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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Organizing the Refrigerator

Welcome to another Thursday organizing post! 
If you are just joining us, we have been getting organized using Jennifer Ford Berry's Organize Now book.

It has some great info and tips on organizing various parts of our life and home. You can see past posts here:

Week 1 about Organizing Your Mind and Life Vision HERE,
Week 2 about Organizing Your Priorities HERE,
Week 3 about Organizing Your Schedule HERE
Week 4 about Organizing Your Cleaning Schedule HERE.
Week 5 about Organizing Your Personal Information HERE. 
Week 6 about Organizing Your Finances HERE. 
      Week 7 about Organizing Your Bill-paying System HERE.
        Week 8 about Organizing Your Receipts and Taxes HERE
Week 9 about Organizing Your Files HERE
                             Week 10 about Organizing your Magazines and Newspapers HERE.
                                               Week 11 about Organizing Your Email HERE
                                                Week 12 about Organizing Your Mail HERE
                                         Week 13 about Organizing Your Child's Toys HERE.
Week 14 about Organizing Your Crafts HERE.
Week 15 about Organizing Your Photographs HERE.
Week 16 about Organizing Your Purse or Wallet HERE. 
 Week 17 about Organizing Your Vehicle HERE.
                                                  Week 18 about Organizing Your Pet HERE.
Week 19 about Organizing Your Books, CDs and DVDs HERE.
Week 20 about Organizing Your Entryway or Mudroom HERE.
                           Week 21 about Organizing Your Family Room or Living Room HERE.
Week 22 about Organizing Your Kitchen Countertops HERE.
Week 23 about Organizing the Kitchen Cabinets HERE.
Week 24 about Organizing the Pantry HERE. 

This week we are tackling the refrigerator. If your house is like mine, then this one can be tough as things have a tendency to be pushed to the back and forgotten about. Does that happen to you too? My husband is actually pretty great at going through the fridge weekly or bi-weekly and getting rid of old leftovers that we didn't eat. Thanks honey! You know I wouldn't get to it until it is growing something so I appreciate that. lol.

This Week's Goals:
1. Throw out all empty and old bottles and containers. 
Jennifer had a really useful expiration chart in this chapter: mustard (keep for 2 years), ketchup (6 months - this one surprised me!), vinegar (3.5 years), soy sauce (6 months - I don't think we go through a whole bottle in 6 months!), olives (6 months - no problem here. gah!), steak sauce ( 3 years), maple syrup (1 year)

2. Empty each shelf and drawer and clean. As you probably can guess, I use my good old Basic H2 super organic concentrate for cleaning the fridge (and just about everything else! :) The all purpose mix (1/4 tsp to 16 oz of water) works well in the fridge and is completely safe around food since it's made from corn and coconut. It also does not have a scent so it won't make your fridge stinky.

Consider turning the unit off while the door is open for a long period of time to clean it. It will save energy and money. 

3. Keep the oldest food in the front so it gets eaten. Also keep the healthy items up front for the same reason.

4. Empty the freezer and wipe it down. Toss things that have been there for 10 or more months and things you will not eat.

5. Declutter the outside of your fridge and clean off the top. Less is more here:) 

1. Vacuum the bottom vent of your refrigerator once or twice a year to keep it running well. We learned this the hard way. We didn't know to do this and our refrigerator died a couple years after we bought our house. (it stopped working while we were out of town and it was a mess to come back to !) We are pretty sure that the people we bought the house from did not do it either once the repair guy got in there and saw how dirty it was! We now do it regularly.:) Our repair guy also said to not push things all the way to the back as it covers the vent. If that is covered regularly, it will reduce the life of your unit.

2. The door of the refrigerator tends to be the warmest spot. The bottom shelf is the coldest. Store food accordingly.

So as you probably can guess, I waited till today to finish this post. :) Summer days are making me more of a procrastinator then usual I guess! Here are the before pics:

It was stuffed!

And the after...

So much better! I threw out some old condiment bottles and a few left overs. Also found some food in the freezer that I knew we would never eat so I tossed it. We do have another freezer in our garage that I still need to tackle. lol

 That does it for today. Have you organized and cleaned your refrigerator lately? What are your tips?

Thanks for reading! Have a great day and stay cool! It's a hot one here in Indiana today.


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