4 steps to a more ordered refrigerator In the back corner of your fridge, is it likely that there could be a long-expired pack of yoghurt rotting away? Are you constantly having to dispose of vegetables because they go bad so quickly? Do you also find yourself regularly losing track of the food in your fridge? If so, it’s about time to put your fridge in order. Avoid wasting food, save money and redesign your fridge in the following 4 steps! Step 1: Basic cleaning of your refrigerator The best time to clear out and clean up your fridge is just before your next grocery shopping trip. That way, it is usually quite empty and you get an exact overview of what food you already have in stock. Firstly, you should check all the products in your fridge; not leaving anything out. You should look at which products can be thrown out straight away because they are bad, for example. Now you also have the chance to clean your fridge from top to bottom. A hygienic refrigerator not only makes you feel better but also prevents food from going bad faster due to bacteria or unpleasant odours. Clean all of the drawers, shelves and compartments with warm water and soap. You can also wipe the door seals with a damp cloth, and, if necessary, vacuum the metal grille on the back and clean the drain for condensation water. We recommend that you switch off the fridge and unplug it as a safety precaution. Are you finding that your refrigerator has iced up in some places? If you are, then you can let it defrost in peace while you move on to the next step. Step 2: Separate the compartments by category Now the organisation begins! So, think about which categories you want to have and where you want to sort the food before putting it away again. Does your refrigerator have different cooling zones? Then keep this in mind when planning your organisational methods to keep all products fresh for as long as possible: Refrigerator door: It’s best to store eggs, butter, sauces, dips and drinks in one of the warmest places in the fridge. Upper area: As is well known, heat rises. This is why you can store long-life food, such as pickles or jam, here. But also leftovers from the day before will find room here, as long as you eat them promptly. Medium range: At an optimal temperature of 5° C, the medium range is the perfect height for dairy products, opened preserves and cold cuts. Lower area: It is coldest at the bottom of the fridge, so you should store fish and meat here. However, always make sure to separate them from other foods for hygienic reasons. Vegetable compartment: As the name suggests, this is the best place to store vegetables. However, not all vegetables and fruit can tolerate the cold – exotic fruits and watery vegetables are not best stored in the refrigerator. You can also organise your food by categories such as breakfast, snacks or frequent use. The most important thing is to set up your fridge according to your own personal living conditions and needs – only you know what works best for you! Storage boxes – longer durability and even more order You can use storage boxes so that the products in the individual categories are not mixed up again after a single day. This way, the compartments are divided into further smaller compartments. The boxes that are the best for this depends on what kind of food you want to store in them. There are special containers for fruit and vegetables that make them last longer. They filter out the gas ethylene, which is responsible for the ripening process, and ensure optimum humidity. Storing cheese and sausage slices in lockable boxes protects them from drying out, and sealed food is best kept in open boxes so that you can grab it quickly. However, you should always make sure that all refrigerator boxes are free of BPA and harmful substances – only then are they suitable for food. It also helps to choose transparent material, so the contents are clearly visible. A tip if you want to set the breakfast table especially quickly is to keep everything you need for a delicious breakfast in one box. This way you can take cold cuts, cream cheese and jam out of the fridge in one go and put them back in the box in an orderly way later. You can do the same with sauces for the barbecue or snacks for your children. Step 3: Sort the food neatly back in the refrigerator Sort your food out so that older products don’t disappear behind the newest ones, causing you to forget about them there. Put new foods in the back and those that are about to expire in the front. Another or additional possibility is to put all food that is already opened or has to be eaten soon in an extra compartment or container. The aim is to avoid food waste, and in turn, money waste, as much as possible. Do you live with your family, with your partner or in a flatshare? To ensure that other members of the household can find everything in the fridge and sort it correctly, you can label the boxes and compartments with the names of the categories. Step 4: Check your refrigerator regularly You or others in your household won’t always take care to sort everything correctly and according to the new conditions of the refrigerator. But, humans are creatures of habit, so take 5 minutes once a week, for example always before you go shopping, to put everything in order again. This will also give you an overview of which foods you no longer need to buy and you will not end up with too much in your fridge. You should also clean the inside of your fridge once a month to prevent the spread of germs. If you keep your food in different boxes, it is easy to take them out from time to time to wipe the fridge.