We’ve all opened up our refrigerator’s crisper drawers and found some poor bit of forgotten produce wasting away. Not only is this hard-earned money gone to waste, but also a missed opportunity for a healthier meal. Luckily, there’s an easy solution: organize your refrigerator. Here’s how.
1. Put fruits and vegetables front and center.
Before you remind us that crisper drawers are designed to keep produce fresh longer, think about it this way: That only applies if you actually use them. No crisper-drawer technology is going to keep your produce edible forever. If your greens (and reds, yellows, and oranges) are out where you can see them, they have a fighting chance of getting eaten before they spoil. So, take those vegetables and fruits out of their crisper-drawer purgatory and place them front and center, where you’re more likely to grab them first.
2. Protect vegetables from ethylene-producing fruits.
Store vegetables in clear, covered, plastic storage bins to prevent ethylene-producing fruits (such as apples, pears and cantaloupe) from speeding their demise. Lettuce can stay in plastic clamshells or in a perforated bag.
3. Keep poultry, fish and meat in the bottom drawer.
This is the coldest spot in the fridge. Plus, if anything spills, drips won’t contaminate other items in the fridge. (Just be sure to wrap everything tightly, and clean and sanitize the drawer frequently.)
4. Group condiments in the door.
Your refrigerator door is the warmest part of the fridge. This is where you should keep condiments and other things that are less likely to spol.
5. Don’t store eggs and milk in the door.
Despite the fact that your door may have a “dairy” section, you’ll want to keep eggs in their cartons and place them, along with milk, on a middle or bottom shelf, ideally toward the back, where it’s colder.
A final tip: Let it breathe.
Don’t over-pack your fridge. It operates best if air is allowed to circulate.