The start of a new year is popular time to focus on home organization. A time when we buy new sheets, curtains, furniture and lots and lots of storage baskets! While you're at it, don't forget to organize your refrigerator and freezer. It's the most used appliance in our homes, which is why it often ends up a disorganized mess that's about as safe as eating from a petri dish! But an organized fridge optimizes food safety, quality and minimizes waste.
Here are 3 steps to get and keep your refrigerator and freezer organized.
Empty the contents. Take out the drawers and shelves and quickly clean with warm soapy water. Then do the same with the interior. Add a fresh box of baking soda for odor control. Date the box and change every 3 months. Tip: Don't throw the old one away. Dump the old baking soda down the drain and run your garbage disposal to give that a quick clean too.
Toss old and expired condiments, slimy lunch meat, moldy foods, freezer burned foods and anything else that doesn't look or smell right. Expiration dates are a guideline. But anything past expiration has likely lost some of its flavor and is potentially full of bacteria. The same goes for foods that aren't covered or wrapped tightly or containers that are disproportionate in size relative to its contents.
Now organize your food safely. Here's a great infographic that makes it easy. Ideally crisper bins should be above raw meats, fish, poultry and eggs to avoid contamination. So I recommend moving the drawers above those foods if possible.
Finally, Reduce waste by adopting the FIFO (first in, first out) method practiced in commercial kitchens. Store the oldest purchased/prepared foods (those with the shortest shelf life) in front and consume them first.
Get more kitchen organization tips & tricks on our Kitchen Organization Board on Pinterest.