Refrigerator Clutter – As tempting as it is to stick every magnet you get on vacation to your fridge, this contributes to kitchen clutter. Instead, limit yourself to about 4-5 magnets total. It’s very important to keep what is stored under each magnet always up to date, therefore, avoid storing expired coupons or sticky notes with phone numbers you’ve already entered into your phone book. Instead, try hanging current shopping or to-do lists.
Food Science – Where do you store your milk? Despite its most common placement, milk does not belong in the door of the refrigerator. Items kept in the refrigerator door change temperature frequently as the door is opened and closed. Instead, try storing items such as jellies, condiments, or sodas in the refrigerator door. So where should milk be stored? Milk should be placed on the bottom shelf which is the coldest part of the refrigerator.
Vegetables- Although commonly found in the fridge, tomatoes last longer if they are given ventilation due to how much ethylene they give off. Ethylene is a naturally occurring hormone that ripens fruits and vegetables, but will spoil tomatoes faster if they are kept enclosed in the refrigerator. Are you a fan of mushrooms? Did you know that humidity shortens the lifespan of button mushrooms and other temperature sensitive vegetables? These types of vegetables should be stored in an open container in the fridge, instead of closed in the vegetable drawer.
Fruits – Bananas, along with other tropical fruits (mangoes and papayas), all contain enzymes sensitive to the cold. Fruits that contain these enzymes should be stored at room temperature to avoid being damaged.
Butter –Butter should be kept inside a compartment within the refrigerator. Storing items in small compartments keeps the temperature stable which ultimately keeps the item fresher. It is important to keep butter covered in a dish or a butter holder since it easily absorbs the smell and taste of other foods in the refrigerator. It also makes for a neater overall presentation.
Leftovers – Leftovers are easily pushed to the back of the fridge as we make more meals. However, it is important to keep leftovers visible and labeled with the contents and date. Labeling your leftovers will help you remember when they were made and how much time you have before they expire. According to the Mayo Clinic, leftover food is safe to eat within four days. If not eaten within four days, it should be frozen.
Implementing these changes will not only help your refrigerator stay organized but the food will last longer as well! Bon Appetit!