This week's post is written by Professional Organizer Monica Friel, president of Chaos to Order based in Chicago and Atlanta. They have been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show and Hoarding: Buried Alive, as well as in Better Homes and Gardens, just to name a few. You can find them on the web at www.chaostoorder.com
Your refrigerator is not a permanent holding area for anything, not even those fancy mustards that have been sitting on the door for years! Clearing out your fridge and having the right containers are essential in keeping organized.
If you want to give your refrigerator a thorough clean-out, here's a step by step process:
1. Toss the Tomain. Anything that you’re not going to eat needs to go. Expired foods, leftovers gone grey, anything old is out. Food that is still good should be put on the menu. Have a "must-go" night tonight.
2. Empty completely. After you've eliminated what you don't want, empty everything else. Grab a cooler if things are going to be sitting out so nothing will spoil.
3. Sort. Put like items together, beverages, condiments, produce, meats, cheese etc… Once you have the items together, you can determine the best location and containers.
4. Wipe Down. Wash all surfaces with a good wet rag or paper towel with disinfectant cleaner. Make sure to get into the corners and under the drawers. Removing anything that's not stationery will give you the best results.
5. Contain. Find good containers that will not only keep your food fresh, but will also keep your refrigerator organized. These Ultra Seal food storage containers from Sterilite are terrific. Square containers work best as they optimize space.
6. Maintain. Remember, your refrigerator is a place where foods come to visit. Clearing out regularly is crucial to keeping safe, fresh food available to you and your family.
A clean, organized refrigerator will not only make eating healthy meals at home easier, it can also save time and money. Knowing exactly what you have and what you need to purchase will help make the most out of the groceries you buy and the food you make.