The sun is shining and daylight is lasting longer. The weather is warming up, the grass is greener, and the flowers are starting to bloom. Spring is here, y’all! Who else is ready for some spring cleaning?!
When you’re cleaning through the different areas of your house, don’t forget your kitchen! In fact, I’d suggest you start there first. It’s probably the highest traffic area in your house and I’m not sure about you, but I feel so much better when my kitchen is clean and organized.
While there are lots of areas of the kitchen, today I want to talk about cleaning and organizing your refrigerator. The fridge gets so messy so fast doesn’t it?! I’d like to blame the kids for this one, but I think we’re all guilty of getting home from the grocery store and throwing in all the things without rhyme or reason. Then what happens? Yep. That fresh broccoli you bought gets squished in the back and lost in the mess and two weeks later you’re wondering where that horrendous smell is coming from. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t lie, I know you’ve done it too.
How much produce do you waste just because you can’t even see it in your fridge? I used to be so bad about buying all the fresh produce but I wouldn’t take it out of the little plastic bags and before I knew it, I could no longer identify the item because of all the mold growing on it. Ew.
I don’t know if there are any scientific studies on this, but I’m pretty sure it’s a fact that you eat healthier when your fridge is clean, organized, and stocked well. When you see fresh produce cleaned and cut and ready to eat, you’re much more likely to grab that rather than a Poptart right?
And how about your kids? If I have a box of strawberries washed, cut, and in a clear container in the fridge, that is the first thing they grab when they get home from school. But the same strawberries in their box and not washed? They will skip right past them. So not only does having your fridge organized benefit you and your health, it benefits the whole family!
I’m going to share my top tips for organizing your fridge soon, but before I do this, I want to mention one important tidbit. You know when you go to Pinterest or Google and you look up “fridge organizing tips” and all of these pictures of these unrealistic fridges pop up? Like the fridge is organized in rainbow color but I don’t see any meat, I don’t see any condiments, I don’t see kid snacks, and I don’t even see milk sometimes! Here’s a glimpse into what my fridge looks like at the moment:
Don’t get me wrong, the pictures I find online are beautiful and so satisfying and I love watching a good episode of The Home Edit, but what works for a single person isn’t going to work for my family of 5 with young kids. So keep in mind what you need and don’t compare your fridge to a fridge you see online that may not even be someone’s real fridge.
Okay, let’s get to the good stuff…..
Here are my top tips for organizing your fridge this spring!
- Take every single item out. Yep. Those condiments in the side drawer? Pull ‘em out and put them on the counter.
- Wipe down the shelves and drawers starting with the highest spot and working your way down. Scrub all those gross, sticky spots and get it sparkling clean.
- Go through every food item and check expiration dates. Anyone else a freak about expiration dates or is it just me? No seriously. I can’t eat something if it’s a day past the expiration date. It grosses me out.
- Wipe down bottles and containers that have drips on them. You don’t want to put dirty items into your clean fridge!
- Place all meat items on the bottom shelf. The meat should be on the bottom in case it drips…. I don’t think you want raw chicken juice dripping into your apples, do you? This isn’t very aesthetically pleasing, but sometimes I’ll leave my meat in plastic shopping bags for an extra layer of protection against drips.
- Take all fruit and vegetables out of their boxes and containers. Wash them up and place them in clear containers. Whether you use glass or plastic is up to you! I love the glass Pyrex dishes but when my kids were younger, I used plastic so they could get them out of the fridge easier without being too heavy or breaking them. I like to put my apples and oranges in a bowl for easy access. If it takes you longer to eat these items, place them in separate bowls as they can cause each other to ripen faster.
- Keep healthy kid snacks in the lowest spot in the fridge. In my fridge I keep yogurt and cheese sticks low so my kids can easily reach those.
- Keep all items in drawers and shelves in a single layer so you can see all of your food.
- Categorize your items and keep them together. Keep all of your deli meats and cheeses together, dairy together, condiments together, etc. It will keep things more organized and easier to see.
- Don’t forget to clean out your freezer too! Wipe it down, check expiration dates, take an inventory of things you may need to restock and add them to your grocery list.
As a bonus, here are my 10 favorite items I keep stocked in my fridge and freezer!
- 3 different kinds of fruits – choose different colors
- 3 different kinds of vegetables – chopped and ready to go
- Dannon Light & Fit Greek vanilla yogurt – perfect snack when you add fruit!
- Hummus – for dipping veggies or to add to a wrap
- Frozen steamable vegetables – easy side when you’re in a pinch or short on time
- Frozen fruit – perfect for smoothies
- Boneless, skinless chicken breast – we eat a TON of chicken in my house!
- Perdue lightly breaded chicken tenders – best chicken tenders out there in my opinion.
- Box of mixed greens – easy to grab for salads and sandwiches
- Cottage cheese – great protein source to add to a meal or for a snack
Now go on and tackle your refrigerator! Don’t forget that it doesn’t need to look Pinterest perfect. It just needs to be easy to see all of your items and it needs to be functional for your family. Feel free to take some before and after photos, share on your social media and tag me @wholesomenutritionco! Happy cleaning!