Do you have a bad case of ‘New Year fridge’? All sorts of weird and wonderful things in there, with maybe some of them about to go past their best? Or perhaps you can’t find what you need when you’re in a hurry, and you’re getting fed up with that…
Today’s quick declutter is to get your fridge back into shape, and fighting fit for the rest of the month. It might even help you to reduce food waste and save a few quid into the bargain, which is always a bonus.
We’re not trying to drag this declutter out, so don’t start unplugging everything and defrosting freezers and ice boxes. It’s just the fridge, and it’s meant to happen quickly.
First of all, get everything out of the fridge and onto a kitchen worktop, or into a box.
Now, wipe out the whole fridge. You can use dilute bicarbonate solution if it’s a bit smelly, or antibacterial cleanser if you feel like going the whole hog. Now wipe it dry with a lint-free cloth and shut the door again sooner rather than later to save electricity.
Next decide how you’d like to organise your fridge. For example, it’s best to have things like raw meat on the bottom shelf in case it drips, and also because it’s colder. You might like to group dairy products in one area, sauces and chutneys in another area, or have a designated spot for leftovers (ideally at eye level and near the front of a shelf so they get eaten first).
Do you need to add extra storage to keep things clean, airtight or just prevent them from rolling around? Put that on your shopping list if you do. For example, would a fridge bottle rack be useful to keep bottles and cans in their place and save you some space?
Now go through the food, and be ruthless. Is it out of date? Get rid of it – and put some new stuff on your shopping list if you want to replace it.
Is it near its use-by date? Make a menu plan to use it up, stick a date label on it, or just have it at the front of the shelf.
Is it safe to eat, but in a messy container? Wipe bottles, jars etc to get them clean. Only takes a few seconds.
Now put everything back in the right place and get that door shut quickly. Wipe the outside of the door, and the handle. That’s it. Done!
When was the last time you gave your fridge an overhaul? Is it a job you love or hate?