuss with any wrappers.
It may seem silly to label your bins or even the areas in your refrigerator, but you can do so very neatly so that it looks tasteful. Yet, it serves a purpose, too. You may even be able to find pre-made stickers online that work beautifully.
This simply makes it easier to find what you are looking for and where things go when you are restocking. Plus, if you ever have guests, they can find what they need, too.
Keeping your refrigerator organized is not about making life more difficult or making it a bigger chore. Quite the contrary. Having an organized space makes life easier – and the more time you take setting it up right in the beginning, the greater reward you will reap in the future.
Store Perishables Where You’ll See Them
With good intentions, you may have purchased a lot of fresh veggies for snacking. But if you come home and toss them into the back of the refrigerator, what good is that going to do for you? By the time you remember they are there – if you remember – they are probably going to be rotten.
To combat this problem, store perishables where you will see them. And typically, this is front and center of the refrigerator. In the middle of the middle shelf. You can wash them up, so they are ready to eat/use and put them in your clear containers. That way, you can grab and go, making it even easier.
Using Your Crisper Drawers
Almost all refrigerators today come with two crisper drawers. One is intended for fruits and the other for vegetables. Why? Because you never want to mix these two since fruits give off a gas that will decompose veggies at a much faster rate than normal. So, keep them fresher longer by separating the two.
It is always a good idea to keep some fruits and veggies in your clear bins on the middle shelf that are easy to grab and go, as we talked about above. Even though you have the crisper drawers, don’t just throw your produce in them and forget them. It will be just fine to spread them around.
Once a month or every other week, do a routine cleaning of your refrigerator. Go shelf by shelf and pull everything out so that you can clean your refrigerator. Wipe it down with a soft wet cloth and a small amount of soap. Then dry with a clean cloth.
As you load it back up, look for expired items and remove them from the fridge. And things that you haven’t used in a long time, consider moving them toward the front – or get rid of them.
If you find you need to do this more or less frequently, then adjust your cleaning schedule. Just be sure that you do it regularly to keep your fridge healthy.
It may take some work to get your refrigerator organized for efficiency. But the more you work to keep it that way, the easier it will become. And you will likely feel good about it, too!
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