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Does the inside of your refrigerator stress you out? Are you wasting fresh produce, losing items you were sure you bought, and a little bit grossed out by what’s at the back of those shelves?
If so, it's time for some spring cleaning.
Plus, once you clean and organize your refrigerator, you'll be able to eat healthier, find what you need (when you need it), and waste less food, which in turn, saves you money.
Here are five tips to give your fridge a refresh:
Tip #1 Start Fresh
First, take everything out and group things into categories on your kitchen counter. Place all drinks together, condiments, leftovers, vegetables, fruits, etc.
While you are emptying the fridge, be sure to throw out expired foods and condiments. Live by the motto, “When in doubt, throw it out!” You can also refer to the site stilltasty.com.
Don’t forget to add the expired items to your grocery list so you can replace them.
Wipe everything clean with warm water and a mild soap.
Adjust your shelves to fit your needs. For most refrigerators, all of the shelves and door bins are adjustable. If you need more room to hold all your favorite salad dressings and condiments, you can go online to order additional door bins. Customize your refrigerator to work for your exact needs.
Put in a new box of Baking Soda for odor absorption.
Don’t forget to clean behind the refrigerator. Using a brush attachment, vacuum the coils and wipe down the grill at the base of your fridge.
Tip # 2 Designate Zones
Now that all your items are grouped together, you can see how much space you need for each category. Then, give each category an exact home. Find a spot on your shelves or door bins for leftovers, drinks, snacks, condiments, sauces and syrups, salsas/pickles/dips, butter, veggies, fruits, and Tessemae’s salad dressings (my favorites!).
Organize your refrigerator with the healthiest foods in front, where they are most convenient and easiest to reach.
If you have children, put the healthy snacks you want them to grab at their eye level.
Tip #3 Purchase Containers
One of the goals of the Fridge Refresh is to make it more convenient to eat healthier. Refrigerator bins can help with this. Use containers for your most commonly used snacks and remove snacks from their packaging to allow for easy access. Also, make sure the snack containers don’t have lids.
Use clear lazy susans or Interdesign deep containers to access the back of the fridge.
Before you head out to shop (the fun part!), be sure to measure your fridge. I follow the rule, “Measure Twice, Buy Once.” You’ll want to utilize your full space, so after measuring, try to find the deepest bins you can find.
For leftovers, purchase the same kind of containers so they stack easily. I always suggest glass rectangular containers over round because they fit more easily in a refrigerator or drawer.
Purchase products designed to keep produce fresher for longer.
Lazy Susan, Interdesign Fridge Bins, Oxo GreenSaver Produce Keeper,
Glass Food Storage Containers
Tip #4 Use Labels
It’s impossible to keep any space organized if there aren’t labels. The labels aren’t just for you, they are for your partner, kids, or caregivers in your home. Labels clearly identify each item’s home. Label the fridge shelf and side door bins with each category.
Use a label maker or chalkboard tape to make labels or you can write directly on the containers with a Sharpie paint pen.
Brother P-Touch Label Maker, Sharpie Paint Pen, Scotch Chalkboard Tape
Tip # 5 Make it Shine!
Now that you’ve done all the hard work, it’s time to make your refrigerator shine! Purchase Fridge Coasters to help absorb spills and moisture. They will save you from having to scrub your shelves again soon and they come in a variety of colors and patterns so they brighten up your fridge. It will make you happy every time you open your fridge!
Shop the rainbow. Try a variety of colors when you are in the fresh produce section. It will make your food and snack selections so much more appealing. Here are some suggestions:
Rainbow Snack Options:
White- Hard-boiled eggs
Red- Apples, strawberries, grape tomatoes, red peppers, babybel
Orange- Orange wedges, carrots, cheddar cheese sticks
Yellow- Yellow peppers, lemons
Green- Green Grapes, Snap Peas, Celery, Broccoli, Cucumbers, Kiwi
Purple- Purple Cabbage, Red Grapes
Free Checklist Printable
I’ve created a free “Spring Clean Refrigerator Checklist” that you can download here to follow to give your fridge a refresh.
Click here to download
Fridge Refresh Package
If you are itching to give your refrigerator a good spring cleaning, but want some help doing it, then my two new packages are for you.
I'm offering a Virtual Fridge DIY Refresh Package for $100.
You'll fill out a detailed questionnaire, and send me photos and measurements of your fridge and freezer. In return, I’ll send you a custom refrigerator layout with links to the exact products that will work well in your space. It also includes a 20-minute FaceTime call if you get have questions during the process.
If you live locally here in Annapolis, Maryland, I can do it ALL for you with the In-person Fridge Refresh Package! For $400 I will empty your fridge, check for expired items, clean it, and find you the perfect products for your space. I'll even go buy all the products, install, and label them.
Click here to book your Virtual or In-person Fridge Refresh Package.