Declutter Your Fridge
Is your fridge a danger zone? Do you know what’s in that container on the second shelf? If not, it might be time to clean your fridge. It’s common to put fridge organization on the back burner when you have a thousand other things to do. But there are a few easy tricks to follow to keep your fridge clean and prevent wasting food, time, and money (up to $600 per year in wasted food!). Here’s a quick guide to help you declutter and clean your fridge.
Why do you need these tips? Well, for starters, wasting food is just plain wasteful. Save money now by staying on top of things as you go. Just like a messy house and unmade beds create festering stress, so too does a disorganized refrigerator.
Consider getting help! You don’t have to do it all! Hiring some help to keep the kitchen organized and clean can make a big difference in your health and your stress levels! Did you know clutter increases cortisol (1)? A UCLA psychologist found women who have issues with clutter have a similar cortisol pattern as people with chronic fatigue & post-traumatic stress disorder. This could be a few hours per month which may cost much less than you think (<$100).
The foods you choose to eat are a big part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Where and how you store those foods make a big difference. If you’re always throwing away fresh produce from the forgotten bottom drawer, try storing your fruits and veggies at eye level so you remember they’re there.
Store leftovers in clear, glass containers so it doesn’t become a forgotten mystery food. You can also use clear bins and baskets to organize foods by category. For food safety reasons, store ready to eat foods on top shelves, and raw meat on bottom shelves.
Want your kids to eat more fruits and veggies? Wash and cut items and place them in pre-portioned containers or Ziplock baggies. Alternatively, use a big fruit bowl and fill it with rotating options like grapes, blueberries or carrots.
Take a peek at some of our favorite “Skinny Kitchen Makeover” items here.
It’s a good idea to go through your fridge once a week to take inventory to see if anything needs tossing. A good time to do this is when you’re meal planning for the week. One way to stay on top of things is to write the date on lids with a black marker after opening a jar of salsa, pickles, mustard, etc. This way you don’t have guess how long that jar has been sitting in the fridge.
When you see a spill, wipe it up! Every so often, take all of the food out of your fridge and wipe it down with warm soapy water. Then give it a rinse. If you stay on top of it and organize weekly, you will save yourself headaches later.
A clean fridge makes life easier by reducing food waste, time, and money. Devote just a few minutes a week to avoid hassle down the road.
How often do you clean your fridge? Let us know in the comments below!
- Line your bins with paper towels and change them once per week
- Keep shelf-stable things like water bottles and beverages in the pantry until you need them
- Buy plastic containers and keep all of your sticky items, like jam and BBQ sauce, in that rather than the fridge door
- Remove fruits and veggies from plastic grocery bags and pat them dry. Getting rid of moisture prolongs their life
- Keep eggs in their cartons rather than transferring to the fridge’s egg container. This maintains freshness better
- If you cannot use herbs before they turn, blend them with a little oil and freeze in ice cube trays for later use in recipes