The fridge is a very important hub in our homes. Having an organised fridge makes it easy to find what you need so that you can put a meal on the table in less time, keep track of what you have so that you can quickly come up with your grocery list, and maximise the food’s shelf life to reduce wastage. And if you follow my 5-step approach, it will take you less than one hour to de-clutter and organise your fridge. Sounds too good to be true? Well, read on…
1. Take items out of the fridge one by one and SORT them in categories e.g. fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, dairy, etc. You may want to store the most perishable ones in a cooler bag during the duration of this exercise.
2. TOSS any items that have expired or that look past their expiry dates – if they don’t look appetizing now, you are unlikely to eat them later. Have a pile of items that are still in good condition but that you know you won’t be using and give them away to friends or neighbours if they are interested.
3. CLEAN your fridge thoroughly using warm water and baking soda. You don’t really want to use chemicals that may end up in contact with the food.
4. ASSIGN A LOCATION / ZONE i.e. shelf, drawer, or door rack to each category. Take into consideration:
- Quantity that you typically keep of each category so that you avoid over-flow or under-utilisation of the zone.
- Fridge temperature. The top shelf has the most consistent temperature, the bottom one is the coldest spot in the fridge and the door is the warmest spot with the greatest temperature fluctuation.
- Visibility. You want to keep items with the closest expiry date in front and the leftovers at eye level so that you are most likely to eat them before they expire. Same if you want to encourage your family to opt for healthier choices e.g. the jug of water instead of the Coca-Cola can.
- Accessibility if for example you have children and you want them to be able to prepare their snack on their own.
5. CONTAINERISE. If your fridge doesn’t have enough compartments or drawers to keep similar items together, it’s a good idea to invest in some organising products. Here are some of my favourites:
- Clear storage containers for leftovers that ideally go in the freezer and the micro-wave.
- Caddies for condiments or jams that you can pick up and return in one go.
- Can dispensers to keep cans in line if you keep a lot of canned drinks in your fridge.
My fridge’s layout:
Now that your fridge is organised, you want to maintain it that way:
- Make sure your family members are aware of the location of each category and ask them to return the item after use to its assigned location.
- Once a week, go through the contents of your fridge. Discard the items that have expired, remember leftovers can’t be kept for more than 2/3 days. Re-arrange the contents to make sure everything is its in place. Wipe down spills. If you do this before replenishing your fridge, it shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes.
- Every 3 or 6 months, empty down the contents of your fridge and give it a good clean and purge.
Although we are equipped with the best intentions to cook healthy meals for our families, we have a general tendency to stock up more than we end up cooking and eating. So be realistic: if your lifestyle does not allow you time to cook or if you enjoy eating out, there is no point really in buying food that will end up in the bin.
|This blog was first published on Sabine’s baskets blog. Sabine’s Baskets is an online grocery delivery store in Singapore that delivers fresh quality fruits and vegetables to your home. Such a perfect solution to help you avoid over-purchasing and reduce wastage with the convenience of home delivery!