kitchen

5 minimalist tips for decluttering the fridge

A clean and decluttered kitchen can make spending time in the kitchen a whole lot better, for everyone. You can find everything you need in an instant, you always have room for the dishes and groceries and it can even feel relaxing and inspiring to start cooking in there (or is that just me?). You can avoid a lot of food waste and clutter in your kitchen if you follow my 5 minimalist tips for decluttering the kitchen, but the fridge deserves some special attention. An unorganized fridge can drive a person in a hurry insane when making dinner or preparing lunches and can actually cause a lot of food waste. Opened jars end up in the back and are not to be found again until the expiration date is long past, you end up with three opened jars of mayonnaise and simply reaching for the cheese will cause an avalanche of epic proportions. That is why today I will share 5 simple minimalist tips for decluttering the fridge.

#1 Clean the fridge

kitchen

I don’t know about you, but we clean our fridge not nearly often enough. It is just such a hassle to take everything out, clean all the shelves and those nasty edges and crannies and than check every product before you put it back. But usually it turns out to be a very neccessary part of cleaning the kitchen and any good decluttering of the fridge starts with actually emptying it and cleaning it thoroughly. Check every single jar, can, bottle and package in the fridge. Is it still good? Are you actually going to use it? Do you need to use it soon? Collect the products that you aren’t going to use and donate them to someone else who can put it to good use so it is not wasted.

#2 Organize the fridge 

fridge

Once you emptied out the entire fridge and cleaned it thoroughly, it is time to put everything back. In order to not let it get cluttered all over again, guarantee shelf life and food safety, it is important to organize your fridge efficiently in a way that works for you. Although everyone has his or her own preferences, there actually is a ‘right’ way to organize the fridge. The shelves in the fridge actually differ in temperature and consistency of temperature and according to this you should plan where to put certain products. The coldest spot in the fridge is at the back of the bottom shelf and this is the perfect spot to keep milk, yoghurt, meat, fish and anything else that absolutely needs to be kept cool. Fruits and vegetables are usually stored in the drawers where the humidity is highest and condiments can be stored in the door or on the top shelf. You can check out a handy chart on where you should store your products on Serious Eats.

#3 Stick to the system

fridge

Once you organized you fridge in the most efficient way and put all the products back, it is important to stick to the system. With a household of multiple people who, let’s face it, don’t know about the system and don’t care about the system, it will probably come in handy to check in on the fridge once a week. Is everything still where it is supposed to be? You can combine this check with doing the weekly groceries. Check what you have in stock so you end up with 3 cans of pickles and make sure that everything is unpacked and put in the right place.

#4 Don’t just keep everything in the fridge

strawberries

Although you can’t be too careful these days when it comes to food safety, there are certain things that you actually don’t need to store in the fridge. Still we have a tendency to store things in the fridge that need to be kept out of the fridge for optimal taste and we store produce out of the fridge that actually need to be kept in the fridge. Where do you keep your apples, strawberries and cauliflower? If you are anything like me, you actually prefer to keep these out of the fridge. Well, we were wrong. Tomatoes, lemons and cucumbers actually need to be stored outside of the fridge. Again, something I was doing completely wrong. If you want to know more on how and where to store certains products, check the overview on Reader’s Digest.

#5 Use an ‘Eat First’ tray

vegetables

Unless you live with someone with an insatiable appetite, you are bound to end up with some products that are going to reach their expiration date very soon. For all these products the ‘Eat First’ tray might come in handy. In this box/tray/container you can keep all the products that need to be used soon. This way you will always have a reminder when opening the fridge and you, and all other housemates, are far more likely to prevent this food from being wasted.

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