It has come to our attention here at Organizers Northwest that next month is the harbinger of a very special holiday: November 15th. What is so special about this particular day, you ask?
It’s National Clean out your Refrigerator Day
No, we’re not kidding. A search via our friend Google revealed the original creator of this very special day as Whirlpool Home Appliances. Credit is more often given, however, to its proximity to Thanksgiving and a ubiquitous need to clean out the fridge in preparation for… well, lots more food.
In celebration of this joyous occasion, we’ve collected some fridge organizing tips for you.
Start By Taking Everything Out
This is a fun organizing activity because you have to remain focused – you don’t want food to remain outside of the fridge for any longer than necessary. So before you begin, make sure you choose a time when you are free from distractions.
- Clear a large space on the counter and remove EVERYTHING from the fridge, sorting things into like piles.
- As you remove items, toss any expired foods, along with items that you know won’t be consumed.
- Take this moment to wipe down and sanitize the empty fridge! Who knows when you get a chance to do this again? (Spoiler alert: November 15th, 2016).
Put Items Back with Organization and Purpose
There are many resources available which cite the best spots to place things back. Here are the few that we think are worth repeating:
- Store raw meat in a bottom shelf, a drawer or separate bin (clear acrylic is best for visibility) to avoid cross-contamination.
- Condiments contain vinegar and salt, which act as natural preservatives, so it’s best to store them in the door, which tends to be lower in temperature than the rest of the fridge.
- Milk, however, should not go in the door, but near the center of the fridge as it is the coolest spot.
- Be aware of what doesn’t need to be chilled: potatoes, tomatoes, onions, garlic. Save yourself precious space by storing these items in a pantry or cupboard.
Get in Touch with your Inner Professional Organizer
Since the kitchen and refrigerator are high-traffic areas of the home and are accessible to the most users, consider using labels to mark where things should go in the fridge. This will help keep the fridge tidy and organized, and will teach kids and other family members how you like to keep it.
Whiteboard labels can be used on leftover containers so that you can easily write the date on the lid. These Erasable Food Storage Labels from The Container Store are also waterproof. You can also use masking tape and a sharpie to accomplish the same result – keep them stored near the fridge for easy access.
Turntables work surprisingly well in the refrigerator, and can be great for liquids and other items that you would like to keep upright and accessible.
Consider adding an “Eat me first box”. A simple cardboard box will do, just make sure to label it clearly so that no one can miss it!
These pull out bins from Amazon allow you to store items cleanly and to keep them separate, while making it easy to access.
Keep the Organized Trend Going!
Show the new fridge to your family, and make them aware of how you’d like to keep it organized in the future.
Schedule a date each week or month to review the fridge and toss old leftovers and review the contents – keeping up your hard work should be much easier now!
Consider taking a photo of the inside of your fridge before you go shopping, to avoid purchasing duplicate items.
We hope you find these ideas helpful!