One of the things I’ve learned to do is make my calendar my friend … a good friend … one that I respect and trust. It almost sounds like I’m talking about a person, and in a way, I guess I am. I consider my calendar an extension of myself. It’s the one thing that keeps me grounded, organized and on my toes when it comes to my daily list of things to do. I usually know what I need to do, but if it isn’t on my calendar, chances are, no matter how important it is, it won’t get done.
I’ve added to my calendar some of those pesky household chores, the irregular ones, the ones you don’t necessarily need to do every Saturday morning, but important none-the-less, like cleaning and re-organizing the refrigerator. I have it scheduled on my calendar to do the last day of the quarter … March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31. The March and September cleanings are fairly quick, as I’ll explain in today’s post. The June and December cleanings take a little bit longer, but not much.
Take about 3 minutes to read this, and then set your timer for our “15 Minute Clean-up … Refrigerator” task.
Step 1 … Fill up the kitchen sink with hot, soapy water, and make sure you have an empty garbage bag at the ready.
Step 2 …
Open the door. I know, I know, it’s a little scary in there. Hopefully nothing will accidentally fall out!
See, it wasn’t THAT bad 🙂
Step 3 …
Take everything out that’s IN THE DOOR ONLY.
Don’t look at anything, just grab it and put it on the counter.
Step 4 …
Take a quick peek at all the gunk hiding under those containers. Yuck!
Step 5 …
Remove all shelves and anything else attached, and take them to the sink.
Step 6 …
Gently place a couple of the bins in the hot soapy water. Let them sit for a couple of seconds, then wash them.
Set them on the counter to drip dry.
When you are all done washing them, wipe them dry with a clean dish towel.
Step 7 …
Next we’re going to wipe down the inside of the door itself. To save a few minutes of going back and forth, bring a small bowl filled with hot soapy water to the refrigerator. Start from the top and work your way down. The bottom shelf will most likely be the worst. Make sure you get the sticky stuff!
Step 8 …
Put all of the shelves back in place, step back and smile. Isn’t she pretty … all white and shiny clean!
Step 9 …
You’ll want a wet dish towel at hand for this next step. As you put your bottles and containers back in the door, give them a little look-over.
Make sure that …
a) there’s something in the container. Seriously? Yes. I have teenagers. Trust me. I know these things.
b) it hasn’t expired
c) the outside of the container is clean. Wipe it if necessary!
You’re almost done!
Take everything out of the inside.
Don’t look at anything, no analyzing, just grab it and put it on the counter.
Yes, the vege drawers too.
Your first inclination is going to be to tackle the bottom first because it is the dirtiest.
NO, NO, NO.
Always start at the top and work your way down. A.L.W.A.Y.S.
Don’t forget to wipe down the sides and back.
Usually for the March and September cleanings I don’t take the glass shelves out. I wipe them down in the refrigerator. In June and December, though, I do take them out and carefully take them to the bathtub for a good soak … one at a time … top to bottom.
Give the bins and drawers a good wash in the sink, dry them, and put them back.
Ah … much better! Even the lights are shining a bit brighter, don’t you think?
As we did in step 10, go through all your food items.
Get rid of any leftovers that have been lurking for longer than 48 hours. You’re probably not going to eat them.
Dump what ever else needs to be dumped.
Wipe down containers.
Load up all the left-over containers in the dishwasher.
Put in a fresh Arm & Hammer® Baking Soda box (try and remember to change this out the last day of each month.)
Stand back and oooohhhhh and aaaaaaahhhhhh.
EXTRA TIP …
We all have frequented a fast-food restaurant at some point. We’re in a hurry, it’s late, the kids are tired, no one wants to cook, and McDonald’s is literally around the corner. We drive through, grab our meals, ask for ketchup and sauce, and head home. A few months later we realize that the salad dressing bottles in the door aren’t quite standing as tall as they once were, and when you check to find out why, you find a few lonely ketchup packets. If it’s been a while since you’ve gone through the fridge, it’s possible that there’s way more than just a few! And, of course, because they’re buried in the shelf, no one knows they’re even there.
Solution: I found an inexpensive chicken-wire basket at the store, and put all those pesky little treasures in it. Now we actually use them! Fancy that 🙂
Let’s Chat …
When was the last time you cleaned out your refrigerator? Don’t worry, we won’t judge!