Unfortunately, people rarely practice ergonomic storage of goods. And it is a pity because a smart approach helps to save space and extend the life of products, which ultimately leads to monetary savings. It is especially important to organize proper food storage in the refrigerator during the holidays when you purchase a lot of food. Let’s find out how to arrange your fridge in easy steps.
What goes where in the fridge? In short, dairy products (milk, cottage cheese, yoghurt) and ready-made pastries (cakes, pastries, muffins, rolls), eggs go on the top shelf in the fridge. Ready-to-eat meals go on middle shelves while raw meat, minced meat and fish go on the lower shelves. Water, butter and cheese go on the fridge doors. Fruits and vegetables go in the fridge drawers.
However, proper food storage is not that simple, so let’s find out how to arrange a fridge correctly.
Fridge Organisation Ultimate Guide
Remember that shelves that are densely packed with food impede air circulation, thereby impairing storage conditions. And the cost of electricity will increase significantly because your refrigerator will start to generate too much cold.
What Goes On the Top Shelf of the Fridge?
- Cheese. You can pack it in foil, parchment, but a glass container remains indispensable. Want to preserve the flavour of your cheese longer? Then put a couple of pieces of sugar in the tray. It will absorb excess moisture, preventing the product from deteriorating within two weeks.
- Cottage cheese. It is often sold vacuum-packed (unless you buy it on the market). At home, the cottage cheese needs to be taken out and transferred to a vacuum or glass tray.
- Butter. Divide a large piece into portions. Place one portion in butter dish for daily use. Place the rest in the freezer compartment.
- Milk. It is better to pour milk from plastic containers and bottles into glass containers with a lid.
On the top shelf, it is usually advised to store open canned food, yoghurts, frozen berries, sometimes eggs and cheese. Store food in containers. The saucepan with the leftover soup will take up the entire shelf (if it fits at all), and the small container will fit neatly in the free corner.
The top shelf is ideal for perishable dairy and meat products. The temperature norm here is + 1-3°С.
What Goes On The Middle Shelf of the Fridge?
- Sausage and smoked meats. It can be wrapped in parchment. It is better to place the slices in a glass container and cover with cling film. Do not leave it open or it will fray and become inedible.
- Sweets and pastries: cakes, pies, products filled with cream and jam. They can be wrapped in parchment or placed in a closed container with a lid.
- Liquid food (soups) can be placed in pans with a lid or poured into jars.
- Snacks are best placed in separate covered trays.
- Salads without dressing.
- Canned food. It is better to transfer opened canned food to glass dishes. After opening, the tin begins to rust, which affects the quality of the food.
It is advised to store leftover food, open canned food and groceries, and everything that does not require special conditions on the middle shelf. Buy more small plates. You will need to wipe the shelves in the refrigerator much less often if you train yourself to put all the dirty food on saucers.
What Goes On The Bottom Shelf of the Fridge?
The raw meat and eggs go on the bottom shelf of the fridge since this shelf is the coldest. Do not put ready-to-eat foods here. It is best to keep them away from raw meat and eggs. Store eggs in cardboard boxes.
What Should Be Stored in a Fridge Door?
- Water. Bottles with drinking water can be placed underneath. They will not cool too much, and the water will calmly tolerate temperature fluctuations. It is only necessary that the bottles are not too large and heavy.
- Oil. It is also recommended to keep open bottles of vegetable oil in the refrigerator. They can be put in the door. Cold storage does not tolerate olive oil; it is better to leave it at room temperature.
- Vinegar and sauces. Open sauces are usually hot enough to withstand the harsh storage conditions in the door. Vinegar doesn’t really need to be refrigerated, but many people put them away for the safety of young children.
- Small canned food. Tomato paste, small jars of green peas and corn, pate. In general, everything is small that will stand on the shelves and will not deteriorate.
- Cheese and butter. You can also put butter in an oiler and cheese on the door. These are the foods that we eat all the time and serve quite warm. Only small pieces of butter and cheese should be kept in the door so that they do not have time to deteriorate. It is best to store basic supplies inside the refrigerator.
The refrigerator door is the warmest place in the fridge and the temperature here constantly fluctuates. In addition, it is better not to store a lot of heavy products on the door.
REFRIGERATOR ORGANIZATION 2020
How Do You Organize Fruits and Vegetables in the Fridge? How Do You Store Fruit in the Fridge?
You need to store fruits and vegetables separately from each other. You need to organize fruits and vegetables in the fridge drawers, where the temperature is kept at the level of 8-10 degrees. It is most correct to store vegetables and fruits in paper bags or perforated packages and containers so that air can flow to them.
Here are some other tips on how to store fruits and vegetables in your fridge properly:
- Do not store fruits and vegetables together. Fruits that emit large amounts of ethylene (the ripening agent) can speed up the ripening of nearby vegetables and spoil them.
- Get rid of mouldy fruit immediately. Be sure to remove any spoiled fruit before placing it in the refrigerator, cupboard, or tabletop vase to prevent mould from spreading. Try to eat overripe fruits first.
- Store unripe fruits at room temperature, preferably in a paper bag. This is especially true for apricots, peaches, pears, plums, persimmons, avocados, kiwi and mangoes. The bag will trap ethylene, a gas that is released by the fruit and acts as a ripening agent.
Do you want to speed up the process even more? Place an apple in the bag.
Ripe and, moreover, overripe fruits are best kept in the refrigerator.
- Store fruits on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator or in a special fruit compartment. Though some fruits need to be stored at room temperature (whole melons, bananas, citrus fruits, unripe fruits), as well as apples — it is better to store them on the top shelf of the refrigerator, separately from other fruits.
- Which fruits cannot be put in the refrigerator? Bananas and citrus should not be put in the fridge.
- Do not store fruit in a fully-packed refrigerator container. Air should circulate freely around the fruit.
- Eat cut fruits as quickly as possible and do not refrigerate them for more than two days. This is especially true for watermelons, melons and pumpkins, as well as persimmons. Cut fruits cannot be stored at room temperature. Firstly, they will quickly deteriorate and wrinkle, and secondly, they will attract midges and flies.
- Store unwashed fruits in their original packaging or loose bag. Fruit stored at room temperature should be removed from the packaging immediately.
- Always have a bowl of fruit on the table or countertop. It is better to choose a place that is always visible and easily accessible. This will make your family healthier and your room cosier.
How Do You Organize Vegetables in the Fridge?
You need to store vegetables in lower drawers of your fridge. However, there are some rules on how you need to organise vegetables in the fridge:
- Store tomatoes, potatoes and peppers separately (including separately from each other). They also release ethylene and greatly affect the taste and quality of other vegetables. So, for example, next to tomato, carrots and beets will become bitter, and potatoes next to peppers will sprout quickly.
- Always cut the tops of the root vegetables. Before you put carrots, beets, radishes, turnips and other root vegetables in the refrigerator, you need to trim their tops, leaving only a small 2.5 cm tail to protect the vegetable from drying out. Also, before storage, root crops must be cleaned with a soft brush from the remnants of the earth.
- Wash vegetables and herbs (except herbs) only before use, not beforehand. It is very convenient to wash all the products at once before putting them in the refrigerator, but it turns out that this accelerates the spoilage of vegetable products. But greens can be washed before storage by soaking them in a sink with water.
- Store vegetables in loose and perforated bags and containers. Make sure the vegetable storage bag has openings to allow good airflow. At the same time, the fruits should lie loosely in the package, because the closer they are to each other, the faster they begin to rot.
- Onions can be stored in the refrigerator, but the smell can spread to other foods. Garlic is best kept refrigerated to prevent it from wilting. In a paper bag, garlic can keep in the refrigerator for months.
- Store radishes and carrots in the refrigerator in a bag with small holes; the tops must be removed completely. All types of cabbage keep well in the refrigerator if they are not packed tightly in plastic. There must be holes in the bag. The suitable temperature for them is 5-8 degrees Celsius.
Fridge Organization Video Guide
Wrapping Food in the Fridge
Do You Need to Cover Food in the Fridge?
You need to cover food in the fridge and here is how to do it:
- Store meat and fish in a paper bag or in a container;
- Store ready meals in containers or foil;
- Store the baked goods wrapped in the paper;
- Store groceries in parchment or foil;
- Store dairy products in glass, enamel dishes or factory packaging.
- Do not wrap food in plastic bags or plastic wrap as they retain moisture, which will allow germs and bacteria to live well with your food, and condensation will cause mould to form. You can cover the salad with cling film only for a couple of hours.
What Foods You Shouldn’t Store Next to Each Other
Not all products can peacefully coexist on the same refrigerator shelf: some of them are capable not only of changing the taste of other foods, but also accelerating their spoilage. To avoid this, there are a few simple rules:
It is better to store vegetables and fruits separately from each other. Some vegetables (for example, root vegetables) are incompatible with citrus fruits, and tomatoes and bananas are better kept separately as they release special substances that can spoil other fruits. For better preservation of fruits and vegetables, they are placed in separate boxes, not washed and without plastic bags.
By the way, potatoes, onions, bananas and apples should not be stored in the refrigerator as they do not like humidity and for their safety they only need a temperature slightly below room temperature.
Fish and smoked meats, which can give off a strong smell even in reliable packaging, should not be placed next to baked goods, dairy products and eggs, which have a porous structure and absorb aromas like a sponge. Unless, of course, you find the fish amber cake tasty.
Cooked meals and foods that do not need to be cooked must not be put together with raw meat and fish. The latter contains bacteria that can make you sick, but the bacteria are killed during cooking.
Do not store vegetables and fruits on the same shelf with dairy products and sausages. You should also not put food that can be eaten without cooking next to raw eggs.
Which part of the fridge is coldest? Which part of the refrigerator is the warmest? The coldest place in any refrigerator is always located in the back of the refrigerator compartment, closer to the back wall, and the warmest part of the fridge is on the door shelves since they are most often exposed to the ambient temperature when they are opened.
Look for the instructions for your refrigerator. Most likely, it describes the temperature regime of your specific device and describes how to store food in it. Alternatively, use a thermometer (just hold it for 10 minutes on one shelf, pulling it out and letting it warm up in between) to find out for sure.