It may seem a bit much to organize your refrigerator and freezer, but with upcoming holidays just around the corner, chances are your fridge is going to get some serious use. Taking a little bit of time to take inventory of what's already in there can help you in the meal planning efforts, as well as making sure you have the space required to house the goods before your crowd gathers to eat.
Here are some fridge & freezer organizing tips for a stress-free holiday season.
Your wallet & sanity will appreciate you taking a few minutes to see what you've already got on hand.
- Take a moment to go from the top down, shelf by shelf, to take a quick inventory of what you've already got stashed in there. If there are items that are expired, please do your guests a favor and purge them now.
- Make note of the items you buy on a weekly basis and the sizes of their packaging. Arranging the shelving to account for the best use of space available will actually waste less space and let you get more goods into the refrigerator. Consider raising the shelves of smaller packaged items to better accommodate larger items beneath it.
- Group like items with like items. Keep condiments together with other condiments, in close proximity to one another. Once all like items are grouped, use clear containers to corral them and keep them from tipping over or being misplaced or shoved into the back, dark recesses of the fridge.
- Next time you use up the last of that jarred sauce, wash out the glass jar and keep it for future use. Glass jars (you've already paid for) make great containers for small items that can be stashed in refrigerator doors.
- If your family eats meat or fish, put the meat/fish on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator. I say this because sometimes the packaging can leak, causing raw meat "juice" to drip down to shelves beneath it. The last thing anyone wants is raw meat goo on their fruits and vegetables. Ew!!!
- If you have a freezer drawer, group like items together. Bagged frozen goods like tater tots, french fries, chicken nuggets and fish sticks usually end up squished at the bottom of the drawer. Consider grabbing some magazine organizers from the dollar store, or you're local big box store, and corral bigger bagged items like these into them. You'll wave goodbye to the days of searching with cold, numb hands for those lost popcorn chicken pieces.
- Group frozen veggies together, too. Stack them vertically in a rigid container so that you can easily see what you've got on hand.
So there you go! If you're cooking for this year's upcoming holidays, try some or all of these tips for a more organized, smooth festive cooking season.