We’ve all opened up our refrigerator’s crisper drawers and found some poor bit of forgotten produce wasting away. Out of sight, out of mind. Not only is this hard-earned money gone to waste, but also a missed opportunity for a healthier meal. Luckily, we have a solution: Take those vegetables and fruits out of their crisper-drawer purgatory and place them front and center, where you’re more likely to grab them first. That’s right. Organize Your Refrigerator!
Before you remind us that crisper drawers are designed to keep produce fresh longer, think about it this way: That only applies if you actually use them. No crisper-drawer technology is going to keep your produce edible forever. If your greens (and reds, yellows and oranges) are out where you can see them, they have a fighting chance of getting eaten before they spoil.
Fruit and vegetables
Place vegetables and fruit in the middle of the fridge, with larger items toward the back and smaller ones in front, so you can see everything. Store vegetables in clear, covered, plastic storage bins to prevent ethylene-producing fruits (such as apples, pears and cantaloupe) from speeding their demise. Lettuce can stay in plastic clamshells or in a perforated bag.
Poultry, fish and meat
Keep poultry, fish and meat in the bottom drawer. It’s a particularly cold spot; plus, if anything spills, drips won’t contaminate other items in the fridge. (Just be sure to wrap everything tightly, and clean and sanitize the drawer frequently.)
Group condiments together on the door, the warmest part of the fridge, since they’re less likely to spoil.
Eggs and milk
Keep eggs in their cartons and place them, along with milk, on a middle or bottom shelf, ideally toward the back, where it’s colder.
A final tip: Let it breathe
Don’t over-pack your fridge. It operates best if air is allowed to circulate.