The refrigerator is seen as a safe haven for food: tuck everything away in the ice box and it will keep better and longer, right? That's not always the case—many food items don't need to be refrigerated at all and could just be taking up space on the shelves. Some ingredients are actually worse off in the fridge.

Here are the top things we think you should move from the fridge to the pantry:

1. Tomatoes



The refrigerator can transform a ruby red, juicy tomato in a mealy, flavorless mess. They're happiest on the kitchen counter. If you slice into one and have some leftover, it can be wrapped in plastic and left on the counter if you're planning to use it that same day. Otherwise, feel free to put leftover tomato in the fridge, but use as quickly as possible.

2. Onions

Fresh red onions on a wooden background

Fresh red onions on a wooden background (iStock)

Moisture from the fridge can actually make whole onions moldy and mushy—store them in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place like your pantry instead. Once cut, it's OK to keep the remainder in the fridge, just wrap it well in plastic wrap or in an airtight bag and keep it in the crisper drawer.

3. Garlic



Cloves can start to sprout if kept in the refrigerator—they can also become rubbery and moldy. Instead, store garlic in a cool, dark place that is well-ventilated.

4. Bread



It may seem counterintuitive, but bread actually dries out faster when stored in the fridge. If you're planning to use it within a day or two, it OK to keep it on the counter. Otherwise, wrap it well and toss it in the freezer, where it will keep for a few months.

5. Potatoes



Cold temperature causes the starch in potatoes to rapidly transform into sugar, which results in gritty, off-flavored tubers. Instead, keep them in a paper bag (which helps with air circulation) in a cool, dark place.

6. Honey



If kept in the refrigerator, honey can begin to crystalize and turn in a thick mess that's nearly impossible to drizzle over your yogurt. It's most happy tucked away in your cupboard.

Don't even think about refrigerating these foods.

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