It is sufficient to follow the fridge’s manufacturer’s instructions to have a well-organised fridge. But sometimes you don’t (or no longer) have the instructions. How should you arrange your fridge so that the hygiene is impeccable, it doesn’t consume too much energy and it serves as a good storage area?
Any (bad) habits you need to review?
Habit N°1: overcrowding
Bottles mixed with onions, fruits surrounded by meat, various products stacked anyhow… chaos rules and hygiene risks are high.
Sort foods by type. Why?
- to avoid contamination between products coming from the ground and meat, for example;
- to find out the status of our stocks. This will avoid buying more yoghurt when there are still some hidden at the back of the fridge;
- finally, so that each food has a logical position, always the same.
If you want to avoid others storing their favourite products randomly, I recommend using (at the start anyway) labels from a label maker (examples: drinks/dairy products/other, etc) on the edge of the shelves or on the side. You may even decide that a shelf should be reserved for one or more people. Practical when sharing or to avoid one person eating another’s desserts!
This will help your family members respect the defined positions.
Habit N°2: precipitation
Sometimes, to save time, and, be honest, due to laziness, we put a pan containing leftover pasta in the fridge. Unfortunately, this is not a very good idea.
Firstly, there is a space issue. A round pan with its lid and its handle takes up a lot of space. And then the impractical shape makes storing other things difficult. Secondly, it is a question of energy consumption (the dishes stay warm for a long time and force the refrigerator to work harder to maintain the temperature.
Leftovers should always be placed in containers intended for this use, with a lid, respecting the “TWO HOUR” rule: food should be left to cool at room temperature for a maximum of two hours and should be stored in the fridge for no more than two days.
Habit N°3: too much variety
You like various sauces and condiments and there are lots in your refrigerator. But as the bottles and jars are different sizes and are not bought at the same time, some are in the door, two other bottles are on the top shelf, the large bottle at the bottom… it is hardly surprising that you buy sauces twice “just in case…”.
Remember that the shelves are usually adjustable. Don’t hesitate to reposition them so you can store your bottles and jars in the same place. Although you may lose some height, you will make savings as you will not double-up on condiments.
Habit N°4: too much enthusiasm
As a precaution, you put absolutely everything in the fridge. Even if they don’t need to be there, such as tomatoes, which lose their taste, or honey, which sets and doesn’t need to be there. The light is obstructed, items are too close together and the air cannot circulate between the foods, which is not healthy and you can’t find anything. These are not the best storage conditions…
In our part of the world, we do not need to store everything in the fridge. Eggs, yes, why not. But not strawberries!
In addition to the solutions above, there are other good habits to help keep your fridge tidy:
- Sort it every week: in what condition are the condiments, vegetables, ready meals? Be ruthless: no need to experiment when cooking!
- The best time to inspect the fridge and clean it with warm vinegar water is before going shopping.
- Make sure that absolutely everything can be seen without moving anything (or guessing); install half shelves if necessary.
- Place the products to be consumed first at the front (see expiry dates).
- And consider removing overwrapping and various packaging.