It’s time to declutter your refrigerator. Sounds kind of silly, but do you really know what lurking way in the back? With the big/huge appliances we use today it’s so easy to lose track of what’s inside. This week is your chance to clear out, clean up and organize your refrigerator.
Day 1. Clean out the produce drawers of the frig. Even though you do your best, fresh product can go bad very quickly. Empty the drawers and wipe them out. Toss the old and go shop for fresh stuff. I’d like to caution you though – have a plan for using this food. With no plan it will happen again. If you plan on eating one fresh fruit a day from the drawer then only buy that much. With no plan those vegetables may never see the light of day again. Why not enjoy your purchases.
Day 2. Tackle what’s in the door. I store all our condiments in the door and although some of them get used very often others tend to linger. This webmd.com page shows you how long some popular condiments can be kept. Click on an item on the list and a little graphic will pop-up with the guidelines.
Day 3. Move on to the deli drawer. Moldy meat, funky cheese – avoid this issue by writing or circling the date of purchase before you store them. Here’s a short article from Shelf Life Advice on how long to keep deli products.
Day 4. Uncover the leftovers. Don’t leave it to chance. If you think those leftovers are too old, get rid of them. An article from the Mayo Clinic answers some questions about what’s left in your frig. When storing leftovers, make them easy to identify and find. I like to use clear plastic containers, of all the same size, so they stack neatly inside the frig. These are the Glad containers I use and that’s all I use. An extra added bonus. They stack so nicely, that I need almost no space to store them when not in use.
Day 5. Focus on the fresh food. Refrigerators are meant to keep perishable food fresh. But, for how long? I found this great chart from FoodSafety.gov with guidelines for your perishables. Print it out and post it on your frig.
This is a quick organizing project that you should do often (very often). I usually do a quick version of this week’s projects on Sunday morning, in preparation for grocery shopping that afternoon. But you can do it whenever it works into your schedule. Once you have mastered a frig clean out, it should only take about 15 minutes to accomplish.
If you missed week 35 of Get Organized in 2012 check it out here.