I have an organized and beautiful pantry, and I decided it was time to tackle the refrigerator. Not only was I frustrated that there were too many things in our fridge, I also wanted to make some healthy snacks more accessible. My husband and I love smoothies and I thought if the choices were more readily available then we might actually get kale in our smoothies!
I started out by searching Pinterest here and I found a lot of great ideas.
Then I put together a plan to get my refrigerator organized!
1. I started out by shopping for good and solid containers to hold the food in our refrigerator. I went to TJ Maxx and was surprised that I found everything. I wanted the clear plastic holders so I could keep foods together by category. Then I bought plastic containers with lids to store all of our fresh food.
2. Next, I evaluated our current situation. Based on the photo below, you can tell that my situation was kind of pathetic.
3. The next step was to remove everything from the refrigerator and sort it by category. I used categories such as jams and spreads, salad dressings, cheese, etc. This was the most disturbing part. If you asked me how many bottles of salad dressing I had in my fridge, I would have guessed four.
Not thirteen! And guess how many containers of fig jam I have? Yep, I have three.
4. The next step is to check all of the expiration dates and consolidate if you can. I refuse to admit the exact expiration dates I found on the top of a few of those salad dressings. All I need to tell you is that we now only have six bottles of salad dressing.
One the food was organized, it was time to remove all of the shelves and drawers and clean everything really well. Sadly, this took hours.
I used a combination of Clorox tile cleaner with bleach and Windex glass cleaner. What a difference!
You might be able to see the rusting on the shelf above the drawers. I am going to try to order a new piece to replace the one that has started rusting. This refrigerator is eighteen years old so I guess that can happen!
5. Next, I arranged the food into the containers and decided where to put everything. This took a lot of trial and error. I kept having to take everything out and adjust the shelf height. But it was worth it.
6. Next, I grabbed my husband and we headed to Whole Foods. We have been talking for a while about adding more fruits and vegetables to our diet and I wanted Dave to pick out his preferences. (He is a great salad eater but that’s about it.) So we found lots of great choices and I put them all in containers so they could be seen and eaten quickly with no hassle!
7. I wanted to mention a few tips about where to put the food in your refrigerator. Meats should always go in the bottom so it doesn’t drip on other foods. Technically you shouldn’t put milk in the door (it won’t stay as cold) but since we are transitioning to Almond Milk I think it will work fine for us. Always put vegetables and fruits in an easily accessible location if you want to encourage healthy eating. And use clear containers so it is easy to see that you have!
I am so thrilled with the end result and cannot believe I didn’t do this earlier. But there is no better time than today to take on a project like this.