13 Clever Ways to Keep Your Fridge Organized for the Holidays
Because that half-empty soy sauce is from 2008
So the whole tribe is headed to your place for Thanksgiving (joy!). Everyone is pumped about Uncle Frank’s world-famous artichoke dip and Grandma Jean’s pecan bars…until you realize that all the dishes need valuable real estate in your extremely overstuffed, very disorganized fridge.
Lucky for you, we’ve discovered a bunch of quick and helpful ways to keep your fridge organized and all perishables fresh and within easy reach. Here, the 13 things you need to do.
USE CLEAR CONTAINERS
When you can actually see what you have, you’re more likely to use it all (and avoid collecting 27 random sticks of butter).
KEEP YOUR MEATS LOW
Keep raw meat properly wrapped in butcher’s paper on the lowest possible shelf so that it doesn’t drip onto other foods and contaminate them. Speaking of dripping, set meat in pans to collect all the juices.
AND YOUR CASSEROLES HIGH
Stack rectangular baking dishes on top of one another in the center of the middle or top shelf. Fridge temperatures are most stable there, which means that sour-cream-based casserole won’t spoil.
GET JAVA IN A FLASH
The real secret to staying organized is always keeping the essentials (um, that’s coffee, you guys) on hand. GE’s super-smart Café Series refrigerator boasts a built-in Keurig brewing system. That means your favorite single-serve K-Cup can be ready in a flash, anytime. New holiday mantra: “Stay caffeinated.”
WISE UP TO YOUR CRISPER
You have two drawers and two humidity dials. Let’s learn something today: Fruit goes in the low-humidity drawer, and veggies go in the high-humidity drawer (you can adjust the settings yourself). And don’t smother them in those plastic produce bags: Oxygen needs to circulate around each piece of produce to keep it crisp. (So don’t overstuff the drawers, either.)
TOSS OUT GROSS PACKAGING
That chintzy plastic packaging that comes wrapped around bacon, deli meats and cheese is not only a pain to remove (it always rips) but it’s also suffocating your foodstuffs. Use parchment or waxed paper to rewrap your goods, then label and date accordingly.
USE A LAZY SUSAN
For easy access to condiments and salad dressings. Never lose a bottle of vinaigrette to the back of your fridge again.
DON’T STORE MILK On THE DOOR
Constantly opening and closing the fridge makes the temperature on the door fluctuate, which means your dairy products are likely to spoil faster. Keep them on the higher shelves and toward the very back for maximum chill.
BUT DO STORE YOUR “EAT ME NOWS” THERE
Guests will notice what’s on the doors first, so pack your cut-up veggies in clear containers and stash them here. Instant crudités for everyone!
(DON’T) GO FOR BROKE
Wine, beer and soda bottles might be too tall to stand upright, but once you lay them sideways, you risk a runaway roller every time you open the door. Invest in a couple of these bottle anchors. (Fancy, huh?)
KNOW WHAT NOT TO CHILL
Get those potatoes, onions and garlic outta there. They’ll be fine just chillin’ on your countertop or tucked away in your pantry.
MIND YOUR BREAKABLES
Those wimpy Styrofoam cartons aren’t doing your eggs any favors. Consider investing in an egg keeper to prevent cracking under pressure.
AND ALWAYS LABEL, LABEL, LABEL
“Is this onion dip or whipped cream?” Never be haunted by unidentifiables ever again.