DIY

8 Items You Are Keeping In Your Fridge That Don’t Need To Be There

by Kate Taylor
Kate is a writer who laughs at her own jokes and likes to pour too much hot sauce on her food.

Is your fridge overflowing with bottles, containers, and packages of food?

Fridges have a way of becoming a second pantry, which can mean there is a lot of food in there that doesn’t actually need to be there.

This goes beyond expired items in the back that have become permanent fixtures.

The truth is, we’ve been using refrigerators for so long, that we can tend to forget their technical purpose.

According to How Stuff Works, the idea is that colder temperatures slow down the activity of bacteria, and make food last longer.

As it turns out, there are plenty of food items that aren’t prone to this kind of rapid bacteria growth and don’t need to be refrigerated at all. Or at least, not for as long or quickly as we might think.

If you’re looking for an excuse to free up from real estate in your fridge, learn about all the items that don’t need to necessarily be there.

Photo: Morgan Swofford for LittleThings; Wikimedia Commons / Steve Karg

1. Hot Sauce

1. Hot Sauce
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Even if you don’t like spicy food, you probably have a bottle of hot sauce crowding up the door space in your fridge.

While keeping your hot sauce in the fridge could just be a matter of personal choice, you definitely don’t have to keep it in there for food safety reasons.

Most hot sauce’s main ingredient is vinegar — a natural preservative. That said, you’re still going to want to store your bottle in a cool dark place.

2. Potatoes

2. Potatoes
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

You may think they need to be stored in the fridge because potatoes are produce.

The truth is, refrigerating potatoes will do them and your dinner a lot more harm than good.

Food Republic explains that potato starch turns into sugar when cold, which causes them to go bad more quickly. Therefore, you’re going to want to keep them as far away from the fridge as possible.

3. Tomatoes

3. Tomatoes
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Tomatoes are so delicate and delicious, it seems like they should definitely get some extra TLC in the fridge.

This, however, isn’t always the case. In fact, Food52 explains that tomatoes come from warm climates, and keep their shape and ripen the best in room temperature environments.

You only want to store a tomato in the fridge when you know they’re fully ripe if you don’t plan on eating it right away.

4. Butter

4. Butter
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

There is nothing better than creamy room temperature butter, but is it safe to keep it out of the fridge?

A sealed stick can be left out at room temperature for a few days without worrying.

Of course, use your common sense to decide whether the butter you’re keeping out of the fridge is still safe or not. Mold is a definite no.

5. Melon

5. Melon
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

You may be tempted to cut up a melon as soon as you get home and to store slices in the fridge.

However, this isn’t the best idea if you want to preserve its flavor.

Food Network explains that refrigerated melon doesn’t taste as good, and keeping them whole at room temperature may even help preserve valuable antioxidants.

6. Pickles

6. Pickles
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

As you probably know, pickling was a method used to keep produce fresh after the harvest before it would go bad.

Pickle’s main ingredient, vinegar, will keep them safe to eat for a long time after the jar is opened. That said, they will be crunchier if they are kept in a cooler place.

7. Soy Sauce

7. Soy Sauce
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Soy sauce is another condiment bottle that is probably taking up space in your fridge.

Luckily, this is something you can move to the pantry without any adverse effects.

According to Kitchn, soy sauce stays completely fine after opening for about a year.

8. Honey

8. Honey
Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

If you have ever refrigerated your honey, you probably regretted it.

This is an item that you should not put in the fridge at all.

Not only can honey stay fresh forever, according to The Spruce, it’s a lot easier to handle when it’s kept in a cool place.

Be sure to SHARE this advice with someone who needs to clean their fridge!