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Have you looked inside your refrigerator lately? All of us look when we want to eat, but looking to see what type of organization must take place is another story. Many of us tend to turn a blind eye to it, but there are ways that you can tidy up the refrigerator, organize it, and even expand what you can store.

The following suggestions can help you to organize your refrigerator drawers and shelves. You might be surprised by how much space you have available when you are done.

Photo: Pixabay

1. Eggs – consistent temperature is important, so keep them on the middle shelf. The original carton should be used, don’t use the egg container that came with the refrigerator.

2. Milk – although most people keep milk on the top shelf, you should keep it on the bottom shelf in the back. That tends to be the coldest part of the refrigerator.

3. Yogurt, sour cream, and cottage cheese – just like milk, these items tend to be best if you store them on the bottom shelf. Use a turntable to stack the items so that you can access them easily.

4. Packaged Raw Meat – this is another item that should go on the bottom shelf. It keeps the meat cold and avoids problems if the juices drip.

5. Vegetables – humidity is the key to keeping your vegetables fresh. Use the drawer labeled as vegetables or high humidity, because it is the moistest area inside of the refrigerator. If you don’t store them in the original packaging, store them in a plastic bag that is tied loosely.

6. Fruit – unlike vegetables, fruit does better if you store it in low humidity. There is likely a fruit drawer, sometimes marked as crisper in the refrigerator. Use the original packaging or a plastic bag that is tied loosely. You don’t have to use a bag for citrus fruits. As an extra tip, leave the fruits and vegetables unwashed until you use them because water can cause bacteria and mold to grow.

7. Deli meats – if your refrigerator has a shallow meat drawer, use it. It is colder than the rest of the refrigerator. If you don’t have a meat drawer, put deli meats on the bottom shelf.

8. Butter and soft cheese – since you don’t have to keep these very cold, you can keep them in the dairy compartment on the door. This tends to be the warmest area in the refrigerator. Soft cheese should be kept in an airtight container once they are opened.

9. Condiments – most condiments have salt and vinegar, so they are preserved naturally. You can keep most of them on the door, where it is warmer. Pickles and jarred salsa can also be stored on the refrigerator door. On the other hand, olive and vegetable oil should be in the pantry. Other oils, such as sesame, walnut, and nut oils should be kept in the refrigerator on the door.

10. Orange juice – store this juice on the door of the refrigerator, provided it is pasteurized. If it is fresh-squeezed orange juice, keep it on the bottom shelf.

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