Refrigerators are difficult to keep clean and organized and are often forgotten about during typical cleaning. Given the number of perishables in the average fridge it is extremely important for your health to keep your refrigerator clean. Organization is the key to cleanliness and following these basic tips about food storage will keep you and your family healthy.
Accessibility is the most important aspect of organization. It is frustrating to dig through the fridge to find what you need. By putting your frequently used items in the front, it will be easier and faster to find them later. Also, put the items that expire soonest in the front so as to not forget about them. This not only contributes to the organization, but the cleanliness of the refrigerator. There is nothing worse than finding a jar in the back of the fridge and not be able to identify it.
Leftovers often cause more trouble than they're worth. Make you actually plan on eating the leftovers you store, because cleaning up after them is a big pain. If not properly stored, leftovers may go rotten and will either leak or stink up the fridge. To avoid this, make sure your leftovers are properly stored. There are two ways to store leftovers; tupperware or plastic bags. Tupperware tends to be better for the environment as well as sturdier. Though it is possible to seal plastic bags entirely, they are much more likely to leak or break. Still, sometimes they are easier because they can go straight into the trash and require no cleaning. If you don't plan on eating leftovers right away, it is probably better to store them in the freezer. It is helpful to store frozen leftovers in meal-size portions so you don't have to defrost more than necessary.
If you have the room, keep duplicates of frequently used items. There isn't always a neighbor with a spare egg or a teaspoon of baking soda. Having these items on retainer will make cooking and food preparation easier.
Regularly cleaning out your refrigerator is another important part of cleanliness. There are two good times to clean out a refrigerator. Garbage day makes sense because it will give the old food less time to rot in the trash cans. Another important time to clean is before grocery shopping. It doesn't make sense to put more food in a refrigerator when there is already rotting food in there.
Since there are so many different types of food being stored in the refrigerator, even if the refrigerator is clean, odors can be an issue. Storing an open box of baking soda in the refrigerator can help keep these odors under control. Baking soda can also be used as a way to remove food and rust stains. The box should be replaced every three months.
Most importantly, if there is a spill or leak in the fridge, make sure to clean it as soon as possible. Leaving it to dry will create rancid smells and a sticky mess. Take the time to deal with it sooner to avoid a bigger problem later.