Let us begin our 2014 organizing series with the kitchen. More specifically, the refrigerator.
I don’t know about you, but after the holidays my refrigerator is a mess. During the holidays, I purchase food items that are either for Thanksgiving, Christmas breakfast and other holiday get togethers. All these items, in addition to our regular shopping list, culminate in a messy refrigerator.
January is the perfect time to completely empty the refrigerator and start fresh!
The first thing you want to do is remove all sauces and dressings and place them on the counter. This is a good opportunity to look at all the dates and toss out all the expired items. Also, you may have opened a container of ricotta or sour cream, but you only needed half a cup…throw out what has since spoiled.
Once you have the bottles that you are keeping, wipe them clean and set aside.
Next, let’s remove the refrigerator shelves and bins (if they are removable) and soak them in a mixture of 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 1 quart of warm water. You can use the same solution to wipe down the rest of the refrigerator. Clean, dry and put all the bins back in place.
I use refrigerator coasters from “Fridge Coaster” and I had not changed them out in almost a year. I used this opportunity to pick out a new set. I love the pop of color that they add to the fridge!
This is also a good time to reposition your shelves to better suit your needs. I adjust them fairly often to fit the products I buy.
Start placing all the items back in the refrigerator. Designate a spot for everything.
And the side bins…
I keep clear OXO containers (without the lids) inside the pull out bins so that all the garlic and onion skins that collect at the bottom, can be easily cleaned up. Also, any vegetable that has gone bad doesn’t seep all over my clean bin.
Lastly, the deli drawer. My kids favorite and the only one that my toddler can reach.
I have clear bins in here as well to keep like-items in place. Also, I have a bin for oily items like pesto and other spreads, that would otherwise leave oily circles inside the refrigerator. I keep a larger clear bin in the top shelf for defrosting items.
You can find some bins in my amazon shop under “Refrigerator Bin” and Fridge Bin. You can also find them at Bed Bath and Beyond. Sometimes, even Homegoods will have a few. Just make sure that you purchase bins that are refrigerator safe so that they don’t crack.
Having a clean and organized refrigerator has more advantages than just being visually appealing. If you always put your butter in the same spot, then you know when you are out. Even grocery shopping gets easier.
Stay tuned next week as we move on to the rest of the kitchen, and eventually the whole house!