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How to organize your fridge

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How to... clean out your refrigerator

Do you know what is lurking in your refrigerator? Do you really know? Last week's leftover pizza and past-ripe peaches tend to overstay their welcome in their cold compartments. If that's the case, it's time for a fridge makeover. Spend a little time spring cleaning and organizing your fridge so you know exactly what's in there and can access items easily.

How to... clean out your refrigeratorStep 1: Eliminate the question marks

Start by clearing your fridge and freezer of items that are past their prime. Don't be forgiving when it comes to old take-out containers or lettuce on the verge of wilting. In the freezer, check items for freezer burn. As a general rule, toss something if you are not sure if it's still good. It is better to start fresh.

Step 2: Check the dates

Check the date on longer lasting items such as salad dressing and condiments — while they have longer shelf lives, they don't stay fresh forever. Go ahead and toss that bottle of Worcestershire that you've had since college.

Step 3: Organize the door

Speaking of condiments, the door shelves are a great place for these little guys. You can store a lot of them in one shelf – try to keep dressings, condiments and sauces in the same area. The door is also a great place to store beverages such as juice and soda. Don't, however, store milk in the door. Put it on the top or middle shelf of the refrigerator.

Step 4: Consider the cans

If you tend to overstock your fridge with canned soda or beer, invest in a can caddy to save space. Some newer refrigerator models even have cool side pockets for cans that are built-in.

Step 5: Fill the drawers

Keep all deli meat and cheese in the deli drawer, and fruit and vegetables in their designated drawers. The temperature in these areas tends to be slightly different and is usually set from the manufacturer to be just right for each of these food categories.

Step 6: Throw away the clutter

Unless you are really going to use them, toss the little packets of ketchup and soy sauce that you picked up on your last fast food run.

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For more info on this topic...For more tips about your fridge, check this out:
How long do eggs stay good in the refrigerator?

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