Is your fridge gross? Can you honestly say that every single thing in your refrigerator is up to date, in the right spot and all tidy? Me neither.
How do you even get started?
STEP 1: EMPTY
Get some garbage bags all set out around your fridge. One for food garbage, one for recycling and one for empty non-recyclables. Start purging like crazy! Take a peek at your expiration dates. Don’t mess around with those dates. Toss if it’s past the date. Do yourself (and your internal organs) a favor. As far as leftovers go, if it’s been in there over 4 days, get rid of it. Can’t remember? Get rid of it. Make a mental note to write this down next time.
The items you don’t throw away or recycle, put on a counter nearby. Your fridge should now be completely empty.
STEP 2: CLEAN
We’re talking about your shelves, drawers, everything. Pull out the drawers and clean with 1/2 part water, 1/2 part ammonia. This is a perfect time because your fridge should be completely empty. Tip: Use the bathtub for this. If you clean the drawers in your kitchen sink, it gets pretty messy. Wipe down the shelves with the same mixture. Don’t forget the door and the butter container.
Make it snappy because you have food to get back into refrigeration.
STEP 3: SORT
Sort all your items in “like” sections. Think like a grocery store. Condiments together, dairy together, meat together, etc. For now, put them in the fridge but be ready to come back to them later. We don’t want to keep them out of the cold for long.
STEP 4: SURVEY
Now seeing what you have and how many of each item you have, survey your fridge vs. items. What organizational items will you need to keep everything in place?
- Want a lazy susan on one of your shelves?
- What about a can holder?
- Clear bins for juice boxes or squishy items that are tough to organize?
- Egg holder?
- Freezer bins?
STEP 5: LINE
You can have a typical fridge or one that looks finished and clean once organized. Have you thought of lining your drawers, shelves and door bins with contact paper? Below is a picture of what it looks like. Tip: Don’t go all the way to the back because you’ll want to let the fridge light still shine through. Another tip: Contact paper can often be found at the dollar store.
STEP 6: CONTAIN
Take all your new organizational pieces and start sorting.
- Milk and quickly perishable items need to be in the fridge (not in door where temps fluctuate)
- Meats and Seafood: Put at the bottom so there’s no risk of contamination.
- Fruits and Veggies: Separate the two.
- Leftovers in clear containers labeled with date food was made.
STEP 7: LABEL
Label the shelves and the bins in the door. This will help you and your family (who didn’t spend this time organizing the crap out of your food) keep it all together. You can be general with your labels or very specific. Use chalkboard labels, some plain contact paper, a label maker, whatever you’d like.
There you have it. A clean and organized refrigerator. For the freezer, do the same. A suggestion is to group together your frozen veggies, frozen meats, etc and put them in individual bins. Label the bins.
INSTANT GRATIFICATION: Go to the dollar store. Seriously. Bins are $1 (duh). WalMart and Target have specific fridge/freezer organization pieces. Or you can click on our Amazon store for a specific shopping list.
No matter what, share pics with us!