How to Clean and Organize Your Refrigerator

If you have been reading the SpendSmart blog lately, you know I am on a crusade to get my kitchen more organized.  After creating better centers in my kitchen and organizing the pantry, I started on the refrigerator. I hate wasting time hunting for items and juggling containers to make something fit in the refrigerator. Throwing away food, feels like throwing money in the trash. I save money and time with a more organized refrigerator.

If your refrigerator needs to be cleaned and organized, check out the step by step guide How to Clean and Organize Your Refrigerator.

If you are not ready to tackle this job, here are a few quick tips to properly store food in your refrigerator.

  • Make sure your refrigerator temperature is  40°F or slightly below and your freezer is 0°F or below. Higher temperatures mean faster food spoilage.
  • Air circulates constantly in a refrigerator and foods dry out quickly. Everything needs to be wrapped in foil, plastic, or put in airtight containers. Moisture- and vapor-proof materials are best.
  • Perishables like dairy, eggs, and meat should be kept in the coldest part of the refrigerator (not the door). Fresh meat should be in a drawer or in a container on a bottom shelf so juices do not drip on other foods.
  • Identify a spot for leftovers and label them. Make a plan to use them. If you know you will not use them within four days, freeze them or throw them away.
  • Wipe up spills in the refrigerator when they happen to prevent bacteria (germs) and odors from developing. Use hot soapy water to clean up any spill and rinse with clean water.

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