One of the most frequent questions I get is how to keep this fresh longer, how to keep that from getting moldy, and the like. So one day with a particularly packed fridge before a personal chef job, I decided to snap some photos and give you an idea of how I organize my (very tiny) fridge for maximum freshness.
Please keep in mind this is not necessarily my everyday fridge—there are quite a few client items in there (quality is the same- items are different) this is purely for freshness-education purposes! If you are curious what is in my everyday fridge, let me know and maybe I can do a separate post about that. Questions on how to store food in your fridge specifically? Maybe look into my Healthy Life programs.
My fridge, as most do (at least), has three shelves. The top shelf I reserve for beverages (we don’t store many—the odd coconut water, kombucha for myself, maybe a beer or some leftover wine), overflow and homemade condiments (so they’re easy-to-grab) as well as eggs and dairy. We don’t eat much dairy in my house, but the top back of the fridge is the coldest area- so we like to keep these there to maximize freshness (we don’t go through our goat cheese very quickly). I also keep my probiotics and fish oil in there too- freshness is very important when it comes to supplements! I also keep fresh bunches of parsley and cilantro up top in jars when I have them around.
The second shelf is where I store the bulk of my produce (yes, there is a very sad bunch of beets hanging out there, and no- those were not for clients!). I try and wash and re-package all of my berries in airtight as soon as I get them in, as long as I am planning on using them in a few days otherwise I will keep them unwashed and I also like to keep my carrots + celery in water if I have room (I learned this trick from Meghan!).
The bottom shelf is where I keep all of my raw meat and leftovers in tightly packaged containers. This is what is most important in the entire fridge, if you eat animal products: ALL MEAT GOES AT THE BOTTOM. Okay? We don’t want any cross-contamination ickiness from dripping raw meat (just the visuals… eww.) Also, keep raw away from cooked- as you can see there is some natural cooked sliced meat at the bottom- these are placed behind (side would be fine, if I had room) the raw chicken that is in the front, ready for my use at dinner that night. Also- keep different types of meat away from each other. No stacking bags of steak and chicken. Again- foodborne illness concern, we won’t even go into the grossness.
The leftovers are fine at the bottom, on their own side, packed in glass containers with tight lids. I like to label these with the date and name of item (when I remember!). **There is an exception here- there are puddings setting on the left side there, to be taken out in a few hours. There was no more room! I wouldn’t store there here, open, however- likely covered + on top.
Then I have the drawers. On the left, I keep the humidity of the drawer a little higher for any herbs or leafy greens I am using (please forgive the plastic-packaged mint, it was a desperate time! I usually buy bunches), and most green veggies- asparagus, broccoli, etc. On the right, it’s lower humidity for my lemons + citrus (sad zested orange in the corner, can you spot it?) I will also store tomatoes in here during fruit fly season.
Lastly, the door! The door is an important one to focus on, because it is the warmest place in the fridge, as, you guessed it- it gets exposed to the warmer room temperature more often!
So I keep items that don’t spoil as easily in here. No picture of that top right flip top drawer, but it contains organic butter and homemade body butter- that’s usually it! On the right are all of our various mustards (we love mustards!) some fish sauce, pomegranate molasses, etc. Below that is some boxed chicken broth—I don’t buy this often as I usually make it, that usually goes at the bottom of the door, I also keep my homemade almond/cashew milk and prepped irish moss here on the second shelf. To the right of that are my bulk seeds, which need to be cold due to the volatile oils, but not extra extra cold- here I have sunflower, sesame and pumpkin. I often keep flax or hemp here as well.
On the bottom I keep fermented items and condiments not used as often- pickled peppers, my husband’s pickles and pickled green beans, local maple syrup, organic ketchup, sriratcha hot sauce.
That’s about it! Let me know if you have any questions about this topic, and if you enjoyed it and would like to see similar posts! We’ll go into the freezer another day.
Do you have any fridge storage or food freshness tips?