Here are the steps to organizing your refrigerator:
Step 1: Take everything out. Be sure you have about an hour for this project. This is not one of those that you want to start and not finish.
Step 2: Toss any old food, food you won't eat, food that's expired beyond your comfort level, etc.
Step 3: Wipe the shelves and drawers with soap and water.
Step 4: Add the food back, one type at a time. Put all your condiments in. All the cheese in. All the produce in. You get the picture.
* Be wary of putting milk in the drawer. When opening the fridge so often, it's the first place that starts to lose temperature. Thus making your milk warmer and making your fridge work harder (spending more energy, which equals more of your money to the power company) to keep it cool.
Step 5: Maintenance. Once a week, go through the fridge and toss any old food, clean up any spills, and quickly re-sort and re-organize items to their original placement. This is a crucial step in keeping the fridge organized.
- If you have an extra drawer, use it as your defrost drawer. Any meats that you take from the freezer to defrost or meat you just bought from the store can sit in there without worrying about the meat leaking on any other foods.
- Process your produce when you get home from a grocery store trip. I can't tell you how nice it is to have my broccoli already washed and cut when I need it. Do this only if you know when the produce will be cooked and what you are using it for (you don't want to cut squash and have it get slimy before you use it).
- If you have a side-by-side, put your more frequently used items on eye level.
- Lazy susans can be a great tool. If you're finding that some items keep hanging out in the back of the fridge, get a Lazy Susan so you can access them better.