A tidy kitchen is a tidy mind
To help everyone reduce food waste, we’ve collaborated with the awesome home organisers at Homefulness to provide expert advice on how to organise your kitchen cupboards and fridges. Because when you know what you have, you’re less likely to waste it. A tidy kitchen is a tidy mind.
Check out these tips and share your organised kitchens with us on social using #checkyoshelf - we’d love to see how you get on!
1. Kitchen cupboard organisation
Everything must be visible. This is a general principle for home organisation but it’s even more important in the kitchen: “out of sight, out of mind” really applies here. Things get easily forgotten in the back of the fridge or pantry, and you might never see them in edible condition again. Besides, when you clearly see and easily access everything, you can take better inventory of what you already have.
When shelves are too deep, it’s worth investing in a few products to help you get organised, such as reusable clear bins that can easily be pulled out, or shelf steps where products placed in the back are higher than the ones in front.
The very back of the shelves, whether in the pantry or fridge, should be dedicated to the things you don't use as often.
Replacing plain containers with reusable transparent ones is also a good idea. Alternatively,make sure you label everything: you don’t want to discover that canister you thought you filled with flour a while ago but actually contains something else.
2. Fridge organisation
The fridge needs to be cleaned out regularly to prevent bacteria but also food waste. As items start to get older, it’s time to use them and adapt your menu accordingly. Sort items at least each time you refill your fridge.
Your fridge needs to be organised. Lack of food organisation often leads to goods spoiling before you have even remembered they are there. Having designated fridge shelves and compartments is the best possible organisation. Labelling them might seem a bit over the top, but might turn out to be very useful if there are many people in your household. When everyone knows that condiments are always kept in the fridge door, it is easier for you not to buy duplicates while the old items are forgotten about and eventually wasted. This is especially true for crisper drawers - it’s easy to forget what’s hidden inside them when you use them as a general storage. Make sure to rotate what’s in there every time you refill your fridge.
Organise your fridge with the oldest foods in front and the freshest in back.
Food storage is also key to eliminating food waste. As most fruits and vegetables give off gases as they ripen, they can spoil nearby products; this is why you need to store your items in separate areas and reusable containers.
Food that needs to be eaten quickly must be stored at eye level. Whenever you have something that needs to be eaten soon before it goes bad, make sure to store it on an eye-level shelf. Every time you open the fridge, your must-eats should be the first things you see. This way you’ll be more likely to use them.
Keep a marker and stick-on labels on-hand with your food storage containers. This will help you label leftovers with the day’s date. You want to make sure that no one will throw anything out because of an unknown cooking date.
3. Pantry & dry food organisation
If you decide to decanter dry food into reusable assorted or easily stackable containers, make sure to write the expiration date somewhere (for example on a small sticker at the back): you might think that products will be quickly used but it’s not always the case and we all end up with products bought some time ago and never used straight away.
Make sure to use only airtight reusable containers. Vintage containers might look great, but they’re not necessarily the best for food storage. Remember that even dry food is perishable and must be properly conserved.
Like with your fridge, when placing items in your pantry after shopping, always rotate food. You need to keep your freshest pantry goods in the back and the older items up front, ready to be used. It is also a good time to check use by dates and to adapt your menu, using things that will soon go to waste.
Click here to download these tips to keep at home.