Spring is here which means it’s time to remove all the clutter you’ve accumulated over the winter months! Hurray! Personally, I have a love hate relationship with spring cleaning. I love the way it makes me feel afterwards, but I hate the process of doing it. Every year I get a little bit better with organization and not accumulating AS much, but I still have work to do.
I’m going to take you on a journey offering different tips and tricks I’ve learned throughout the years in decluttering my favorite room in the house, the kitchen. Eventually, we’ll get through the whole kitchen, but right now we’re going to start with one of the most beloved and used appliances in your kitchen—the refrigerator.
Here we go!
1. Pull everything out.
You heard me. Grab everything out and put it on the counter. Everything needs to come out of the fridge to do this properly. You’ll be doing the same with the freezer but WAIT till your finished with the refrigerator before starting that task. My suggestion is to put on some good music, an audio book, or a podcast and enjoy the process.
2. Wipe everything down.
Pull out your favorite cleaner and get rid of all the accumulated junk that’s made its home in your fridge. Wipe down the shelves, doors, drawers, and anything special your fridge might have.
3. Fridge layout.
Before we start putting anything away, let’s talk about the best places to put your items in the fridge.
-The doors are the warmest area so you want to avoid putting anything that can spoil easily there. This in particular means eggs and dairy.
-The top shelf is suppose to be the second warmest place in the refrigerator. This is a lie with mine. Ice seriously forms on my food on the top shelf, even on the warmest setting. My suggestion is to know your fridge. If you don’t have glaciers forming on your top shelf, put things like leftovers and eggs here.
-Lower levels are where you’re suppose to keep your meats. These shelve keep the most consistent temperature.
-Use your crisper drawers for fruit and veggies—but keep them separate! Avoid early spoiling by doing this.
-Don’t pack things too close together in the refrigerator. In the freezer, however, pack things closely to keep everything nice and frozen.
4. Check for expired items.
Now that you have an idea of where you should be placing your items, go through each one and get rid of the expired products.
5. Throw out items you rarely use.
Don’t keep things around for sentimental value! Just get rid of something that’s taking up space and you’ve not used in weeks—or months! Now you can also make a list of what you shouldn’t buy in the future, or if you need to use a small amount for certain recipes, to buy a smaller amount if possible.
*When you get rid of your items, see if anyone would be interested in taking it off your hands instead of throwing it away. A lot of people would be happy to use your unopened jar of pickles or one of your many fancy sauces.
I like to have a drawer or basket for snacks. This makes it easy for my family to know what they can eat right away whenever they get hungry. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “I did’t know what to eat” or “I forgot it was there.” Solve this issue by having a designated space for quick and available snacks.
After you’ve placed everything back where it belongs, take a step back and look at your hard work. Does your fridge look tidy? Are you using your space efficiently? If you’re happy, HIGH FIVE! It’s time to start on the freezer. If you’re not, go ahead and play around a little more. Ask yourself if you really need an item, or the three different kinds of one thing.
When you’re ready, repeat all the steps for the freezer. Remember that the freezer likes to have its items packed tightly together!
How do you clean out your fridge? What items do you find that you buy and don’t end up using them as often as you thought? Let me know in the comments or send me a tweet!