Tuesday, February 7, 2012

a clean slate.

This is what my fridge looked like when I got home from the grocery this evening....
disorganized, expired, and overflowing.

I've been meaning to clean the fridge since the new year - you know, one of those resolutions to start the year with a clean slate...that didn't happen!

Since I have been re-charged and am tackling this Sugar Detox head on, I decided today was a good day to clean out the fridge - to truly start with a clean slate.


Step one was to remove EVERYTHING...only those items worth saving would be returned.  It's amazing how things can get lost and forgotten about in a fridge - I was amazed at how many things had gone bad or were past their expiration date.  Then, I wiped scrubbed every shelf and drawer {I have no idea how it gets so yucky inside our fridge}. **Starting with an empty fridge is much easier than doing one shelf at a time, then when you're all done, you can put each item back exactly where you want it.  Most items will be fine for the short time that you're cleaning the fridge, but if you're concerned just pop them in the freezer to stay cool.  There are a number of methods to organizing a fridge, but functionality and accessibility are most important to me.  I gathered a few ideas online, but I mostly based my organization off of this list.

Here's the run down...

Beverages, Bulk, & Leftovers
I changed the height of the top shelf so that I could put our milk, water, and OJ there.  I put bulk items like big bags of cheese, and rarely used items like yeast in the back.  I then added leftovers stored in clear containers on the right.  **I highly recommend investing in clear containers to store leftovers in...you're more likely to pull it out of the fridge if you can see what it is - "out of sight, out of mind".

Salad, Fruit, & Eggs
The next shelf houses quick foods like lettuce & spinach, hummus, eggs, and berries - all cleaned and ready to be eaten {check out this site about ways to clean produce to prolong it's shelf life}.

Meat, Cheese, Beer & Lunch.
Lunch meats, bacon, and cheese are all kept in the meat drawer.  The bottom shelf is perfect for Dan's beer, our Artisan Bread starter and my packed lunch for tomorrow. **Packing my lunch the night before has been super helpful in the AM, I am able to focus on breakfast rather than preparing another meal.

Fruits & Veggies
The drawers are organized by high and low humidity fruits and vegetables, here's a site with some useful information on where to store what.

Toppings, Cooking Sauce, & Extras
The door is organized by purpose.  Jelly and spreads under the butter box with salad toppings next to them.  The second shelf is made up of sandwich toppings and cooking sauces.  Finally the bottom shelf has all the extras that don't fit into any category....salsa, wine, whip topping, chocolate sauce, and wheat germ.

It feels so great to look into the fridge and be able to find what I'm looking for...let's see how long it lasts! I hope to hold myself to keep it at least somewhat organized based on the above system, and do a deep clean once a month....here's hoping!

**note: We've been slowly replacing processed food with all-natural, organic foods...however, we're not the wasting type and have found it hard to just throw away foods that we have purchased.  We plan to use up what we have, but replace them with better alternatives when they're gone.  So, that whip topping and chocolate sauce may just spend some time hanging on the shelf - or like the ice cream we devoured this weekend, it may disappear soon...either way, we don't have the will to just pitch it.

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