You knew it was coming. There’s something dripping from the top shelf, there’s a sudden abundance of unlabeled containers with unrecognizable contents, and the whole thing so filled to capacity that every time you open the door, something comes tumbling out! You tried to avoid it for as long as possible, but it’s time to confront the inevitable: it’s time to clean out your refrigerator.
Cleaning out the fridge is a task that no one actually enjoys, hence why it tends to be put on the back burner until it becomes impossible to ignore. It may seem like the last thing you want to do on a Saturday afternoon, but it’s not too bad if you take it one step at a time.
- Take it all out. And I mean ALL of it. Start by emptying your fridge completely of its contents. Take all bottles, containers, jars, drinks, etc., and put them on your kitchen table or counter – somewhere you can lay everything out and easily see what you have.
- Wipe it down. Clean the shelves, drawers, and doors with the cleaner of your choice. If it’s really messy, start by first scrubbing it down with a sponge, hot water, and cleaner. Let it dry while you take care of the next two steps.
- Throw out old stuff. Now that your refrigerator is spotless on the inside, it’s time to decide what will go back inside. Throw out anything and everything that is expired or inedible and get rid of leftovers that have been there for longer than 3 days to a week, depending on what it is and how long it takes to go bad.
- Wipe down jars, containers, and bottles. Take a spray cleaner and a rag and clean off everything that is going to be put away. Since the inside of your fridge is spotless, the items that are going back in should be, too.
- Lay down fridge mats and put in baskets. A great way to keep your fridge clean longer is to line the shelved with fridge mats or plastic wrap, and to organize items into baskets. At this point in the cleaning process, you can put these in now. Just make sure the fridge is dry from being wiped down.
- Put everything back. Now that you’ve cleaned everything, inside and out, it’s time to put it all back. Try to organize by categories – labeling baskets with different items such as condiments, drinks, and snacks really makes life easier!
Follow these steps, one at a time, and you’ll be left with a spotless, organized, and tidy fridge. To make things easier on yourself in the future, try to do a small cleanout every two weeks. That way, you won’t be left with a huge cleaning task every few months.
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