The Easy Way To Free Up Pantry Space Without Throwing Anything Away

woman organizing pantry
woman organizing pantry - VH-studio/Shutterstock

If you're reading this, chances are your pantry is filled to the brim. You don't want to part with any precious items, yet you need to squeeze in just a few more products. You start rearranging, and pretty soon, it feels like you're playing a never-ending game of Tetris -- and losing. The solution? Free up some space. Of course, this is easier said than done, but luckily, we have a tried-and-true hack to help you get there.

Our top tip for freeing up pantry space is relocating goods to the fridge. Although some food products are traditionally kept in the pantry, they do just fine in the fridge and may even last longer. Bread, butter, and whole grains can all be kept in the fridge. You can even freeze certain foods and drinks if you don't eat them frequently. According to the USDA, commercial bread can be stored for 2-4 days in the pantry, 1-2 weeks in the fridge, and up to three months in the freezer. So take a tour of your pantry and see which items you don't eat often. Perhaps they may benefit from a longer shelf life.

Read more: The Best Way To Clean That Nasty Grease Off Of Your Kitchen Cabinets

Common Pantry Items That Actually Belong In The Fridge

pantry shelf with jars of nuts
pantry shelf with jars of nuts - VH-studio/Shutterstock

Everyone grows up being told which items belong in the pantry versus the fridge. But sometimes, we've been misinformed. A prime example of this is condiments. While many won't spoil on the shelf, they'll lose their freshness far faster. Ketchup, Dijon mustard, horseradish, and soy sauce fall under this category. And if your ketchup is an all-natural, preservative-free variety, it should remain refrigerated.

People also believe nuts are one of those foods that don't expire. But with such a high-fat content, they will go rancid when exposed to heat, light, or air. And those who have eaten rancid nuts know it's a hard taste to recover from. If you're not planning on eating raw nuts in the next 2-3 months, we suggest packaging them in an airtight container and storing them in the fridge or freezer. The same goes for nut products like oils and butters because when stored too long at room temperature, the natural oils separate and degrade.

If you're in the United States, you should also keep store-bought eggs in the fridge. Although Europeans think refrigerating eggs is odd, there's a reason why we do so. In the States, we wash our eggs before packaging them into cartons. This cleans the shells and makes them presentable, but it also removes the egg's protective outer layer, making them prone to bacteria growth.

Produce That Can Be Stored In The Fridge

woman putting fruit in fridge
woman putting fruit in fridge - Fcafotodigital/Getty Images

Leafy greens obviously belong in the fridge. With such a short shelf life, they'll wilt and rot quickly at room temperature. However, it's not as obvious where you should store some other produce. Mushrooms, beets, carrots, and cruciferous vegetables all belong in the fridge. Fruits like apples do well in the crisper section, and figs should be refrigerated and consumed quickly. Potatoes and onions can stay in the pantry, but mangos, pears, and plums can go either way.

Although not entirely necessary, citrus fruits can be kept in the fridge. It will keep them from drying out. So if you're planning on juicing lemons or grapefruits, keeping them cool is your best bet. Refrigeration also slows the maturation process, so if your fruit is ripe, pop it in the fridge. This will prevent those perfectly soft avocados from turning to mush and those just-right bananas from going brown.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal