I spent Sunday completely clearing out our fridge as part of my deep cleaning project that breaks up different parts of a room over a series of days to make it more manageable. It was the fridge’s turn to be emptied, scrubbed and disinfected this week. I thought I’d share how I clean our fridge and keep it organised – it contributes to a lot less waste and makes menu planning and grocery shopping a lot easier.
Line your shelves
I highly recommend lining your fridge shelves with a self-adhesive liner – we have had ours lined for about a year and a half now after I saw it on Pinterest. It makes the shelves so much easier to wipe clean on a regular basis – so no more scrubbing shelves after something sticky has spilled all over them – and makes it look pretty and a little less blah. There’s a little work involved in measuring things out – I delegated this to my husband who is super particular about the weirdest things (bless him), and that really comes in handy when you’re tracing out odd shapes like this – but it is totally worth it. Shelf liners are really inexpensive, I purchased mine here.
Get everything out
Empty the fridge entirely and get rid of anything that shouldn’t be in there. Once you’ve gotten rid of things, repackage what is in there if necessary into bins or ziplock bags or tupperware and label it if you feel you need to. I then group things into ‘categories’ on my kitchen counter and decide where things need to go for the easiest access.
Clean, clean, clean
Give everything a good scrub and wipe down – I use a Method spray in the grapefruit scent which is my favourite and then I go over everything again (particularly the see through parts) with a microfibre cloth to avoid water spots and smudges. You will also need to wipe down bottles and tubs and jars. If like mine, your exterior is covered in children’s fingerprints, you’ll need to work on that too. Dry immediately with a microfibre cloth to prevent streaking.
Put everything back
I start with the produce drawers first and pop the kids snack box in there. They go through a LOT of cucumber and carrot sticks and grapes so those are chopped and ready (they are eaten really quickly in our home so they don’t go bad) and are at the front for quick access. When Yusuf opens the fridge, that box is the first thing he sees and by extension, what he will ask us for (Yusuf – 0 Mummy – 1, haha).
I store lunch meats in a fairly thin store container so they’re stored appropriately and not in unsightly clingfilm or similar.
All the other produce is either left in original packaging if I know I’m going to use it quickly or is removed from original packaging and placed into these stayfresh bags from Lakeland. I love these bags – they are reusable and work so well at keeping produce fresh for longer.
I also use a Fridge-It from Lakeland that keeps the fridge from smelling funky – I love the little purple case and it hangs perfectly from our drinks rack. I’m going to try and replace it with activated charcoal when it becomes less effective or just replacing it with a new one.
Things we use most frequently are at the door or towards the front of the shelves. Anything that isn’t needed just yet or is a spare is on the very top shelf that isn’t easily accessible. Our fridge is good at regulating temperature (or so the display on the front of the door says, anyway) so we’re not worried about having milk products on the door (yes, we buy three different kinds of milk).
Once you’ve done it all – write down everything that’s in your fridge. I pop a little task note into my recipe binder so when I’m menu planning, I know what I have to work with and also, I look back at the list before we go grocery shopping and cross off anything that we’ve used that needs to be bought again – half the work done for you!
Open the fridge several times throughout the day to admire your handiwork
I do this – a lot. I’m easily pleased.
Go on, delve into the cool depths of your fridge and battle the out of date food and the sticky spills and the haphazard-ness of it all and don’t stop until it looks like it did in the sales photos from when you bought it. I joke.
No, really – try it and let me know how you get on!