12/15/2011 08:55 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How To Be Organized: Storing Garlic And Potatoes, Onions And Tomatoes

Flickr Photo by Robert Benner

Garlic, onions, and potatoes should be stored in a cool, dry, dark place with good air circulation, never in plastic bags. A two- or three-tiered vegetable stand inside the pantry is ideal and can accommodate other vegetables like sweet potatoes and winter squash as well.

Garlic, onions, and potatoes can be stored in a drawer next to the stove. As long as the drawer doesn't get too hot, the produce keeps well and makes food preparation a breeze.

Tomatoes should be kept at room temperature away from direct sunlight (which causes uneven ripening). Refrigerated tomatoes turn mealy and lose their flavor.

To ripen tomatoes, set them aside in a loosely folded brown paper bag at room temperature for about one to two days. This works for all fruit that ripens and/or sweetens after picking, such as peaches, plums, avocados, pears, cantaloupe, and bananas. To ripen fruit faster, add an apple to the bag. Apples emit ethylene gas, which, when trapped in a paper bag, speeds the ripening process.

For more cleaning tips, check out What's A Disorganized Person To Do?