Do you have a system for where things go in your fridge?
If you find it difficult to unload your cold-store groceries into your fridge on shopping days, perhaps it’s time for an overhaul. There is a distinct possibility that it’s crowded with items that simply don’t earn the chilly real estate they occupy and it’s time to evict them. HB resident decluttering whizz Tilly Roberts goes on a cold crusade through our iceboxes.
Tilly’s top tips for decluttering your fridge
1. A clean sweep
Take everything out - everything!! On a hot day, have an Esky nearby to store things such as milk and dairy whilst you clean and reorganise.
2. Wipe down
All surfaces – walls, drawers and everything in between with warm soapy water. Remember door shelves and covered compartments. Let everything dry before putting it back in, or wipe down with a clean, dry cloth.
3. Analyse everything
Consider each item you have removed. What do you actually use regularly and what did you just buy as a one off? Be strict here - it’s easy to build up a large collection of condiments or long-life products, clogging up much-needed space and you’ll never use them again!
4. Freeze instead
Larger jars of sauces and pastes can be frozen into cubes for ready use, to make space and to extend their life span.
5. Put things back
Begin to replace items into your fridge. Put perishables at eye level where they are a visual reminder for use.
6. Store by lifespan
Put greens, veggies and fruit in your crisper drawer where you can see what is there. Store harder, longer-lasting items beneath leafy greens so you don’t find a soggy lettuce at the bottom down the track.
7. Store by type
Consider keeping items in sections e.g. fruit, veggie, dairy and meat. Follow your fridge guidelines as to the best area of the fridge to store each food type.
8. Don't hide things
Pull everything to the front of the shelves - try not to have multiple layers of foodstuffs behind one another – this is when things get forgotten.
9. Buy only what you need
Better to have less in your fridge that you can see and use, than stockpiling items only to have them go off.
10. Avoid opaque containers
Storing leftovers or meat in Tupperware or lidded containers where you can’t easy see into them is a sure-fire way to forget they exist. Instead, opt for a few favourite containers that are recognisable and contents will turn over quickly – bowls ready for reheat or clear jars for a more waste- and plastic-free approach. This also allows easy visibility for what’s to eat as soon as you open the fridge.
11. Prepare food for use
For big, bulky items like watermelon, cut up and put in a large container or bowl as soon as you arrive home and unpack. This makes food prep quicker and takes up less space in your fridge.
12. Admire your work!
A clutter-free fridge it a thing of beauty. Share your new system with all members of your household and encourage everyone's help to stick to the system.
Tilly's Top Tip
Take a pic of your fridge or write a list of what you DO have before going food shopping to avoid double ups!
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