It’s an all-too-familiar scene: You and your pup return home after a great workout together, and you’re both famished. So you eagerly reach inside the fridge ... only to find a jumble of unlabeled leftovers and a wilting veggie medley covering your pup’s Ollie trays. Put the dog days of disorganization to an end with these tips from MakeSpace, a full-service Brooklyn storage company that also serves the rest of New York City, Chicago, Washington DC, and Los Angeles.
Clear and clean the fridge before you start filling it
Start with a clean slate. Take everything out, and compost or toss any expired foods to eliminate the risk of foodborne illness. Then, give the fridge a good wipe-down. Be sure to use a dog-friendly solvent, like this lemon-fresh, all-purpose DIY mix.
Know which foods need to be refrigerated—and which ones don’t
Before you start filling your fridge, take note of which foods need to be refrigerated, and which don’t. For example, the chill can actually damage tomatoes, onions and pre-ripened avocados. Keep those on your countertop (to make more room for your Ollie!)
Store food that won’t spoil quickly on the top shelf
Top shelves tend to be warmer than lower shelves in the fridge. This makes it the ideal place for any food that doesn’t require further cooking: your doggie bag leftovers, pre-prepared foods, and drinks belong here.
Stash all your stable-temperature foods on the middle shelf
The middle shelf has the most consistent temperatures in the fridge. Stable foods, like store-bought eggs and the organic peanut butter you and your pup both snack on, all thrive best here. Since it’s often the fridge section with the most underused vertical space, add a stackable kitchen cabinet organizers or a pull-out bin, both of which let you store twice as many items in the same amount of space. (This is where your Ollie belongs!)
Put the most temperature-sensitive foods on the lower shelf
This is the coldest section, meaning foods with the highest bacterial risk should go here. Think dairy products like milk and yogurt, plus raw meats and fish. Make use of clear, see-through bins for extra drip-free security. And sanitize the bins between uses if you’re storing raw meat in them.
Keep fruits and veggies fresh for longer in the crisper
Fruit and veggies that actually should be refrigerated, such as figs and mushrooms, go here. If you have two drawers, keep them separated to prevent spoiling. Here's a complete list of how to store apples to zucchini for maximum shelf life.
Place beverages and condiments on the door shelves
Items on the door are subject to the most constant temperature fluctuation. So it’s the ideal spot for things that don’t necessarily require refrigeration. Things like condiments and vinaigrettes are safe here, as are beverages like beer, juice, and your doggie water bottle.
Use the freezer for long-term storage
Want to make room for the Ollie meals you decide to freeze? The same space-saving hacks you used in the fridge work for the freezer, too. If you have more vertical space, add a shelf riser and designate each level: One for you, and one for pup.
Now stay super organized
Keep a magnetic dry erase board tacked to the outside of your fridge. That way, you can easily reference which meals need to be eaten urgently, which produce is at its ripest, and what’s in the back of the freezer. You’ll also be able to note when your next Ollie shipment arrives!
And keep it cool
Try not to pack the fridge too full. Cool air needs to circulate in order to keep everything chill. Check your fridge's temperature while you're at it: the FDA recommends at or below 40°F for your fridge, and 0°F for your freezer.
Use code OLLIE75 to get $75 off your first month using MakeSpace.
The Ollie blog is devoted to helping pet parents lead healthier lives with their pups. If you want to learn more about our fresh, human-grade food, check out MyOllie.com.