Advent {Day 6}: The Fridge

I know this is not your typical Advent day but it's something that needs to be done in "a time of expectant waiting" of  and "preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas.

Cleaning out and Organizing your refrigerator in precautionary measure that needs to happen in anticipation of the celebratory gifts that need to be stored and/or it's leftovers. As you are cleaning don't forget to Thanks God for all that He has provided!

If your fridge is a disaster right now that's fine! The majority of homes in America are. Here is how I suggest starting the cleaning process:

  1. Take EVERYTHING out placing then on an empty counter
  2. Organize as you pull things out: meats, veggies, fruits, cheeses, entries, trash/expired, condiments, drinks, etc.
  3. Wipe them all down as you pull them out so they won't have that fridge gunk on the bottom when you go to put them back in your clean fridge

Now that you have a nothing but the sticky piles, puddles and dried on yukies Start with your drawers:

  1. Pull all your drawers out
  2. Wash them inside and out with hot water and multi-purpose cleaner over at your sink 
    {or in a bathtub for less splatter clean up or if you have limited counter space}
  3. Let the drawers air dry on a giant bath towel {or over the edge of you tub} while you work on the shelves, trays, and walls
    {you can always hand dry the rest of the way before re-inserting}

Now that those are drying work on the nasty inside:

  1. grab a bow of HOT water, multi-purpose cleaner, dishcloth/spung, and maybe even an old used toothbrush {for the OCD}
  2. spray everything: each shelf, trays in the door, and wall {extra coat for the piles, puddles, and yukies}
  3. start scrubbing from back to front and from the top down {this will help you end up with one giant pile of ... yeah at the end.
  4. Make sure to rinse your dishcloth or spung often keeping the dishcloth warm/hot so it will steam off that cold blah that been growing for a while

WA-LA! Just like new...well, hopefully ;o)

Now here's the fun part...putting things back in an organized manner. WHY?

  1. To help yourself keep it organized {especially with the rapid amount of things that will be coming in this season}
  2. You, your kids and your spouse will know the general area to find things
  3. You'll know when things need to be thrown out!

Hopefully you've got items sorted and wiped down already, if not, do it now. Now that you think you are about to place everything back in, there's one more thing that needs to become a habit when putting ANYTHING into your fridge:

  1. Have a "Throw It Out" rule about how long things can stay in your fridge {mine is ~1  month depending on the item, and the printed expiration date for those that have it}
  2. Label containers with what it contains and the date it was made/stored on the side of the container {easily visible}
    {I like to keep a roll of masking tape and a fun colored pin in the drawer next to the fridge for colorful, handy labeling}
  3. OR Label using the the "TRASH IT" date--> look at the calendar and label the date it needs to be thrown away
    {we usually eat our's before then}
    {*side note: I like to label veggies on top of their lid so can quickly see them when looking down into the drawer}

After everything is sorted, clean and labeled your going to have to decide where the most convenient place is for your most used items OR the best fit:

  1. Some fridge, like mine, already have labeled drawers: "meat", "fruit/vegetable", and "cheese". Use them for that.
  2. This might not work for everybody because you may have way more cheese and meat than the labeled drawers allow. If that's the case and it bothers you to have the wrong labels...relabel if you want.
    {see how having them labeled lets you quickly see what you have and by putting even the veggies in containers into the drawer, you've saved yourself the shelf space}
  3. Place condiments that fit into the door {tallest to shortest}{side note *I like to keep my stick butter in the door so it's closer to room temp when I decide to back since that's the only thing I use if for}
  4. Store other items in the logical space they will fit in. Most fridges have adjustable shelves and trays so move them around and see what works for you.
  5. Large items like milk, juice, or 2 leader bottles fit the best on the top shelf or bottom door tray for us.
  6. Smaller items like eggs can fit under drawers or on shorter shelves.
  7. Make sure to put milk product IN the fridge on a shelf, not in the door for safer temperatures!

How to get rid of left overs:

  1. Leftover lunches! {we do this most days: makes for fast prep!}
  2. Let you Kids choose their meal {let them be creative by making odd combinations-->rice, hotdog, and yogurt}
  3. Use them to help you decide what's for dinner {add a side or entre is easier than making an entire meal}
  4. Snacks
  5. Host more guests for meal times!

I hope these tricks we try to use help you keep that refrigerator rotating in and out yummy food this season!
Have any suggestions to add? Please share in the comment section!

To read more Rothacher's Advent Days click--->
Advent {Day 1}: Cookie Swap

Advent {Day 2}: Dizzie Izzie's
Advent {Day 3}: Giving Christmas Away
Advent {Day 4}: Homemade Gifts
Advent {Day 5}: HIPPY Christmas Party

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