I know, this one is not so "tiny." In fact, the electricity went out in my apartment for about six hours when I wasn't home this week. I literally had to throw practically everything went, as, I found out the hard way, a few things spoiled! Ick.
(It's a pain to do this one. I totally get it.)
But! Summer is sadly, soon, coming to an end. You have had probably had more fresh fruit and produce in the fridge than usual. Now is a great time to get rid of these old left-overs, condiments that have seen better days, and, well, YOU know! All that good (and gross!) fridge stuff. You CAN do this in 45 minutes or less. It's just going to take a little bit of planning:
So, let's GO! (get excited):
Plan on tossing and cleaning out food items and produce that are old, expired and, well, just done and over. You will want to rinse and keep, or rinse and recycle (please) plastic containers and glass jars, if at all possible. Have a recycle bag ready and waiting, and please make sure your sink is clean and ready. We will be dumping the old stuff and containers and expired condiments in there, first!
Start by getting: A sponge (or even better-Magic Eraser) your favorite natural cleanser, a rag, a bag for recycling containers, and a little note pad and pen.
Okay. Get ready! Open up that fridge.
Take a look in there. What is going ON, honestly? Take a really good look.
Now, start going through the obvious first-the shelves that are in view.
Go shelf buy shelf.
Put the "keep" items on the counter.
Place what you are tossing in the sink, just for now.
Now, you can choose to either wipe down the shelves as you go, using your sponge or Magic Eraser for the really gunge-y parts, or wait and wipe down all at once. Your choice!
Now-hit the side door shelves-the egg and butter compartments. Be thorough.
LOOK at those condiments. If the date has been scratched off check them out, but my guess is, they may have to go. Things like Apple Cider Vinegar, however, which I like to keep in the fridge. Just use your best judgement. (And your nose. ;)
Start making a list of what you want/need to replace, or even add. Here a few, healthy swap-out ideas: Coconut Aminos (you can buy at Trader Joe's.) in place of soy sauce. Plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream; Any "organic" varieties of things like ketchup, jam and almond or peanut butter are just great. (Trader Joe's also has some wonderful and expensive options. Often their organic products are cheaper than "regular" items in a mainstream grocery store.) We are not an affiliate of TJs, by the way! Just enormous fans.
Okay. NOW-hit the veggie and fruit drawers. (I know. I feel you. Believe me.)
Throw the produce up on the counter.
Take a look. Can you cook/freeze/prepare any of it that is about to spoil? Plan on doing so now. You can throw veggies that are about to turn in an omelette or frittatas, make a quick salad. or even compose a strangely delicious new smoothie combination.
OKay! Hit those drawers. Pull them out real quick. Clean them as best you can. (You can do this!) I know, it's almost the worst. Just do it, though! You will feel lots better when it is DONE.
Now, take a break. (Just for a minute, though.)
Wipe down anything little spots you missed. (They are there!)
Now, look at the stuff on the counter. Start starting/tossing/recycling "old" food and condiments you have placed in the sink. Clean out the containers if you can-to clean and save, or to recycle. It is SO tempting to be lazy and skip this step. DON'T DO THAT.
Put everything back- all the food items, produce, condiments-that you plan on keeping.
Extra points if you want throw the lunch meat in an open plastic container to organize it better, or arrange the healthy foods shelf by shelf, so they are more accessible. You can be as cute as want. Roommates and family member swill have to deal. YOU CLEANED IT OUT! So there. Take that, bossy whoever.
AND YAY! YOU JUST CLEANED OUT YOUR FRIDGE! Now-it's time for a little treat! Whatever that means to you...Or, you can choose to cook a nice meal for yourself, your sweetie or your kids, with what you didn't know was still good, fresh and lurking in that fridge of yours...
Have a good one! xo