Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Fridge Clean Out

We were supposed to start working on the gardens and the yard this past weekend but instead we started working on our dining room.  While Matt was doing some wood working on the hutch I decided to clean out the fridge and wipe everything down.  

This is what we are working with.  We have the freezer on the top.  Fridge on the bottom.


I usually do this every couple of weeks and always before a major food shop.  I like to know exactly what I have and what needs to be replaced due to expiration.  I try and buy organic for most everything but there are times when I am making a recipe and I don't need a lot of the ingredient so I tend to buy the cheapest.  

I take everything out of the fridge and put it on the counter.  I wipe everything down with windex. If the bottles and jars of condiments are sticky - I wipe them down also.  I take out the drawers and wash them in the tub if they are really bad.  

I like to see what I have and what needs to be replaced. 

When organizing your fridge its good to use professional and restaurant kitchens as models since they organize their fridge with food safety in mind.  Their way of doing it is to organize based on the temperature the foods need to be cooked to.  

I've adopted their way of organizing using the same principles, tailored to work for my home.  

Top Shelf
We keep bread on the top shelf.  I like to store it in the fridge because I think it lasts longer.  I also have nuts and chocolate chips in air tight containers.  Any leftovers that we have are stored in glass pyrex dishes.  I like to use glass because if it is something that needs to be reheated the glass is safe to use in the microwave. 

Second Shelf
We get our pork and beef from a farmer.  We have a deep freezer in the basement. Once a week I go down and bring up what I will need to cook for the week.  I stock the upstairs freezer with meat and then I put what I am cooking that week in a bin to thaw. I do this so that there isn't any way that it will contaminate my other items.  We like our apples cold so we keep them in a basket on this shelf.  Right next to that is our egg basket we use to collect eggs from our chickens.

Third Shelf
This is the coldest part of your fridge so it is good to store beverages. We keep our milk, almond milk, beer, and seltzer water.  We also have two milks on the door of the fridge because we are constantly reaching in for milk.  We get 4 half gallons of milk delivered every Thursday.  We go threw a lot of milk.  So keeping one container on the door isn't a big deal to us.  Some days we will go through the entire thing in a day.

In the crisper drawer part we keep our butter, yeast for bread making, and our dogs medicine.  Typically you aren't supposed to put milk on the door because it is the warmest part of your fridge but for us we usually keep one glass container of milk and one carton of almond milk.  We are constantly reaching for these items.  Also, we like to keep our yogurt, sparkling water, and cream on the door.  We've never had an issue with the temperature or these items going bad because of the warmth.  We go through them to quickly.

Second Shelf on the Door
We keep our condiments here.  The typical items like dressings, ketchup, mustard, relish etc. We make our own maple syrup and keep that in small mason jars on this shelf.  

Third Shelf on the Door
This is a smaller shelf and can usually fit smaller items like cans of seltzer, mini champagne bottles and tonic water.  It is always good to keep a container of baking soda in your fridge.  It can help control odors.  

I have a drawer with cheese sticks, hummus, hot dogs and deli meat.  This drawer has little hands in it always so things are always jumbled around. 

Crisper Drawers
My two bottom drawers hold my vegetables.  I usually buy peppers, lettuce, cucumbers,  cauliflower, mushrooms, etc.  Other than my apples we don't usually refrigerate fruits.  We go through our bananas and berries so quick.  They are a favorite around here.  

Evan and Ryan are really great at helping me cook and set the table which means items get shuffled around constantly and they aren't always in the same spot.  Cleaning out the fridge every couple of weeks or before a big food shop helps me get the items back to where I like them. 



We keep our freezer pretty full.  I like to have a variety of frozen berries for smoothies.  We have three bins for our meat.  Matt keeps his coffee beans here so they are always fresh.  I also have frozen waffles for the kids for quick breakfast.  I always have a few bags of frozen vegetables for those nights we are out late and I don't have a lot of prep time.

I have two small containers of arctic zero.  I talked about this in my Friday Favorites.


The top shelf holds frozen berries.  The bottom shelf has frozen chicken nuggets and tater tots for quick and easy kid friendly suppers.  Matt likes to drink certain beer from a frosty mug so we keep a couple glasses in the freezer.

This is a good guide if you are interested in taking on the task of cleaning out your fridge.  If you have school aged children it is a good idea to have a basket full of healthy choices that they can grab if they're feeling hungry.  

Do you have a tips for me?  leave it in the comments below or email me.  I always want to hear new ways to organize and clean out your fridge. 

Also, don't forget to check in tomorrow for What's Up Wednesday.  The bonus question is what is your favorite mother's day gift to give or receive?  Looking forward to reading everyones answers.  

Have a great day!

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