Refrigerator Organization Tips

Home Appliances: Refrigerator Organization

If you live with children in the house, you know the frustration. Children are notorious for putting things “away” by putting the item in the first place they see and then quickly closing the door. Maybe you’re guilty of it, too?

While this method works for some things, it almost always spells disaster when it comes to organizing your refrigerator. With the cost of food waste at an estimated $640 per year, per household, it may be time to re-evaluate how you organize your refrigerator. Organizing your refrigerator can make sure that your food ends up in the right places, rather than the trash. It also means less wasted money on food you’re not eating. 

Refrigerator organization is also a big part of preventing food waste. Food should be stored where it makes sense, not just where it fits. Keeping reading for some great tips on organizing your refrigerator. 

WHERE YOU STORE

Where you store your food in the fridge is more important than how.

The most common mistake people make in refrigerator organization is putting food where it fits rather than a space that makes sense. For example, milk should never be stored in the door of the fridge. Refrigerator temperatures fluctuate repeatedly in the door because it is opened and closed. To keep items like milk, sour cream, yogurt, eggs and cottage cheese from spoiling faster than they should, it is important to store them on the bottom shelf, all the way in the back, where it’s coldest.

Vegetables stay fresh longer with a bit of humidity. Fruit, on the other hand, belongs in the low humidity (or crisper) drawer. Store items in the original packaging or in a plastic bag, loosely tied. Leave vegetables and fruits unwashed until you use them as water can promote mold and cause bacteria to grow. 

Butter and soft cheeses don’t need to be super cold so they can live in the door of the fridge. Same goes for condiments, ketchup, mayonnaise and salad dressing. Because these items are generally high in vinegar and salt which are natural preservatives. 

Another recommendation is keep food that is already opened at the front of the refrigerator. When you buy something new rotate the older items to the front so that they can be used before the expiration date. Not only does this make sure that you’re using the oldest food first, but it prevents waste from not being able to use opened food quick enough. 

HOW YOU STORE

There are a number of options for storing food in the refrigerator. Whatever method you choose, make sure to clearly label what you’re putting in there. We prefer glass or plastic containers for storing leftovers. You can use washi tape and permanent marker to label the dish and date you put them into the refrigerator or freezer. Also, make sure that the container you’re using isn’t too big or too small for the item(s) your storing. Using the right size container makes sure you’re using your space wisely, and helps to keep your refrigerator running efficiently. 

Use washi tape or dry erase markers to label your containers. Make sure to include the date it was stored.

MEAL PLANNING

Want to take things a step further? Making a weekly meal plan and shopping on the same day of the week can help you prevent food waste as well. Shop only according to what you have planned. Don’t shop on an empty stomach. And prepare what you can in advance. That includes cleaning and straightening up the refrigerator before you go to the store. That way, when you get home, putting away your food is easier and more convenient. 

Lastly, keeping your refrigerator organized helps you find what you’re looking for quicker. Thus avoiding the pitfalls of frustrated take-out ordering, wasted time and money. 

How do you keep your refrigerator organized? Share your tips in the comments. 

Of course, all the best back to school refrigerator organization hacks in the world won’t hold up to a refrigerator not running properly. If your refrigerator has not been running like it should, we can help with that, too! Our licensed technicians at PDQ Repair Services will make sure your refrigerator is at peak performance so your back to school time is worry-free.

Signs You May Need a New Fridge

When it comes to your frequently used appliances, your refrigerator is one you don’t really have to think much about. It keeps your food and drinks cool, makes ice and does it all without much thought from you. Which is great for our busy lives, but not so great for knowing when it might be time to call a repair technician. While most refrigerators with regular maintenance can last many years, even the most reliable fridges need to be replaced eventually.

How do you know if you really need to replace your fridge or if it just needs a little TLC?

Before you give up on your fridge completely, consider a few tell-tale signs of fridge problems. Let’s take a look at six of the most obvious signs that you may need to call for service (or, gulp, a new fridge). 

1. There’s excessive condensation

If your refrigerator is looking like it’s just run a marathon in the Arizona desert, i.e. it’s sweating, this could be a clear indication that it’s not cooling properly. While all refrigerators have to work to maintain a balance between hot and cold, they shouldn’t be working so hard (or little) that water droplets form on the exterior of the refrigerator. The same goes for condensation inside the refrigerator or even frost in the freezer. 

If you notice this, the first thing you should do is analyze the rubber seal around the door. Look for any signs of mildew or mold and perform the following test: Close the fridge door on a dollar bill. Then, pull the bill out slowly. If it slips out easily, you could try replacing the gasket yourself with a kit from the hardware store. If that doesn’t fix the condensation or the bill has drag when you pull it, then it’s time to call the experts to come and take a look. 

2. It’s hot to the touch

The way a refrigerator works is very simple: it involves the removal of heat from one region a to another. So, yes, you should always feel some heat coming from the back of your fridge – that means your refrigerators ventilation system is working properly. 

However, feeling excessive amounts of heat is an obvious sign that something is not right with your refrigerator. Because the coils on your refrigerator are insulated, an excessive amount of heat is unusual and you should call for service to inspect the coils. Depending on the situation, you may just need new coils or there could be a bigger issue involved. Either way, a professional can help you decide if a repair is cost effective. 

3. Your food is rapidly spoiling

The single most important job of your refrigerator is too keep your food from spoiling by keeping it cold. First thing to check is that your food is arranged properly in your refrigerator. Food that is tightly packed into your refrigerator doesn’t allow for cool air to circulate properly.

If you notice that your food is starting to spoil days before it normally would or that it’s taking longer to chill your beer, this is an indication that you may have problem.  A refrigerator that take is unable to maintain the temperatures it’s supposed to is using more energy than it should. This means that you’re not only spending more money on your energy bills, but you’re also, likely wasting money on food that you have to throw out. 

If you notice this in your fridge, it would be wise to call a repair technician to inspect your refrigerator. 

4. There’s frost

One of the most common signs of a problem with your refrigerator may be that your freezer has frozen over. Since many newer units have an automatic defrosting feature, it is not normal for you to have to chisel ice off so that you can reach your food and is a sign that you have a problem. 

If you find that your freezer has frozen over, the first step is to defrost the freezer. Once you have done this, plug it back in and monitor it. If the problem persists, it’s time to call a technician. 

5. It’s loud, too loud

here is no need for your fridge’s motor to be running at max speed all the time. Unless the door is being opened and closed a lot, your refrigerators motor doesn’t need to be constantly regulating and re-regulating temperatures. 

While refrigerators are not the quietest appliances, you shouldn’t really notice any noise while it’s running. An ongoing buzz or hum continues long after you’ve closed the doors, then it’s time to call out a technician to see what the issue may be. 

6. Your Fridge is Old and Inefficient

The lifespan of a refrigerator is anywhere from 10 to 20 years. If your fridge is over ten years old and in need of constant repairs, it might be time for you to make the switch to a newer and more efficient model. It might seem wasteful, but with many recycling programs and newer models with better efficiency, you could be saving money and helping the environment by switching out your old unit. 

If you need some help deciding if it’s time to repair or replace that old appliance, check out this helpful article here

Conclusion:

In the end, if you’re unable to decide whether you should keep repairing your refrigerator or go ahead and buy a new one, a reputable and trustworthy technician can help you decide. Most of us couldn’t imagine living without this valuable appliance in our lives. Our experts want to help you get your appliance back into working order as quickly as possible even if that means your unit is better served being replaced. 

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