Pick up in the pantryMiroslav Pesek/Shutterstock
Putting groceries away in a rush means they are not always shelved in the right spot. Smaller items get lost towards the back of the shelf, and you might not realize you have three of the same cracker boxes open. Sort and store like foods together, shelve them in your pantry in the same groupings as they are in the aisles of the grocery store. This keeps items you use together near one another and makes writing out your shopping list easy. Close any open bags, consolidate multiple open packages of the same food, and, if you have just a little left, pour it into a smaller container to save space. Slide boxes, turn jars, and twist cans so you can read the labels and you’ll know what’s what a glance. Corral small packets, like seasoning mixes or single serve packages, in a basket bowl, or food storage containers so you can find them. Using storage containers is a smart way to pest-proof your pantry.
Realistic refrigerator resultsAndrey Popov/Shutterstock
It is time to straighten up the shelves, move things around, and toss any unidentifiable food. Designate one shelf for leftovers so you’ll see it and remember to eat it before it goes bad. Try this trick to prevent wasting wilted food: Swap shelves with drawers, move fresh produce from the drawers to a shelf, and place bottles and jars in the drawers. That way you’ll see the fresh food on a center shelf and remember to use it. Straighten out the condiments and store sticky marinades, and jelly jars in a foil baking cup to prevent drips. Use small bins to store things you use together (i.e. everything you need to make a sandwich). That way instead of pulling a bunch of things out from all over the fridge, all you need to do is pull out the one bin. And you are not finished until you declutter the outside of the refrigerator, that includes boxes or bags on top and piles of paperwork stuck to the side with a magnet. Here’s how else you can make the most of your fridge.