The fridge is a great place to embark on an organising journey. You’re unlikely to find any sentimental items in there that could stop you in your tracks. It doesn’t take more than an hour to declutter and organise. Plus, it brings a lot of benefits – whether it’s the ability to put a healthy meal on the table in less time, keep track of what you have so you can quickly come up with your grocery list, and maximise the food’s shelf life to reduce wastage.
60 Minutes To An Organised Fridge
Interior Designer: Lux Design
1. Sort the contents of your fridge in categories e.g. beverages, condiments, dairy, fish, fruits, jams, meat, vegetables etc. Keep dairy, meat and fish in a cooler bag while re-organising your fridge.
2. Toss food that has expired or that looks past it expiry, and give away food that’s still edible but that you know you won’t be using.
3. Clean your fridge thoroughly using warm water and baking soda – you wouldn’t want those chemicals touching your food.
4. Assign a shelf or drawer to each category. If your fridge doesn’t have enough compartments or drawers to keep categories together, invest in plastic storage baskets or caddies for condiments or jams that are particularly handy.
Assigning The Right Spot To Each Category
Interior Designer: The Local INN.terior
Assigning a location to each category will help you find what you need more easily, and will also ensure that the items are kept at the optimum temperature hence maximising their shelf life.
As the main guideline, remember that the lower the shelf or drawer, the lower the temperature. So this is how you should position the various categories from the bottom up:
Wrap raw meat, fish and seafood in individual transparent bags to avoid dripping and contamination.
Keep fruits and vegetables separate as most fruits produce a lot of gas that can cause vegetables to ripen more quickly.
Dairy including butter, cheese, cream and milk, as well as eggs and leftovers, can be kept together.
Group food that doesn’t need cooking, such as bread, cans and bottles, in the same area.
Avoiding Food Wastage
Interior Designer: The Scientist
1. Minimise the contents of your fridge. Be realistic: if your lifestyle doesn’t allow you time to cook or if you enjoy eating out, there’s no point in filling your fridge to its maximum capacity.
2. Buy what you plan to consume in between two trips to the supermarket. A great way to achieve this is to plan your meals, do an inventory check before going to the grocery shop and shop with a list.
Interior Designer: Lemonfridge Studio
3. Make sure every category of items is visible. Move those with the shorter expiry dates to the front after you’ve stocked up your fridge.
4. Keep leftover food in closed clear containers (prefer glass over plastic especially if the food will be warmed up in microwave) and keep them at eye level.
5. Use Lazy suzans or turntables so nothing is forgotten at the back of the fridge.
This article was contributed by Nathalie Ricaud, professional organiser and founder of Get Organised & Beyond. She helps individuals who feel overwhelmed by all their "stuff" let go of things that are just stressing them out, and feel in control of their home and life again. She helps them establish systems to make sure they can find what they want when they need it, and maintain a clutter-free, organised and peaceful home.
Cover photo by The Local INN.terior