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Today I would like to share several ideas for keeping your refrigerator organized. This is one place in our homes which is often rather chaotic because so many people use it. However, there are several things that we can do to keep the refrigerator organized, workable, and otherwise serving us instead of worrying us.
First, establish standard places where you keep milk, eggs, meats, fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, and some proteins (which includes cheeses, yogurts and deli meats). Of course, the milk, meats, and eggs should probably go on shelves, whereas your vegetables, fruits, and proteins might be allocated to drawers.
All You Can Eat Shelf
Second, designate a shelf for “eat all you want”. This saves many a trauma when mother goes to find dinner only to discover her teenage sons have eaten it thinking it was leftovers. So there should be a shelf which is “have at it” and another shelf which is “please don’t touch, this is tonight’s dinner”.
Keep Like with Like
Third, it is also helpful to keep like items with like items. Keep the condiments together, canned fruits together, and cold drinks together. It’s a great idea to put your condiments in a larger container so when you pull out the mustard, you also pull out the relish and the catsup, making it easier to put what you like on hot dogs with a single trip and a one-handed motion.
Use Door Wisely
Fourth, think carefully about what to put in the door of your refrigerator. This should be a place for “A” items, those treasures which you pull out of the refrigerator frequently such as milk, drinks, and sack lunches. Sometimes those shelves will be empty because things will be coming in and out. Also, the door should not be crowded with things that you very rarely use such as bottles of exotic pickles or maraschino cherries.
Put Old Behind New
Fifth, when you refill your refrigerator as you go grocery shopping, remember to put old behind new. This keeps the milk fresh, and helps keep everybody happy when it’s time for cold cereal in the morning.
Clean Out Weekly
Sixth, I encourage you to clean out the refrigerator every Saturday evening to keep the blues, the greens, the molds, and the bad smells at bay. Serve some kind of eggs to fill out the meal such as fried eggs, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, or even eggs in a basket.
Clean on Grocery Day
I also encourage you to wipe down the refrigerator just before you go grocery shopping, which is the easiest and best time to find more of the shelves empty or mostly empty.
My dear friends, order your refrigerator, organize it. Let’s make this place in our house a tool that works in an orderly manner.
Find more helpful ideas in my House of Order Handbook.
Photo used with permission of sxc.hu.