Declutter House — How to Clean Out and Organize Your Refrigerator
A cluttered refrigerator is not only an inconvenience, it can be down right nasty. If you can block out some time to get this done, you can declutter house and home by starting in the kitchen and look forward to a week of blissful refrigerator door openings. This is one of those small projects that can make a big difference on the efficiency of your home. Try it out and see if being clutter free doesn’t feel significantly better than putting up with the clutter.
Things You’ll Need:
- dishwashing soap
- trash can
- a small box of baking soda
- about an hour of time
Step 1: Empty the whole refrigerator
I know it sounds like a pain. But, might as well clean it out while you’re at it. Take everything out and, and wipe the inside of your refrigerator with a soapy sponge. Open up your brand new box of baking soda and put it on a shelf somewhere in the back of the refrigerator. The baking soda will absorb odors and keep your refrigerator smelling fresh.
Step 2: Toss out the old and expired food
If it’s wilted, smelly, fuzzy or expired it needs to go in the trash. This is your refrigerator, you don’t want it to turn into a science experiment. It’s a great feeling to know there are no nasty surprises hiding in your Tupperware.
Step 3: Group your food items by type
If you group all your food items by type outside before you put them back in your refrigerator, you can get a better idea of the kind of space you need inside to accommodate your items.
Step 4: Adjust your shelves
All your food is laying out grouped by type. Now you can see what items are taller or shorter and adjust your shelves accordingly. The top shelve should probably be left the tallest, to accommodate large pitchers and bottles. If you have a lot of canned drinks or large liter bottles of soda, you can look into getting special wire racks that either sit on the shelf or hang underneath the shelf to free up more space (there are many of these declutter house gadgets now on the market, so keep your eyes pealed at discount stores.) Allow at least one long shelf that reaches across the whole refrigerator for cakes and large baking sheets.
Step 5: Return food to the refrigerator in groups
Put all your sandwich making or deli items in one drawer. Put your butter and cream cheese items in the butter compartment (sometimes on the door). Put fruits in one bin, put vegetables in another (these are usually on the bottom.) Bottled items can go on the door, just make sure they are grouped by type; jellies together, salad dressings together, sauces together and so on. Designate certain areas for foods that have been cooked and only need to be reheated, an area for meats (beef, seafood, poultry), and another for dairy products.
Step 6: Maintain, repeat and expand
As beautiful as your fridge looks now, it will only be functional if you maintain what you’ve done by cleaning out the fridge once a week (tossing out old food and wiping it down.) This weekly habit will keep your refrigerator looking organized and clean throughout the week. Remember to put items back in their correct grouping.
After you’ve cleaned your refrigerator and seen the difference and satisfaction it brings to your life, think about expanding your decluttering to other parts of your life; you can declutter house, car, garage, office, basically anyplace that isn’t functioning as well as you know it could. Imagine what your life could feel like if the rest of it ran as smoothly as your refrigerator?