When Fridge Coaster found out I was doing a post on refrigerator organization, they offered to outfit my fridge for free. All opinions are 100% my own.
Jen over at I Heart Organizing is hosting a four week organizing challenge. Basically, you choose 4 places in your home that you want to get organized, and each Friday you can link up your newly organized space (you do not need to be a blogger to join in the fun). I am all about organizing, so I thought this would be perfect! I’m little late to the party (due to some unforeseen circumstances), and joining in week 2. Here are the three areas I will be organizing over the next few weeks:
Today, we’re talking refrigerator organization!
While I try to clean out my fridge every few months, I don’t ever feel like I’ve got it under control. I wipe it down, clean the shelves and drawers, put the food in again, and two days later, all the food is scattered about, and there’s Kool-aid spills everywhere (a life with children, right?) One thing I have learned is that family members don’t always jive with my organization, so if I don’t make organizing easy, they are not going to maintain the organized space. Labels and bins are the way to go, especially with children (and husbands too, sometimes).
Here’s where my fridge started out
Cleaning The Outside
I started by removing everything from the outside of the fridge: all the papers and white boards and magnets. I wiped it down using a DIY All Purpose Spray– remember to wash the inside of the door frames, the rubber seals, and the top of the fridge (it’s a dust-bunny breeding ground up there). You know that little tray under the water & ice dispensers? It typically gets hard water built up in it. This can be easily removed by pouring vinegar in the tray, letting it sit for an hour, and rinsing with water (this works on hard water stains everywhere in your house- go here for more on that).
Then, I went through everything that was hanging on my fridge- do I really need 200 magnets? The answers is “No. No I do not.” And while the snowman my youngest made in preschool is cuter than ever, it’s June. The snow has melted, the sun is out, and I am not dreaming of snow anytime soon, so he can be taken down. I do not need Christmas cards hanging on my fridge either. Repeat to self: “It is NOT winter anymore. JUNE. SUMMER.” The only things that made it back on the fridge were my “To Do” & “Grocery List” Whiteboards, my middle’s Emergency Action Plan for his peanut allergy, a notepad, and a handful of DIY magnets that are actually cute to look at. Better, right?
Cleaning The Inside
Because the food in your fridge is meant to stay cold, I clean the fridge in shifts: One shelf, one drawer, at a time. Remove all the food from one area and then remove the shelf/drawer to wash it. There are a couple ways to clean the shelves: 1.) You can spray them with an All-Purpose Spray (preferably a homemade version, so it’s safe to use near food), and wash them while they are in the fridge. 2.) You can remove the shelf and wash it with soapy water. *Lesson I learned… If you have an all-glass shelf (no plastic surrounding the sides) and you decide to wash it in warm, soapy water, and that shelf slips out of your hand, it will indeed shatter into hundreds of pieces. Hundreds. Trust me. I know from experience. I guess it’s the tempered glass, combined with the cold glass entering warm water, and then being dropped. Not great. So, if you are working with an inlaid piece of glass, just wash it while it’s in the fridge. For the drawers, remove them and wash with warm soapy water.
Now comes the fun part-inserting all the fridge coasters. Fridge coasters are basically a thin pad made to absorb spills and keep your fridge cleaner, longer (read more here). See this drawer? That is raspberry juice (mixed with some old grape stems)… sticky and messy and embarrassing that I actually let my fruit drawer reach this level of gross.
With the fridge coasters in place, those spills will absorb, and when it comes time to clean my fridge in the future, the effort will be much less. In fact, I might get by with simply running a wet sponge through the drawer and replacing the Fridge Coasters. (Trust me, those drawers are ginormous. It’s a wrestling match trying to wash them in the sink.) The fridge coasters come in a variety of colors and patterns, so you can outfit your fridge to match your style. (I went with green dots). Aren’t they cute?
Now it’s time to put all the food back into the fridge, but before doing so, throw out anything that’s past its expiration date. I don’t know about you, but I will make some corn, for example, and have leftovers. Into a container, and into the fridge they go. Three days later, I decide to make corn again, but I forget there’s corn already in the fridge (because I’m a mom, and I’m pretty sure my memory has taken a hit with each consecutive child). Leftovers again. Into a container, into fridge… same routine. Now I have no idea which one is older, so I end up throwing both out. To remedy this situation, I made labels to help me out. You can write the date on the label and stick it to the container, helping you to avoid throwing out perfectly good food. If you have short-term memory loss, like me, (or if you just think these would be helpful) feel free to print off a sheet (or 2, or 3) for yourself using the link below the picture:
Remember what I said about containers; they are needed if there is any chance of my family members following along with the organization plan. I found a few items at Target that should prove helpful.
I used a soda can holder in an effort to free up a little space in the fridge. During the winter months, we store our cans of soda outside in the garage, however, I’d prefer not to drink 90 degree Coke in the summer, thank you very much.
I also got a basket to hold my apples. I like that they are now confined to one space and I don’t have them rolling around the drawer (because they never stay in the bag).
My meat and cheese drawer (which was an absolute mess)… Look at it…
I got some drawer organizers for the string cheese, because I literally find individual packs buried under everything else, and I’m really not sure how long they’ve been there. Now, I’ve got it organized.
Organized Refrigerator… Love it!
Refrigerator organization? Done!
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