I receive numerous emails, messages and questions daily asking about my recommendations for cleaning and organizing. Awhile back I asked my readers to share some of their biggest frustrations and issues in the home and we’ve worked through a lot of them. Today’s topic is perfect for this time of the year when school is looming and a little organization and cleaning can go a long way – the best way to clean and organize the inside of the refrigerator. If you’ve been with me awhile, you know that I am a big fan of using natural cleaners whenever possible to cut back on exposure to chemicals, save money, and use safer ingredients. Cleaning and organizing your refrigerator is one of those tasks that can easily be forgotten about, but it doesn’t take long for drips and spills to accumulate. Now is the perfect time to give it a good cleaning and organizing!
I like to clean my fridge when it is almost or nearly empty. Pick a day when you have grocery shopping and stocking up to do or do it the day before a planned grocery shopping trip. Begin by emptying out the entire fridge and going through everything. Take a look at expiration dates and separate things that are past their prime or are virtually empty. Rinse and recycle containers that you can and toss or compost everything else. When your fridge is empty, it’s time to wash down shelves and drawers. My favorite cleaner for the fridge is a natural one that uses just three ingredients.
DIY Refrigerator Cleaning Solution:
Mix up 1 teaspoon of dish soap (or my favorite, Dr. Bronner’s Citrus Orange castile soap), 1 teaspoon baking soda, and about 4-6 cups of warm water.
Wipe down the shelves with a well rung out microfiber cloth or dish cloth. Repeat until all shelves and drawers have been wiped clean. Dry if necessary.
When your fridge is clean and dry, it’s time to organize! Here are five easy steps:
Group like items together. Keep your dairy items on one shelf, beverages together, snacks in one section etc.
This is a big fridge clutter buster for many: limit and keep an eye on those condiments! Make sure you have just one jar of mayo or bottle of ketchup open at a time. Try to limit your condiments to what you can store on the inside of the door.
Height matters. Store your taller bottles and containers in the back and shorter in the front.
Running short on storage? I love to use clear, stackable containers to group like items together that don’t fit in the drawers. Going vertical with storage also maximizes your space and can double your options.
Think outside the box when it comes to your crisper drawers. Not all fruits and vegetables require the higher humidity in those drawers. Consider how you could use this space for easily accessible snacks or meal components for the kids or your family or for bottled or canned beverages.
Having a clean and organized refrigerator can make such a big difference for both efficiency and peace of mind. Take a half hour and you will be surprised at just what you can accomplish in a short amount of time.