When in Doubt, Throw it out!

Do you remember the last time you cleaned out your refrigerator?  Or better yet…your freezer?  If the answer is “no” do not panic, because in a couple of hours you will be inviting your friends and neighbors for a tour of your newly cleaned and disinfected icebox!  Take a look at this gorgeous Meneghini Refrigerator as an inspiring nudge.

First step: remove everything from the fridge and freezer.  Toss out anything past its due date and put all perishable items in a cooler while you clean.  THROW OUT THE ICE IN THE ICE MACHINE, because the cubes at the bottom can be several months or even years old!.  Wash all of the shelving and walls with warm, soapy water.  You can use my favorite:  Seventh Generation Dishwashing soap.

Now you are ready to create zones, like you did in your pantry (remember you did that yesterday!), for your meats, fruits, vegetables and dairy items.  You can do this in the fridge, but it is most important to date the items in the freezer…it IS AMAZING how time flies.  here are some tips on where to put things:

  • cooked leftovers should go in plastic, flat lidded containers for easy stacking. 
  • Store fruits and vegetables in perforated bags in separate compartments, because the gases from the fruit spoil the vegetables.
  • Arrange like items together:  condiments on the door racks, beverages on the top shelf, sandwich supplies in a drawer and dairy products at eye level.
  • Meats and seafood should always go in the back part of middle section of the fridge, because it is the coldest.

Once everything has been neatly put away it is important to maintain that freshness factor. One way I keep my fridge odor-free is with the Odor Magic Filters from The Container Store…they really work and they are only $3.99.

Another thing to keep in mind is to always cover or wrap your food in the fridge.  Anything that creates moisture in your fridge causes the compressor to work harder, which increases your electricity bill.  Last but not least, remember to clean out your fridge once a week and get rid of expired items or leftovers.  Now, you are ready to open up that fridge or freezer door with pride!


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