If you’re home right now, walk over to the refrigerator and tell me what you see. If you have kids (or an untidy spouse) your fridge is probably pretty messy and unorganized. Is your cheese in your produce drawer? Are your raw meats mingling with the fruits? Let’s face it, we can all use a little help when it comes to our fridge. Here are 10 tips for cleaning and organizing your refrigerator.
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1. Know that everything has a place
There are drawers for vegetables and drawers for fruit. Some newer fridges even have drawers for dairy products like different cheeses. Not only will using these drawers help you stay organized, they will also keep your food fresh longer.
2. A homemade cleaner goes a long way
If your fridge is stainless steel it probably came with some kind of special cleaner. What happens after that small little sample bottle of cleaner runs out? Are you supposed to just let smudges and fingerprints pile up on your fridge? No! It’s as easy as mixing equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray your solution on and buff it with a microfiber cloth.
3. The inside matters, too!
Use the same mixture of vinegar and water on the inside of your fridge. It works great on plastic and glass shelves alike. Pay special attention to cracks and the inside of drawers where bacteria can be sneaky and hide out!
4. Set a schedule
Even if you have to write it on your calendar you should regularly be cleaning out your fridge and looking for expired foods. Shoot for once a week if your family goes through a lot of food. If your grocery shopping habits are a little more conservative twice a month is probably fine too.
5. Make things easily accessible
If your little ones want a snack and they’re old enough to get it themselves you should allow the bottom shelf to be “theirs”. That way there’s not messy spilled juice that leaks all over the fridge, instead, it’s contained to the bottom shelf.
6. Change your water filter often
I’ve shared before how to clean an ice maker. If you have a fridge that has a water and ice dispenser chances are you’ve noticed a cylindrical canister toward the rear of the fridge compartment – which is your water filter. You should be changing this filter on the schedule provided by the manufacturer, or if you start to notice a funny taste in your water or ice.
7. First in, first out
Otherwise known as FIFO in the food industry. It’s exactly what it sounds like. If you just bought a new gallon of milk, put it toward the back of the fridge behind the older gallon. That way the older one is finished first thus eliminating the possibility of spoiled and wasted milk. This can be applied to anything you buy. Not just milk!
8. Eliminate refrigerator labels
To eliminate any stinky odors from last night’s leftovers, you can place some baking soda in the fridge to soak up smells. They even sell packs of baking soda specifically for this!
9. Use baskets and label them
If you want to really organize your fridge you can use small plastic baskets to keep similar foods together. Take this one step further by slapping a label on the basket, like “dairy” or “greens”. These baskets that slide on shelves make even more room of wasted space.
10. Placemats in the refrigerator?
They’re not just for the dining room table anymore, folks! If you’re wanting to keep your shelves totally clean you can cover them with plastic placemats. When they get dirty, just take them out and rinse them off. Good as new!
Do you have any tips for cleaning and organizing your refrigerator? Let’s swap ideas down in the comments!