Hello Everyone, Angie from Architecturally Organized here. 

Today we are going to talk about cleaning out your fridge… Sounds like fun right??  Well… as it turns out-next month hosts a day… November 15th and that day happens to be National Clean out your Fridge day!  I swear they have a day for everything!  

But figure – it makes sense that they would host it right before the holidays! Now is the time to do a full clean out on that fridge!! Purge and clean!!! Don’t get me wrong – I clean out my fridge weekly (Clean it out Wednesday night as that is the night the garbage goes out!!), I toss any uneaten leftovers, I wipe down any spills that I see…but that is about it… I am not always the best at checking expiration dates (I swear this trait runs in my family!!!)… but if I see something not looking right I will toss it.

So let’s do this!!! Let’s open up our fridge and see what we have inside shall we?!?!?!!  Just like my post about the 8 steps of Organizing…. What was step 1?? Pick a space and stick with it – That is what we are going to do…go shelf by shelf, one at a time… 

We will begin with the Purge!!!
Start by throwing out any expired food you see.  Toss out anything that you will not use before it is expired-better yet, if you know of a family or friend who would use it-ask them if they want it (some may think this sounds weird – but my friends and family are close and will share pretty much everything lol).  If you have unopened items that you never got around to using – but most likely won’t ever use – look into donating it to a food bank.

Do this for EACH shelf, drawer, rack, etc in your refrigerator AND your freezer!! Then move on to the next phase….Cleaning!  Ya – this part is not exactly super fun.. But once your fridge is cleaned and organized you will feel so much more happy!! Ok – wipe everything down… your drawers, your shelves, etc… scrape that gunk that is in the back corner that you didn’t know had spilled.. Clean it up good so we can move onto the fun stuff!!

We are spick and span clean and now its time to Organize!!! Hold up – don’t go putting things right back where they were.. Believe it or not, but some thought needs to go into the organizing order of operations!! 

There are so many tiktok videos of beautifully organized and color organized refrigerators out there… but one thing I have noticed.. They don’t always take into consideration where they are putting items/vs how pretty it looks.  Yes… where you put items really does matter!! And I am not just talking about veggies and fruit in the crisper drawers.

Think about it in Zones… your fridge has a few of them… 

Zone 1 – The Door: this is obviously not the coldest place in the fridge as it gets blasts of warm air anytime the door opens.  This is where you want to store condiments.  Soda.  Juice.  Butter.  Items with preservatives go here… things that will not spoil quickly.  I know that there is an egg compartment in the door, but please… use it for your butter and DO NOT store your eggs here!!  Your milk does not want to be stored in the drawer either.  You may drink a lot of it and use it up fast – but tell me.. What sounds better to you… a glass of cold-ish milk or an ice cold glass of milk??? Exactly.

Zone 2 – The Top Shelf.  This is also one of the warmer spots in your fridge (with the door as the warmest).  This is where your leftovers should be kept.  This is where foods that have already been, OR do not need to be, cooked should be placed.   The temperature in this area tends to hold steady.  

Zone 3 – Middle shelf.  This shelf stays pretty cold (typically you will get colder as you go down each shelf). This is the area where you want to store your dairy.  Your milk, cheeses, eggs can all be placed here!

Zone 4 – Bottom shelf.  This is typically the coldest part of the fridge. This is where you want to store your raw meat and your fish.   I have a designated bin in my fridge and in this bowl goes frozen meat that is being thawed.  If for some reason there is a hole or puncture to the frozen packaging – any spills or leaks of thawed meat juice is contained in the bin and allows for easy clean up and no contamination!!

Zone 5 – The Crisper Drawer – Where you keep your Fruits and Veggies.  Now you don’t want to put all fruit in one drawer and all veggies in another drawer.  Your fruit and veggies can be combined – what you want to look out for is the amount of ethelyne each produces – that is what you want to combine by….keep high ethylene producing produce away from other produce that does not produce as much.  This gas will promote faster ripening (and over ripening!!).

There we go – that wasn’t so bad was it?!?! Just think, now you have so much room to store leftover stuffing and pumpkin pie!!!!

What is your favorite Thanksgiving Leftover??

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