Remember this? I was embarrassed when I posted this photo for the progress post (still am), but I feel comforted by the fact that it doesn't look like that anymore! It now looks like....
...this! It makes my heart feel lighter, and I'm more willing to cook.
During my clean, I found that I had so much stuff in my fridge that needed to be discarded, which means I have more room in there than I thought. My husband and I grocery shop once a week and I cleaned and took these photos in the middle of the week, so there is more stuff in there after we first cook, but you get the picture. We batch cook on Sundays, so we had gotten a bunch of tupperware to store our cooked meats and prepared vegetables.
I ran with this idea but improved it a little bit by: 1) labeling the tupperware with the name and date that I put it in the container and 2) putting other items, like half-used vegetables and diced tomatoes, into sealed containers as well, instead of in bowls or stuffing them in the back of the fridge. I've found that if I don't put them in a container and label them, it is highly likely that I will never get to them and I'll be left with lots of wasted food at the end of the week (You can find out a little bit more about how we batch cook here.)
I also labeled our crisper drawers —this is so that I can keep myself accountable to keeping fruit in one drawer, vegetables in another and miscellaneous in the third. I'm prompted to put things away in their proper place, items are easier to find and I can take stock of what we have at any given moment.
I took a good long look at all the condiments we have and (after tossing any expired ones) assessed whether we actually would use them on a day to day basis. I organized them by putting the taller ones in the back and shorter ones in the front of the shelves on the door of the fridge, and designated one of the shelves for all the condiments that we use in Asian cooking, just to have some sense of order among the bottles.
Inspired by this post from The Kitchn, I tackled my own freezer full of sliding bags and mysterious items. I took all the open bags of vegetables, put them in freezer bags and labeled them. I found a couple of plastic tubs and used them to hold the various bags and prevent them from falling out. I took stock of the various meats we had in there, repackaged them if necessary and stored them in the bottom drawers of the freezer, which I also labeled for future reference.
If you look carefully, there are a few things in the photo below that are different than in the first 'after' photo above, and that's because the photo below was taken a couple of days after I cleaned the fridge... which means, I was able to keep this up! My plan is to try to adhere to this sort of organization as much as possible and do a deep cleaning and wipe down every 2-3 weeks. Making an effort to do this sort of storing and organizing takes only a couple of extra minutes when you cook or have leftovers, and so far, it's totally worth it!
Happy fridge cleaning!
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Take quick photos of either your "before" fridge or your amazingly clean, organized "after" result. Post and tag on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Tumblr with #atweekendproject. We'll be looking for you!
(Image credits: Christine Lu)