Does it seem like your refrigerator is perpetually overflowing and there’s never any space? No, it’s not time to buy a new and bigger refrigerator. It’s simply time for fridge organisation, cleaning the refrigerator racks, and a better refrigerator storage system. You’re not alone in battling a cluttered and messy fridge. With all the many condiments, sauces, leftovers, fruits and vegetables of an Indian kitchen, it’s a more common problem than you’d think.
A clean fridge is essential to keep food fresh, which is important not just for your health, but to reduce the country’s food wastage burden too. Did you know that of the total food waste generated in India in 2019, 61% was from households? These appalling food waste statistics from the Food Waste Index Report 2021 make it important to keep your fridge clean to avoid food spoilage and wastage. So, here are some tips on how to organise your fridge and keep it clean.
1. Deep clean, then define zones
Before you start organising your fridge, empty it out first and clean it entirely. You can use white vinegar diluted with some warm water or lemon juice to clean the interiors of the fridge. It reduces odour and gives a fresh and citrusy fragrance to the refrigerator racks. Once you’re done cleaning the fridge, you can start organising the refrigerator shelves. Designate separate areas for different items. For instance, keep the top shelf for storing eggs, dairy products and leftovers. Use the next shelf for vegetables and fruits.
2. Transparent containers
Ditch cardboard boxes and invest in transparent containers instead. Transparent containers make it easier to find food items, ensure order in the fridge and prevent it from looking cluttered. With these containers, you can also develop a system for storing leftovers. To ensure proper order, follow the first-in, first-out method. This helps to keep food fresh and avoid wastage.
3. Fridge bins
Use fridge bins to store and organise condiments, sauces and dairy products. They are easily available online. Fridge bins of different shapes, sizes, and colours make it easy to recognise and differentiate between items. You can also use them to store items of the same type together. For example, keep all the sauces in one bin.
4. Ziplock bags
Ziplock bags make storing vegetables and fruits in the refrigerator a much neater affair. Besides easy organisation, they protect the vegetables and fruits from getting spoiled. They can also come in handy for meal prep. Just cut and keep aside vegetables and fruits for the week in different bags based on the days.
5. Washable fridge mats
Washable fridge mats play a crucial role in fridge organisation and keeping it clean. They protect the fridge from stains of spills and leaks. They are also easy to clean, and waterproof mats fight bacteria and odours.
6. Utilise the fridge door efficiently
Avoid keeping items that are quick to spoil in the fridge door. It’s the area of the fridge that receives the least cooling. Instead, use it to store items like eggs, dressings, condiments, juices and beverages. The shelf life of these items won’t be impacted despite being in a relatively warm area.
7. Smart storage
Every product needs a specific environment to stay fresh. For instance, storing herbs in a sealed bag keeps them fresh for weeks. The low oxygen level in the sealed bag maintains the nutrition value of herbs. Similarly, mushrooms should be stored in a brown paper bag. It absorbs the excess moisture and allows the mushrooms to breathe. Follow these fridge organisation ideas, tips and tricks to keep your fridge clean and organised at all times.