How To Keep A Clean And Organized Fridge
There are few things I like better than to open my fridge doors and see a bright, shining, impeccably clean and organized fridge.
There are also few things that seem to become as dirty and disorganized in a short period of time!
Little grubby hands opening the doors, husbands shoving things in the closest available spot, milk dribbles, mustard smears, leftovers crammed in wherever they will fit, and general chaos can quickly reign once again over your nicely organized fridge.
Trust me, I know.
However, I have come up with some pretty simple tricks to keep a clean and organized fridge almost all the time.*
*I find this more easily accomplished when dealing with a fridge full of real food, but it can definitely be done with prepacked food as well.
#1. Go through your fridge and throw away any outdated or unused food.
(You know, that miso paste you bought to try a thai dish that no one wants to eat again. Or that cheese growing a nice blue-green fuzz in the back of a drawer.)
Go for it. If it is appropriate pet food, then feed it to your pets. Otherwise, just THROW IT AWAY!
This way, you aren’t organizing or cleaning around useless food, and you can avoid nasty smells and messes. I know this sounds pretty basic, but it is a vital step to keeping your fridge in a state of awesomeness.
#2. Empty your fridge contents into a cooler, and wipe down every surface.
You have to start with a clean fridge in order to maintain a clean fridge, people. 🙂
#3. Pick a theme.
What do I mean by a theme? I’m talking about getting rid of the crazy mish-mash of 7 kinds of plastic containers, jugs, cartons, and bags, and replacing them with or storing them in something more uniform.
For example, my theme is glass jars. (Big shock there, huh?) Notice, not every single thing in my fridge is in a jar, but there is definitely a uniform look that comes from using a large amount of one kind of container/organization system. These are the glass containers I use.
Here is an example of a different type of theme.
And here is mine again on a different week.
You don’t necessarily have to go out and buy a bunch of organizing containers. Most of us have at least one a matching set of containers or jars already. If not, then you can get a set of canning jars or plastic containers very inexpensively at most stores.
#4. Start meal planning.
Once you begin to consistently use a meal plan and shop with a specific grocery list, you will only be purchasing what you absolutely need for each week. So many people comment on how little food it seems that I have in my fridge and wonder how 5 people eat from that amount of food. The truth is, most people have loads of excess and unused food going to waste in their fridge each week. Take it from me, we eat a LOT, and all of it is whole foods. You don’t have to have a crammed fridge to eat well, and you also don’t have to shop multiple times a week!
#5. Be consistent.
Put things back in the same spot every time. Teach your kids where things belong in the fridge, and show them by example. When you notice a spill or splatter, immediately wipe it up with your kitchen rag. It only takes a few seconds, and prevents you from having to repeat step #2 all the time! The day before you go grocery shopping, take a couple minutes to check for any shelves that need to be wiped down, or any items that need to be moved back into their correct place.
Extra tips that can help:
- Store your fruit at room temperature (tomatoes too). It tastes much better, and saves you room in the fridge. I also keep my (unwashed) fresh eggs at room temperature.
- Keep things organized by type. Cheese drawer, vegetable drawers, milk and cream shelf, etc…
- Regularly repeat step one!
- Start switching to re-usable options rather than disposables.
Do you struggle to keep your fridge clean and organized? Leave us a comment below and let us know!