Spring Cleaning: Fridge Edition
Hurray for Spring! Winter is behind us, the sun is out, days are longer, and flowers are starting to bloom. Take a deep breath and take in the smell of budding foliage filling the air … sniff … ahhhhhh … sniff … hmmm … wait a minute, that doesn’t smell quite as pleasant as we expected, what’s that lingering smell? It’s probably your fridge, ew!
There’s no better time than spring for a little fridge cleaning! It’s time, we all know we’ve put it off long enough, plus we need to make room for the fresh new produce that’s available. Let’s start off with a few quick steps to get your fridge in tip-top shape and then we can show you how to stock it properly because there is a right and wrong way to store every ingredient. You do want to avoid wasting as much as possible, right?
Now the fun begins! Time to stock up on this season’s freshest produce! Check out Fruits & Veggies’ awesome tool to help you see what’s peaking.
Next, time for organizing. Let’s start with what should go where:
- Upper shelves are for leftovers, ready to eat foods and herbs
- Lower shelves are for eggs, dairy and meat
- The crisper is fall your fruits and veggies (but keep them separate!)
- Doors are for condiments, juice and drinks
- Do NOT refrigerate: tomatoes, onions, squash or potatoes. The cold kills flavor-producing enzymes and causes starches to convert to sugar more quickly aka soft and soggy veggies (eww)
Now for the nitty gritty
- Gather everything you need to keep this project as painless and efficient as possible. That means prep a staging area, this could be a table or cooler and grab your supplies! We (& the CDC) recommend hot soapy water and microfiber towels. For an extra grimy job, grab bleach or a vinegar-based spray like Aunt Fannie’s.
- Turn on your favorite tunes and start sorting e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. Check the expiration date of your pre-packaged goods tossing that ketchup that’s been in there since 2009 and anything else that’s expired, rotting or growing.
- Now that your fridge is empty, wipe down each shelf one at a time, followed by drawers, doors and finally everything that you plan to put back in.
- Keep it fresh with a box of baking soda which will help with odor absorption and will only cost you a buck.
Stocking + Storing
|Berries||Store in a single layer covered with a paper towel or thin towel|
|Celery||Wrap loosely in tinfoil so it’s covered but not excessively tight|
|Herbs||Soak in cold water, remove excess water and then store in a plastic bag with a damp cloth or trim the ends and place into a jar with water|
|Leafy Greens||Place in a large container giving the leaves room to breathe!|
|Mushrooms||Lucky you, these can stay in the container you bought them in (as long as not in a paper bag)|
|Root Vegetables||If greens are still attached, remove them immediately to help maintain moisture then store them like a leafy green.|
Using it up in time.
Keeping food that needs to be used up soon (leftovers or veggies that don’t look happy any more) in the upper shelf, also keeps it top of mind. You might even consider introducing a separate bin, specifically for stuff that needs to be eating within one or two days.
And for the question on what to do with it, head over to the search functionality of our Ready set Dinner web-app and find yummy recipes based on ingredients (and any of your personal preferences or restrictions).