I recently had a friend tell me that I should write a blog post on how I keep my refrigerator so organized and clean. She said it inspired her to see that it was even possible.
This post is just for you, my friend.
I never forsaw a blog post about this- but if I can help you on your refrigerator journey, I am happy to share the little bit I do to keep my fridge organized and clean.
1. Buy less. If you have a full and messy fridge, you are buying too much food. I think this where discount grocery stores get you in trouble. You buy hickory, honey and spicy BBQ sauce because it's .99. You just need one kind, find a brand you like and stick with ONE bottle. Same way with salad dressings, and many other condiments. Keep it simple.
2. Adding new items. You can try news things- but just one at a time. See how fast it gets eaten and if it should become a weekly staple. I recently added hummus and love it for afternoon snacks- but the week it doesn't get eaten, off the list it goes.
3. Use inventory. Make a meal based on what you have in your fridge. Remember that trying new recipes often means more ingredients in your fridge you wouldn't usually use.
4. Don't fix too much food. Learn how to cook enough food for one meal plus one container of leftovers. Leftovers get you in trouble. They take up space and in most cases get thrown out to the dog after they mold. Just eliminate this step by feeding it to the dog first. I am not promoting waste- but if you know its not going to get eaten, simply feed it to your dog or chickens. This saves you washing a slimy, stinky dish.
5. Be a smart shopper. Think, what is on the agenda for the week? If you have a busy week and have plans that involve food, don't buy that whole gallon of milk, buy a half gallon.
6. Categorize your drawers and shelves. I have a cheese & meat drawer and a vegetable drawer. Before I go grocery shopping I peek in the drawers to make sure we have what we need.
7. Know your fridge. Learn to know what you use on a weekly bases. This is very important.
8. Wipe. Hmmm... we all know how to do this. If a jar pulls up slowly due to goo or pickle juice, get out your dish cloth and wipe away. If you spill something, wipe it up right away. I will often take my dish cloth and wipe off the shelves and fridge doors. This only takes a minute and is well worth your time. It's called fridge maintenance.
9. Keep a grocery list. This not only keeps your fridge from having duplicates but it also keeps you sane while shopping. Who wants to guess what they need while grocery shopping. If you don't have a list you end up buying more than you needed.
10. Organize once a week. Had a busy week? Your fridge looks a mess? Grab a soapy cloth and open your fridge door. Start by taking out items that need to be thrown away and then organize what you want to keep, wiping shelves and drawers as you go. Having a clean fridge is about equal to getting a facial- it just gives you that extra lift.