Photo
Staff photo

Just as in spring when you want to the house cleaned up and aired out, November should be refrigerator clean-up month because you need to get organized for the holidays. Whether you are stuffing a turkey at your house or baking a ton of holiday cookies, let's face it -- you need space.

Open the door
Open it up and clean out the fridge to know exactly what's in there. Check the dates. What is in the back that has an expiration date for 2011? Trash the stuff that is carrying an odor. Keep the rest and get some cleaner so you can wipe down the shelves. Many refrigerators have removeable shelves and you may be able to organize them better for your needs.

Create specific areas
For example, eggs do well on the middle shelf where temperature tends to be most consistent. Fruit, on the other hand, thrives in a low humidity drawer, whereas you'll want to keep veggies in higher humidity. And ketchup, mustard and salad dressing do just fine hanging on the door.

Snack it and wrap it
Keep snacks like cut-up veggies in a container on a shelf. Leftover pizza -- put it all in containers that you can store so it is all neat and can make room for other things. Its also more visible then wrapping something in foil and letting it drift to the back of the fridge. You can even put little jello and fruit snacks in one container so the individual servings aren't thrown all over the fridge.

Try to freeze things so they lay flat
You don't normally think of soups and stews as laying flat but you can put them in freezer bags and flatten them.Try to remove as much air as possible to create even more space.

Give it a name
Keep a Sharpie marker on your fridge or in your junk drawer and immediately label anything that goes in with the name of the dish and the date it was made.

Create a space
Section off the freezer with little bins and label them. You can buy plastic bins at the discount stores and section cookies holiday gifts. A section for vegetables and meats. Just like you would organize any shelf in a cupboard you can do the same in the freezer.

Depending on how organized you want to become you can even do a spreadsheet and put in dates when specific items will expire. If you are doing that you are REALLY organized but it just might help you keep track of things if the refrigerator is a place that just seems to get away from you. You will see the more you organize it the more space you will find you have.


Share your Comments