Day 1: Organize your refrigerator – 40 days to home organization

Welcome to Day 1: 40 days to home organization :Organize your refrigerator

(pic source: martha stewart)

tips to organize your refrigerator

If you are just reading this, start with 40 days to Organization and then come back here for Day #1.

We will start in the heart of the home: The Kitchen

The kitchen is where the family gets together. It is where we do homework, make meals, eat meals, do our arts & crafts, etc. The kitchen is where we spend most of our time.

Today we will talk about food storage:
The refrigerator: I know, not too much fun, but it will get you started.

Take some time out of your day today to work on this. Give yourself a good thirty minutes. Be prepared with cleaning supplies, saran wrap or press n seal, a sharpie, tape or labels, garbage bags and containers & baggies.

Starting on the inside:

– Take everything out of your refrigerator (make sure that you have at least 30 minutes to do this because you can’t leave your food sitting out for too long). I would do the freezer section after you do the refrigerator section, to give yourself more time, to avoid thawing your food.

-Clean the shelves. Scrub the food and spilled drinks from the shelves (soapy water works well for this, or a cleaner, or vinegar and water).

– Throw away any old food or drinks

-Now line your clean shelves with saran wrap or press n seal. When sometime spills, you can just replace the wrap with a new clean sheet.

40 days to home organization kitchen

This make next-time’s clean-up fast and easy!

– When you put your items back in:

fridge-organized_300 (real simple)

– Add tape or labels to your items and write the date on anything that is opened. I use a sharpie to write on the lids of things or on the tape if it isn’t a disposable container (ex: applesauce container, write on the lid. Left-over dinner in my own container, write on tape. I would write “2/12/13″ or whatever the date is – Now I will know that this is only good for a week past this date, or whatever your time frame is for your item.) I normally add tape to containers & write on them with a sharpie. When I am done with them, I just peel off the tape & throw it away before putting the container into the dishwasher.
fridge-3_300 (real simple)

Combine items and put them into smaller containers (Waffles into a freezer bag). I like to make a shelf for vegetables, a shelf for meats, a shelf for ice cream, etc…

Now moving onto the outside:
I like to keep most of my things on the side of the refrigerator to keep the front clean. On the front I keep one picture of each of our kids and one thing from school (see my School work & art work organization here)

On the side, I keep pictures of my nieces & my nephew, pictures of friend’s kids and some important paperwork. My calendar & most important papers are in my “command center” – I’ll talk about that in a few days. For now, just put what you can on the side of the fridge and THROW AWAY things that are just taking up room! If you have receipts, put them in one envelope & tape that envelope to the side where you can add to them, while keeping them contained. When it is full, go through it and throw away what you do not need. This can be a great system for any paperwork. (Example: I keep all preschool information in one large envelope, all elementary school info in another envelope).

The same rule goes for the top. It is easy to just throw it up there & forget about it. Today is the day where you remember it and take care of it! If it is something ‘waiting to be fixed’ (in our case, a picture frame was up there for about 6 months!), either fix it or toss it. If it is a book, return it or donate it. If it is paperwork, file it or throw it out!

Now clean the front of the refrigerator until it is shiny and DO NOT FORGET TO CLEAN THE TOP!

Good luck! This can be a lengthy process for one little refrigerator, but it is worth it and will make you feel so much ‘cleaner’! Remember to keep up with this. After you are finished reading this, go to your calendar and find the date that is ten days from today & write “Go through refrigerator”. On that day, go back through & throw out old foods, clean up spills, ect…

If you are ready to move on to other parts of your kitchen, you can move onto Day two… CABINETS & DRAWERS IN 5 EASY STEPS

Or start in any room of the house.  See ALL 40 DAYS OF ORGANIZATION TOPICS in this post!

Happy Organizing!

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  1. Cassie D. says

    Hi I’m just reading through these. There are some awesome tips I am sure I will be putting to use. I go through our refrigerator the same day every week. It is usually Tuesday mornings(that’s our garbage day) and I throw out anything that is older than a week or that I know won’t be eaten in the next day or two before it’s week is up. I haven’t done the tape and date thing but will probably do it in the future. I do record what we eat on a wall calendar so I can look back at it and see when things will be “expiring”. Thanks again for all the great ideas in all of the challenges.

  2. Meghan says

    I like to use a wet-erase marker on my leftovers containers instead of tape and sharpie(like Expo Vis-a-Vis–the kind we’d use on overhead transparencies back in elementary school). I keep one within easy reach of the fridge and scribble the date on the container as it goes in. It saves the whole tape step since it washes right off in the dishwasher or with just water. It does not smudge or wash off in the fridge (unless something spills on it).

  3. Stephanie says

    I just found this through Pinterest. And…lent starts tomorrow…just coincidence?? I think not!! ;). Divine intervention?? Probably more likely ;). So I am challenging myself with this, starting tomorrow with my fridge! I did think of my secretary & how she makes fridge clean out every Thursday and then she makes her grocery list off of that for her Friday grocery store trip. I thought she was just a genius!! Wanted to share with everyone. Thanks for your inspiration :)


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