How To Organise Your Fridge

How To Organise Your Fridge

What’s the secret to stress-free cooking? A well organised fridge!

We’ve all been guilty of finishing the food shop and fitting in items wherever there’s a gap – but this can leave you with a messy, unorganised fridge, leave you open to cross-contamination risks and make it more likely you’ll forget about items before their use by date.

To keep your food at its best, your fridge should be well organised, with all items easily accessible.

Here, we’re discussing the best ways to organise your fridge, along with specifics on storing different food types.

How to arrange a fridge

The best way to organise your fridge is by splitting shelves into different purposes. This ensures that all your items are easy to locate and reduces the risk of cross-contamination. As a general guide:

  • The top shelf of the fridge

The top shelf of the fridge usually has the most consistent temperature. Store ready-to-eat foods here, as well as leftovers and drinks. Dairy products, like milk and yoghurt, are also well-placed on the top shelf of the fridge.

  • The bottom shelf of the fridge

Often, the bottom shelf is the coldest part of the fridge. This makes it ideal for storing raw meat, poultry, seafood, and dairy items such as eggs. Storing raw meat at the bottom of the fridge also reduces the risk of drips causing cross-contamination – however, you should still store any raw meat in sealed containers for hygiene and safety.

  • The middle shelves of the fridge

The middle shelves are usually slightly colder than the shelf at the top, but not as cold as the bottom shelf. This makes them suitable for general use. You can store raw meat, seafood and poultry in the middle of the fridge, but also ensure they’re packaged and sealed to reduce the risk of juices dripping.

  • Salad crisper drawers

The drawers in your fridge are designed to keep humidity levels consistent, which keeps fruit, vegetables and salads fresh for longer – hence the name! If you have two drawers, store fruit in one and vegetables in another.

  • Fridge door

While many people store dairy products such as milk and eggs in the fridge door, this may not be the best spot for them. The fridge door shelves are generally the warmest part of the fridge with the least consistent temperature, so they are better for storing items such as condiments, juices and water.

What temperature should a fridge be?

The best temperature for a fridge is between 35°F and 38°F. This range will keep food fresh for longer, as it slows down the growth of bacteria.

Some factors, like the location of your fridge, overall room temperature and how often the door is opened, can affect the fridge's temperature, so it’s important to monitor it regularly to ensure it remains within a safe range.

How to store food in the fridge

Looking for advice on food storage? Here’s how best to store popular food items.

How to store vegetables in the fridge

Keeping vegetables in the fridge can help them maintain their freshness. When storing vegetables in the fridge, you should:

  • Ensure items are clean and dry before you put them in the fridge. Excess moisture can cause vegetables to spoil faster.
  • Place vegetables and salad items in the salad crisper drawer. These often come with humidity controls, helping you keep vegetables fresh for longer.
  • Don’t store root vegetables, like potatoes, onions and garlic in the fridge, as the cold temperatures can affect their texture or cause them to sprout. Instead, choose a cool, dark and well-ventilated place.
  • Loosely wrap leafy greens, like lettuce and spinach, in paper towels or breathable bags. This will absorb any excess moisture and keep them from wilting.
  • Keep fruit and vegetables separate. Some fruits, like apples, bananas and tomatoes, produce ethylene gas. If this comes into contact with certain vegetables, like carrots, cucumbers or peppers, it can lead to them spoiling faster.
  • Store chopped or prepared vegetables in transparent, sealable containers, and try to use them as soon as possible to prevent them from spoiling.

 How to store chicken and raw meat in the fridge

Any meat items – particularly raw – should be kept in the fridge to prevent bacteria from growing. To store meat in the fridge, you should:

  • Use sealed containers. Any raw meat, in particular, should be stored either in its original packaging or in a sealed container. This will keep it fresh and prevent any juices from transferring to other products.
  • Store raw meat separately. Raw meat should be stored separately from cooked meat, ready-to-eat foods and vegetables to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Don’t store meat on the top shelf. As well as the middle and bottom shelves usually being cooler, storing meat above other products increases the risk of cross-contamination through drips.
  • If you’re storing unpackaged cooked or raw meat in the fridge, you should always label and date them to ensure they’re used within their use-by.
  • Thaw frozen meat carefully. If you freeze meat, thaw it in the fridge or in cold water rather than at room temperature, which can produce bacterial growth. If you’re defrosting meat in the fridge, always place it on a plate or shallow bowl to catch any moisture or liquids.

How to store fruit in the fridge

Storing some fruits in the fridge can help keep them fresh for longer – but not every fruit is suitable for refrigeration as it ripens.

You can refrigerate:

  • Grapes
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Apples
  • Melon and watermelon

The following fruits can be stored at room temperature until ripe:

  • Bananas
  • Pineapple
  • Stone fruits like peaches and plums
  • Mangoes
  • Citrus fruits, including lemon, lime, grapefruit and orange

Once ripened, you can store these fruits in the fridge to prolong their shelf life.

By following these tips, you’ll be left with a clean, organised fridge – making cooking even easier! If you’re looking to upgrade your kitchen, why not explore the Hoover fridge collection? From standalone fridges to fridge freezer combos and American-style fridges, we have a range of options to suit any lifestyle.