Food spoils quicker during warm weather, so keep your leftovers wrapped up tight and refrigerated—but not for too long.
If you notice any odors at all when you open the door of your refrigerator, chances are it’s coming from long-ago leftovers lurking in the back of the shelves.
And who knows which of your unsuspecting children or grandchildren might snack on those smelly scraps?
Make it a weekly habit to clean out your refrigerator.
It’s true that a refrigerator operates more efficiently when it’s fully stocked. But that doesn’t mean you should leave spoiled food inside.
Try these tips to clean out and organize your refrigerator. You may find out you have more room than you thought—enough to unplug the extra refrigerator or freezer that might be eating up electricity in the basement.
- Gather the kids for a total fridge clean-up. Arm them with large trash bags and have them throw away old leftovers. Make sure they check the expiration dates on rarely used condiments and dressings, and toss any that are past their prime.
- If you store foods in the fridge and they spoil before you eat them, vow to freeze them in the future.
- Adjust the height of each shelf so food is easier to see and reach. This could free up space. Designate a space for fruits, vegetables, meats and drinks, so nothing is “out of sight, out of mind” and left to rot.
- Store leftovers in transparent containers and label them with the date the food was prepared so children don’t eat spoiled food when they raid the fridge.
- Cool hot foods before you put them in the refrigerator to save energy.
- Vacuum the refrigerator coils monthly. Dust trapped underneath the unit forces the refrigerator to work harder and use more energy.