Now I didn’t clean the main part of my fridge or crispers, but I did those within the last 6 weeks or so, and I see no need to fix what ain’t broken, as the saying goes! In the pictures above there’s actually salsa and guacamole that’s expired, but I’m going to let my husband decide whether to give them another shot, or not. The guacamole has never been opened, and it is vacuum sealed. The salsa is open, so he’ll have to decide on that one, as I only eat restaurant salsa! Last minute edit: he ditched the guacamole, but kept the (fuzz free) salsa!
Here’s my general tips though:
- Take everything out and put it on the counter or in a cooler if you haven’t cleaned in a while.
- Wipe off the bottom of the container and check the expiration date. Set expired* items aside.
- Clean off the shelves from top to bottom, removing them and washing with soap and water, or use a spritz cleaner and clean cotton towel. Paper leaves residue!
- Move eggs and milk to the inside of the fridge, the door is the warmest part, so bury ’em deep to keep ’em cool!
- Organize items onto the shelves you normally use most, lesser used items, or by category (burger, Mexican, ice cream toppings, etc). Repeat for inside of fridge!
- Put freezable ‘extras’ aside so you only have one of each item in rotation (margarine, etc).
- Combine open multiples or put items with least/closest expiration in front to use first.
- Throw out anything broken or obviously spoiled. (Recycle those containers!)
- Anything left? Find it’s spot! Move things that belong elsewhere (teethers baby won’t use? put them in storage!)
- Check your pantry for replacements before adding to your grocery list.
- Date when you open items like pasta sauce that might get lost at the back of the fridge.
*Some items may be safe to use past expiration, mustards for example if they don’t smell, look or taste bad. Vinegar based sauces or things like soy sauce are also hard to spoil. Use your best judgement. When in doubt, throw it out.
Bonus tip: Freeze leftovers within 2 days unless you have a definite plan for them. Label well and you’ll have quick go-to dinners on busy nights.