Since there was no way I was going to be able to tackle the entire kitchen yesterday according to my spring cleaning schedule, I settled for a task that I thought I could knock out in under an hour. The big box in the kitchen with the questionable smells won my attention. I had already done a little work gathering supplies for this project, so in about 45 min I was able to clean and....
We have a fridge that opens with double doors and has a freezer drawer on the bottom. I really do love the set up, but it certainly wasn't being used to it's full fridgy potential. Things frequently got lost in the back and we won't discuss all the fun things that can grow when that happens; different types of food items were all jumbled together (except the fruit and veggie drawers); and it was absolutely due for a good cleaning.
STEP 1: PURGE
Just like any other room or space we're attempting to organize, I started by pulling everything out of the fridge. Anything past it's due date or sporting fur got thrown out. We've recently switched to the Perfect Health Diet model for eating, so we also needed to rid our fridge of those off-limit food items.
STEP 2: CLEAN
Take advantage of the ease of cleaning an empty fridge! Wipe down all the shelves or pull them out and give them a good wash in the sink. Don't forget the drawers/bins and walls too.
STEP 3: SORT
The next step is to organize your food. Take inventory of what you have and normally purchase, then group them by like items...diary, fruits, vegetables, meat/protein, condiments, drinks, snacks, lunch items, leftovers, etc. Group them in whatever way works best for your family. Here's how we ended up grouping ours:
1: Cooking (oils/sauces/broths)
2: Dairy (creamer, sour cream, large yogurt)
3: Protein (meat and eggs)
4: Specialty items (coconut flour, white rice flour, etc)
6: Overflow fruits and veggies
10: Lunch items (lunch meat, spinach, etc.)
STEP 4: COOL TOOLS
A few helpful items can help you maintain your newly fab fridge. I absolutely love these turn-tables we grabbed for the top shelf (similar to here) Instead of having to move bottles all around to get to what we need, we can find it with a simple spin. Less frequently accessed items are stored behind them.
We have a small fridge in the family room where we keep water bottles, juice boxes and adult beverages, so we don't really have any use for this drink rack. It is however, the perfect spot for a dozen eggs! And we go through a lot of eggs :)
A clear plastic bin helps keep snack type veggies wrangled and within easy reach.
STEP 5: LABEL IT
Who doesn't love a good label?! OK, maybe my husband, and maybe I do get carried away on the occasional labeling streak, BUT I think the fridge is a prime candidate for a few helpful labels!
I used a couple of Martha Stewart labels I had on hand to label each shelf.
And I took one of these chalkboard labels to the clear veggie bin. I love that I can erase, if we decide to use it for something else.
I also took a couple of the chalkboard labels and cut them in half. They turned out to be the perfect size for the door compartments, without obstructing the view. Coffee grounds (which could use a better container), snacks and water are on the right side.
Butter, condiments (which used to be jumbled with our cooking bottles), and milk are on the left. I used a chalkboard pen to label each - they wipe off easily with a damp cloth but won't rub off if someone brushes up against it.
And that wrapped it up! I should note that we have a deep freezer in the garage where we store bulk meats and other foods. We separate the bulk meat into meal-size portions before freezing. The night before, I'll look at our menu and pull the meat out to thaw (placing it right under the eggs).
Overall, it was a fairly quick job and just a few small additions took our fridge from this.....
Has anyone else been putting off this particular chore? What are your favorite items and tips for keeping the fridge from becoming a chaotic mess? And yes, there used to be a clear lid to the bottom drawer but one of the boys got to it. I'm still not sure which one.
*Linking up with The 36th Avenue and A Bowl Full Of Lemons.