January 8, 2020

How to Clean and Organize a Refrigerator and Freezer

A clean and organized refrigerator and freezer not only is nice to look at but it also helps make cooking and meal planning and meal prepping a little easier. First things first, before you can organize a refrigerator and freezer, you need to CLEAN it. So let’s start there. You can divide this task up and do it different days but I think it’s easier to just tackle both at the same time. I find it easiest to clean the refrigerator and then the freezer. The process for both is the same except for the washing process – for the freezer, I use a barely damp bar mop towel to wipe clean, not the water/soap mixture.

HOW TO CLEAN THE REFRIGERATOR + FREEZER

Empty the refrigerator/freezer – take everything out and check dates and decide if there is anything that you aren’t going to use. Toss anything with expired expiration dates and anything that is past its prime. Bring your garbage can over to the fridge if you need to.

  • Put items that will return to the fridge/freezer categories: fruit, veggies, beverages, leftovers, meal prep, condiments (I separate these by savory – on the right door, and sweet – on the left door), dairy – whatever makes sense for your family.
  • Remove drawers and shelves if needed/possible – bring them to the sink and wash or wipe clean and thoroughly dry.

QUICK TIP: If you cannot figure out how to remove a shelf or drawer, do a quick internet search – you can usually find a YouTube video of someone showing how to do it.

  • Wipe the refrigerator/freezer down.
    REFRIGERATOR:
    I use a bowl with a drop of Castile soap and warm water – if the fridge is stinky I’ll add a sprinkle (a teaspoon or so) of baking soda to the water/soap mixture.
    FREEZER: I use a barely damp bar mop towel to wipe clean, not the water/soap mixture.
  • Vacuum with a CLEAN vacuum cleaner attachment if needed. Wipe the attachment clean with rubbing alcohol before using in the fridge/freezer. This method gets all the crumbs, dog hair, whatever else you find in the crevices and crannies of this appliance.

  • Use a toothpick for tough spots – If you can’t get stuff stuck in the seals or crevices, a toothpick works well. Make sure you are using it almost parallel to the crevice so it doesn’t break off or puncture anything.

QUICK TIP: Moving forward, wipe down your refrigerator weekly as you’re doing a grocery list/menu planning. You’ll be able to maintain your clean fridge status and you won’t have nearly as much food waste. I do this on Friday as part of my Catch-All Day Routine.

HOW TO ORGANIZE THE REFRIGERATOR + FREEZER

Before you put everything back into your refrigerator and freezer, decide on zones for your refrigerator and freezer. If you want to plan it out a bit you can use sticky notes on the shelves to figure out where things will go and fit. Here’s how I organize the refrigerator.

The freezer is pretty easy. The top drawer is usually butter, ginger in a container, with ice packs and yeast in the door.  In the lower section we keep meats and leftovers on the left and frozen fruit/veggies on the right.  We have a large storage freezer in the garage so this is more of an ‘immediate freezer’.

Here’s what you can expect on the blog for the month of January:
January 1 – INTRO – Join the Challenge!
January 2 – Decluttering Quick Start + Cleaning Supplies / Laundry Area
January 6 – Kitchen
January 13 – Bathrooms
January 20 – Clothing + Bedrooms
January 22 – Entertainment + Kids
January 27 – Office Space + Paper Clutter
January 29 – Digital Clutter

What will you GAIN when you declutter?  TIME, LESS STRESS, A CALM + COZY HOME you are excited to come home to!

please note: the Clean Mama Clutter Challenge is free – it is not necessary to purchase the handbook to take part in the challenge but the handbook will definitely help! Grab it now while it’s on sale!

Ready to clear the clutter? I’m SO excited to share The Clutter Handbookwith you! It’s updated and ready to help you take on your clutter in a fresh, new way for 2020. The FREE Clean Mama Clutter Challenge through the month of January will be on the blog, Instagram, and in a new private Facebook group(purchase The Clutter Handbook to be in the Facebook group). Grab The Clutter Handbook to take you even more in depth through the challenge!

The Clutter Handbook is a 47-page pdf guide designed to take the guesswork out of decluttering your home. If you’re starting from a room you can’t walk into or just a couple clutter piles, this guide is designed to take you from clutter to decluttered in simple, manageable steps.

The problem with decluttering is not knowing where to start. If you’re just happening on this post, go here first. I have 4 steps to give you a quick start on your decluttering. You’ll gain momentum and be motivated to continue – that’s the best kind of decluttering. Getting rid of the clutter quickly, easily, and while seeing almost instant progress in the early stages.