Thursday, December 15

December Deep Clean: Kitchen Edition

My favorite part of MTV Cribs was always the refrigerator reveal.  Who cares about cars and in-home movie theaters?  Show me a clean, freshly stocked refrigerator!

If you're having guests over for the holidays, why not take a little time to rid your refrigerator of the spills, odors, and overcrowding that have inevitably occurred since your last cleanup? After all, you will need some room for holiday leftovers.

Here are a few tips I've accumulated...

1. If you live with roommates, get as many as you can together so you know what can stay and what can go.  I lived in a house of 5 girls in college, and it's pretty hard to determine on your own which things are still edible, especially if they're in sealed takeout boxes which you're terrified to open.  Sorry Becca about that new mayo that I threw out...

2. Remove contents from one shelf at a time.  I like to remove all the food from my refrigerator in small batches because once I get going with a scrubbing sponge, things can get crazy.  Real crazy.  Remove one shelf at a time, wipe up spills and check if anything has spoiled. 

3. Don't forget the refrigerator door.  For some reason, every house I've ever lived in accumulated an enormous amount of condiments, all of which sat in the refrigerator door.  It's so easy to clean out the fridge and forget about the 30 or so bottles of salad dressing that are leaking and the Miracle Whip that has gone bad (note: Miracle Whip has always gone bad.  If you have this in your fridge, go ahead and throw it out regardless of the expiration date, as it is inedible at any stage).

4.  Buy storage containers that are transparent and match.  For some reason, lids and containers will never end up in the same place at the same time.  When you are rushing to pack a lunch or pack up leftovers, you will inevitably find a container with no lid or vice versa.  If you buy a set of storage containers that have uniform sized lids and varying sized containers, you will never have this problem.  Also, make sure they are transparent so you can quickly see what you have in your refrigerator at any time.  This set of jars from Weck would be perfect.

5. Find a way to actually see what you have.  There are so many great options to help you see what you have in your fridge.  Move the shelves around, buy an egg crate if you always seem to forget about eggs - whatever it is, develop a system to make sure that the food you buy doesn't go bad before you can eat it. 

6.  Get rid of odors.  Usually I find that just wiping down the refrigerator with cleaning solution will get rid of any lingering odors, but just in case, you can get baking soda or spread coffee grounds on a tray and place it inside your refrigerator for a few hours.  I once saw an article that said the best way to get rid of odors is to take a sock, fill it with activated charcoal, and place it in the back of the refrigerator.  While this might work, I highly recommend not putting a sock of any kind near your food. Where do people come up with this stuff?

Photo Credit: {frolic!}

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