Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Food Storage – Organizing Tips

Organizing your storage areas will give you additional storage room and easier access to your food items. Having your food items organized in the refrigerator and freezer will also help save energy by allowing quicker access to your food items. The longer that the refrigerator or freezer is open, the more the temperature will drop. This causes the appliance to have to run more to get the temperature back down to where it needs to be. Quick and easy access can be important for energy saving. Here are some food storage organizing tips.

Shelf and Pantry Storage Tips

Use a Lazy Susan on shelves that hold small items. The Lazy Susan will make access to these items a lot easier. Use shallow organizer shelving in tall, deep shelves to add layers for stacking smaller or shorter items. When possible, use wire or plastic baskets to hold odd shaped or bulky items. Store opened items, such as pasta, rice and cereals, in clear plastic or glass containers with tight fitting lids to keep them fresh and easily visible. Clear self-sealing bags also work great for similar items.

If you have a pantry with empty walls, simply add more shelving or use stackable bins to increase your storage space. When organizing food items, place similar food items together to make it easier to remember where that type of food item is stored. Place your baking and cooking ingredients together, canned goods in another area, and your other dry ingredients in a different area, etc.

Refrigerator Storage Tips

Keeping like food items together will make them easier to find. Keep your sauces in one area, keep your fresh meats in the meat drawer, if you have that option available, and keep vegetables in the vegetable crispers. Store all your beverages in the same location.
Store your leftovers in clear containers or bags so they are easily visible and can be found without having to search through numerous containers. It is easier to find items you are searching for without having to open several containers to find it. Keep all items as orderly as possible. This will allow more storage space and easier access to the food being stored. Remove and discard food that is spoiled or has been stored past the recommended storage time or date.

Freezer Storage Tips

In a refrigerator freezer, keep your food items stacked as neatly as possible by placing the larger flat packages on the bottom. Place other flat packages on top of these, keeping the smallest packages at the top. Odd size food items should be placed wherever possible to get the best use of your storage space. Refrigerator freezers are usually quite small and they can become easily disorganized. This makes it hard to find the stored food item you are searching for in the freezer of your refrigerator. Make sure all your packages are clearly labeled with the type of food and a proper date.

In large chest-type or upright freezers, organize your food items into groups of similar items. If room permits, divide your meat into the different types. An example would be to place all beef in one section and all your pork products in another. Food groups can be divided according to your own personal likes or dislikes. Use your freezer baskets or plastic bags to organize smaller food items.

When adding food items to your storage, it is important to remember to place the freshest food items in back of or behind what is already present on the shelf, in the pantry or present in your refrigerator or freezer. This will insure that older food items get used first.

Staying above the water line!



Stephanie in AR said...

Plastic milk crates help to organize the chest style deep freeze & make reaching the bottom much easier. Those plastic containers that strawberries come in are good for storing kool-aid type packages - see through and stackable.

riverwalker said...

To: stephanie in ar

That's a great idea! I use milk crates to hold my extra water jugs that I carry in my trucks. Thanks.


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