Well-organized refrigerator is a health issue as well as economy. How many times have you already lost food or were you forced to throw items in the trash because you missed the shelf life just because you forgot that it was there in the bottom of the shelf?
Keeping your refrigerator clean and with everything in place is important to avoid waste, helps conserve food better and even save energy. But to do this really effectively, you need to understand how your refrigerator's refrigeration works and what should be packaged in each space.
Older refrigerators have a cooling system different from the current models. In this case, the region closest to the freezer or freezer is cooler. On newer models, cooling takes place more uniformly throughout the appliance.
How to organize refrigerator
First step: cleaning
To properly and properly organize your refrigerator, the first step is to remove everything from inside and to make a good cleaning of the appliance. Make sure you have jars of leftover food, fruit or vegetables, overdue items, and discard everything you need.
Try to use transparent pots so that the food packaged inside them is visible and easier to identify. If you want to take the organization issue seriously, invest in reusable labels to identify which food is inside that pot and which expiration date.
Baskets organizers are also wildcard pieces that can be refrigerated to assist in organizing the items. Try to organize the baskets by utility: children's snacks all together in a basket, the breakfast items together in another, and so on.
The refrigerator should be cleaned periodically. Complete cleaning can be done once a month, but it is important to clean the appliance once a week with a cloth moistened with water and white vinegar to disinfect and remove unpleasant odors. Never use abrasive products or steel wool.
How to organize refrigerator by sectors
If your refrigerator has a drawer just below the freezer or freezer, this is the place where cold cuts, sausages, green seasonings such as parsley and chives, fish and meat are to be prepared soon. Never wash the meat before storing it in the refrigerator and do not think the meat has spoiled just because it has changed color. The meat gets darker in the refrigerator because of the lack of oxygen.
Chickens packed in this part of the refrigerator are valid for 2 days, fish lasts a day and cold for 3 days.
The top shelf is ideal for storing milks and derivatives such as butter, curd cheese, cheeses and yogurt, eggs and leftovers stored in tightly closed jars. If you want to keep the drinks cool, then leave them on that shelf as well. The eggs should not be kept in the refrigerator door as the constant opens and closes causes temperature oscillation and can spoil them. You can store them in the original packaging or in a plastic box with a lid.
Never store frozen yogurt pots with the spoon in the refrigerator or the bacteria will make the party. Leftovers should be kept in the refrigerator for a maximum of 2 days, yogurts for 1 day, butter for 3 days and eggs for 15 to 30 days.
The shelves in the middle of the refrigerator are perfect for preserving ready-to-eat foods, baked goods, cakes, pies, pastries, soups and broths. Everything should be stored in pots with lids for easy viewing. Eggs can also be stored in this region and cartons of long life milk. The candies have validity of 3 days, the milk of 2 days and canned can stay up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Do not store the cans open, pass the leftovers to plastic pots as the metal oxidizes and contaminates the food.
Bottom shelf (drawer top)
In this region you can store fruits or foods that you want to thaw. Refrigerate only the ripe or already cut fruits, the others can be stored at room temperature. Citrus fruits can be left free, the rest is better that they are packed in plastic bags. Wash them only before consumption because the fruits are sensitive to excess moisture.
This is the least refrigerated area of the refrigerator, so it is the most appropriate place to store vegetables and foods that are more sensitive to low temperatures. Put them in plastic bags, tied loosely, to increase durability and keep the drawer free of debris and leaves. Fruits and vegetables have durability for 3 to 7 days in the refrigerator, greens and seasonings for 2 to 3 days.
The refrigerator door is where we have to store condiments such as mayonnaise, ketchup, seasonings for salads, olives and preserves. Oh, and the vinegar place is in the refrigerator door too, because at room temperature it can suffer bacteria contamination. Let the sodas and processed juices stored in that area as well.
The freezer is where food is stored that need to be stored in lower temperatures like ice cream and meats that will be used later. Identify the items with reusable labels and organize them by categories: meats, chickens, ready-to-eat foods, etc. Several vegetables can also be frozen, thus ensuring a longer life.
Smart Tips for Organizing Food in the Refrigerator
Make it a habit to wash the packaging that comes from the market before you take it to the refrigerator. Plastic bags, jars, bottles can be washed with water and neutral detergent. Tetra pack packagings, such as milk or juice, should be sanitized only with a damp cloth. When they are dry, store everything in the refrigerator.
2. Open Foods
Do not store opened products in their original packaging, especially if they were cans. Is it over? Then transfer the food to a plastic or glass jar and throw the can or pot out. Identify everything with labels and note the expiration date to avoid loss and waste of food.
3. Washing or not washing?
Fruits and vegetables should be washed only at the time of consumption and the meats should never be washed because the water proliferates bacteria and spreads them throughout the refrigerator.
Foods that should not go in the refrigerator:
- Woven or paper packaging;
- Onion and garlic;
- Melon and watermelon;
- Oil or olive oil;
- Canned peppers.
Always observe what goes in the refrigerator, do not stock foods that have a short shelf life just because they are priced, you will end up having to discard them and the cheap ends up going out expensive.
And lastly, be careful not to overload your appliance, because the air needs to circulate so that the food is well refrigerated.
By following these maintenance, cleaning and organizing tips, your refrigerator will have a much longer shelf life, your food will also last longer and you will even notice a reduction in the consumption of electrical energy.
Why then expect to put into practice everything we teach in today's article?