Since the new year, Ry and I have been watching our calorie intake and exercising regularly so it is imperative to have plenty of backup meals and snacks in the fridge and freezer so that we are always prepared. Thus leading to the cluttered mess that used to be my fridge.
So, I have a few tips and maybe even some inspiration for those of you dreading the task of reorganizing and cleaning the fridge and freezer. Oh, and some step by step pictures as well!
This was my actual fridge and freezer before this post.....Yikes!
STEP 1: Starting with the fridge side, I removed all items and condensed/filtered through as I went. *This is when you want to call in HazMat and remove any experiments you find bubbling in the back of your refrigerator.*
And, being the OCD person that I am, at this point I categorized all items on my counter by type. Hey, this also helps with the restocking process too! See:
Step 2: Now it is time to clean the inside (shelves, undersides, and walls) with the cleaner of your choice. I use clorox wipes because I am addicted to them and usually end up with peeling skin on my hands as a result. Nonetheless, I love them.
After the inside is clean, it is time to begin restocking. Keep in mind as you are refilling the fridge, it is a good idea to keep only shelf stable items in the door (condiments, marinades, etc.) since this is the warmest area. Also, yogurt, snack cups, and other dairy items should go on the shelf closest to eye level for easy accessibility. And lastly, raw meats and leftovers should go on the bottom shelf (in my case, the shelf above the drawers) because this is the coldest area.
And this same process is used for the freezer with the addition of a couple of pointers. If you have bulky half empty boxes lingering around, now is a good time to do what I do and tear the nutrition facts, directions for cooking, and name label off the half empty box and place it all in a ziploc bag with the food item. Now you have more space to work with!
I also like to organize shelves by the type of food. For example, my top shelf is ready to heat meals, next is all of my meat substitute products, then breakfast and dessert (funny, i know- but that's just how it worked out!)on one shelf, frozen veggies in slide out bin #1, and meat in slide out bin #2. See, MUCH better:
Hopefully this has also inspired you to organize your fridge and freezer!