With the holidays coming up fast and furious it’s a great time to get your fridge cleaned out and organized to make room for all those extra holiday foods that will likely be coming your way. Getting your fridge organized will also be more efficient, saving you time and money!
My husband and I decided to tackle our fridge a couple of weeks ago. I make sure I do this at least once a year although I do recommend a minimum twice yearly, especially if you have a large family.
Start by removing every single item in your refrigerator. Everything! As you’re doing that, place items on your kitchen counter or table into categories. For instance, you’ll likely have categories for drinks, yogurts, salad dressings, condiments, sauces, spreads, meats, etc. The key is to put like items with like items.
The next thing you need to do is check the expiry dates on every item. Any item that is past the expiry date should be tossed with bottles and plastics emptied and placed in your recycling bins. For any items you find questionable, check out this website at stilltasty.com where you will find information on whether foods can be kept. If you find that there is no expiry date on a product you can go to the manufacturer’s website. In certain instances you will be able to type in the bar code of the product and the site will be able to tell you the date of expiry.
Take a good look at the items you have left. Toss anything you don’t use, or have tried and don’t like. Once you have purged all those items past prime and tossed anything you no longer use, it’s time to clean the fridge. I like to use warm soapy water or water and vinegar. Wipe down all the walls and horizontal surfaces to clean up any messes, spills, leaks and caked on yucky stuff. Pull out and remove any drawers and in-the-door bins that you can wash up in your sink. Pay special attention to the surfaces under your drawers which are usually a prime collection zone for spills as well as the horizontal seals which tend to collect crumbs.
Once you have all surfaces clean and sparkling it’s time to place items back into your fridge in an organized fashion, creating zones in your refrigerator for each category of food item. Group your category items together and find spaces that they will fit in. For example, group sauces together, or keep cheeses all in one place.
Contain categories of small items, such as sandwich meats, into a clear plastic bin for easy retrieval. A Lazy Susan is also another great item for accessing a wide variety of items in a small area, making them perfect for the fridge. Shelf liners can be utilized, especially if spills are a constant in your household. There are also a host of stackable bins you can purchase specifically for the fridge to help you keep your categories contained and to maximize the vertical space in your fridge.
You’ll feel much better once your fridge is cleaned out, organized and ready for the holidays. Enjoy!