A Clean Start

I don't know about you, but when things are messy I get a little stressed out. Add this to the fact that I don't cook, and a messy fridge sends me into sensory overload. Let me introduce Exhibit A:

Ok, so let's talk dirty. Dirty fridge that is. Can you see what I'm talking about? I mean, what is that?! If we were to have some kind of food emergency, well, let's just not even go there. It would be bad. Need more proof? Exhibit B:

you can't even tell what's in that middle drawer!

Now, let's fix it. I already know you're thinking this is not an exciting post, but sometimes it's necessary.  Last year we experienced this really fun thing known to you as Hurricane Ike. So I know what fun is involved in cleaning out a fridge and freezer with no power. And no air conditioning. And no trash pickup. Ick. Like I said, take a bullet and do the dirty. 

Step 1: Remove everything. 

I went ahead and started piling things into loose categories as I went. 

who knew there were three jars of pickles in there?

and three cans of open frosting? 
my goodness.
(I'm pretending to be more surprised than I really am...)

How did all these veggies fit in that one drawer? 
Wait, when did I buy those carrots?

Step 2: Wash everything. 

I pull out the drawers, the door shelves (and their liners) and wash them in the sink with soap and water. I also clean out the actual fridge, too. 

Step 3: While that stuff dries (no need to work yourself to death. You're already cleaning out the fridge!) start really going through the foodstuff. 
Yep. Those carrots definitely belong in the trash. 
Along with that cream. 
And some chicken.
Why am I confessing all this?

Oh, you're feeling sad for me?
You think I should go ahead and eat the rest of this
yummy chocolate chip cookie pizza?
Well....ok. If you insist. 

Step 4: Start organizing things back into compartments. 
We use a lot of cheese and sandwhich stuff, so that all goes in the top drawer. 
I group things together based on type of food and frequency of use.
Those weird sauces and salad dressings aren't needed as often as the juice and milk, so they go in the bottom door shelf and drinks higher up. 

And yes, those are several bags of shredded cheese stacked on top of each other. 
I said we use a lot of cheese. 

I spread everything out so I can see better. This is one of the island stools.
Again with the sandwhiches and jams. 
Who doesn't love their grandmother's homemade jam?

The highchair even lends a hand. Or legs. That's a tricky one. 
We don't even use ketchup and we have two open bottles?
This is sauce and salad dressing. 

Step 5: Load 'er back up!

And voila! Lookie! There's even a whole empty drawer! 
I'm working on a really exciting post about making your freezer work for you. 
I think I'm up to the challenge...

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