by Susie Salinas of Systems by Susie
Does the inside of your refrigerator stress you out? Are you wasting fresh produce, losing items you were sure you bought, and a little bit scared by what’s at the back of those shelves? If so, April is the perfect month to “Spring Clean” your refrigerator. Cleaning and reorganizing your refrigerator is the first step to eating healthier this spring!
Tip #1 Start Fresh
Tip #2 Designate Zones
- First, take everything out and group things into categories on your kitchen counter. Place all drinks together, condiments, leftovers, vegetables, fruits, etc.
- While you are emptying the fridge, be sure to throw out expired foods and condiments. Live by the motto, “When in doubt, throw it out!” You can also refer to the site StillTasty.com.
- Don’t forget to add the expired items to your grocery list so you can replace them.
- Wipe everything clean with warm water and a mild soap.
- Adjust your shelves to fit your needs. For most refrigerators, all of the shelves and door bins are adjustable. If you need more room to hold all your favorite Tessemae’s products, you can go online to order additional door bins. Customize your refrigerator to work for your exact needs.
- Put in a new box of Baking Soda for odor absorption.
- Don’t forget to clean behind the refrigerator. Using a brush attachment, vacuum the coils and wipe down the grill at the base of your fridge.
- Now that all your items are grouped together, you can see how much space you need for each category. Then, give each category an exact home. Find a spot on your shelves or door bins for leftovers, drinks, snacks, condiments, sauces and syrups, salsas/pickles/dips, butter, veggies, fruits, and of course Tessemae’s salad dressings.
- Organize your refrigerator with the healthiest foods in front, where they are most convenient and easiest to reach.
- If you have children, put the healthy snacks you want them to grab at their eye level.
Tip #3 Purchase Containers
- One of the goals of the Fridge Refresh is to make it more convenient to eat healthier. Refrigerator bins can help with this. Use containers for your most commonly used snacks and remove snacks from their packaging to allow for easy access. Also, make sure the snack containers don’t have lids.
- Use clear lazy susans or deep containers to access the back of the fridge.
- Before you head out to shop (the fun part!), be sure to measure your fridge. I follow the rule, “Measure Twice, Buy Once.” You’ll want to utilize your full space, so after measuring, try to find the deepest bins you can find.
- For leftovers, purchase the same kind of containers so they stack easily. I always suggest glass rectangular containers over round because they fit more easily in a refrigerator or drawer.
- Purchase products designed to keep produce fresher for longer. Some of my favorites are shown below Lazy Susan, Interdesign Fridge Bins, Oxo GreenSaver Produce Keeper, Glass Food Storage Containers
Tip #4 Use Labels!
- It’s impossible to keep any space organized if there aren’t labels. The labels aren’t just for you, they are for your partner, kids, or caregivers in your home. Labels clearly identify each item’s home. Label the fridge shelf and side door bins with each category.
- Use a label maker or chalkboard tape to make labels or you can write directly on the containers with a Sharpie paint pen.
Tip # 5: Make it Shine!
- Now that you’ve done all the hard work, it’s time to make your refrigerator shine! Purchase Fridge Coasters to help absorb spills and moisture. They will save you from having to scrub your shelves again soon and they come in a variety of colors and patterns so they brighten up your fridge. It will make you happy every time you open your fridge!
- Shop the rainbow. Try a variety of colors when you are in the fresh produce section. It will make your food and snack selections so much more appealing. Here are some suggestions:
(This amazing rainbow image is from Kristen of hellonutritarian.com, who we are obsessed with! Definitely follow her for all kinds of inspo!)
Rainbow Snack Options:
White- Hard-boiled eggs, string cheese
Red- Apples, strawberries, raspberries, red peppers, babybel
Orange- Orange wedges, carrots, cheddar cheese sticks
Yellow- Yellow peppers, endive, lemons, yellow cauliflower
Green- Green Grapes, Snap Peas, Celery, Broccoli, Cucumbers
Blue- Blueberries, blackberries
Purple- Purple Cabbage, purple cauliflower, Red Grapes, plums
Free Checklist Printable
I’ve created a free “Spring Clean Refrigerator Checklist” that you can download here to follow to give your fridge a refresh.
I hope these tips help you and your family #TesseSpringClean!