No rest for the wicked – it may be the weekend but we’re continuing with our daily ten minute challenges. And today, we’re tackling THE FRIDGE!
For many of us that are lucky enough to have help at home, cleaning the fridge doesn’t have to be an overwhelming affair. That being said, I can’t think of many fridges that contain just the necessities – most seem to be constantly “full” while still requiring frequent trips to the shops. The main culprits seem to be condiments, leftovers that remain uneaten, and buying too many perishable goods that end up going to waste.
In the past few months of living A Simpler Life, our fridge has gone from being crammed and having things on top of each other, to relatively empty but filled with items that get used and eaten. We have dramatically cut down on the amount of condiments we keep, now do a weekly shop (instead of a when-we-need-it shop) and try to use up all perishable items in salads, stir fries or soups before our next shop. Plus, the fact that we can SEE everything means that it is getting used and eaten – I am far happier having less food go to waste.
So let’s get to it. If you’re keen to stick to the ten minute time limit – your job is to quickly sort through all the items in the fridge – subtracting those that are not being used and sorting the remainder (by storing like with like). If you’re happy to spend a few extra minutes, I would suggest emptying the fridge completely before getting stuck in!
A few helpful hints:
- The fridge door – while many of us use this to store milk, it’s actually best suited to items that won’t go off in a hurry (usually non-perishable items containing preservatives). For that reason, this is the ideal spot to store condiments and cold-drinks. Milk is best stored towards the back of the fridge where it is cooler.
- There is a school of thought that suggests you limit the amount of condiments and jars you have to those that FIT in the fridge door. If you have too many, keep subtracting until they fit!
- Invest in fridge storage bins to help keep similar items together. I love these ones from Mr Price Home – I have one filled with red apples, another storing yoghurts, and a third with all the items I use to make the girls’ lunch boxes.
- Fruit is eaten a lot faster if it has been taken out of the bag and is stored at eye level.
- Storing all lunchbox items together saves so much time – I simply pull out the container and take the whole thing with me to the counter. I have a similar one in the pantry with the rest of their lunch box snacks.
Some inspiration pics to get you in the fridge organising mood:
I love how this blogger has used perspex storage containers in her fridge. And while my fridge will never look that good (mine is a lot emptier) I like how you can see everything at a glance. Another helpful tip is to invest in Tupperware-like containers that are the same size so they can be easily stacked, plus my OCD likes to have the same colour lids. (I know, I know, I need a life!)
Using a Lazy Susan is such a great idea if you prefer to use your fridge door for other things. That way, you can spin it around and grab what you need!
Another drool-worthy fridge that demonstrates the use of storage containers. I have fully converted to using see-through egg storage (try this one from Mr Price Home) so that we never run out of eggs because I can see at a glance when we need more. My youngest daughter and I have a poached egg every morning, so running out would be a disaster!
Another example of a great use of space. I love the way she keeps her fruit and veggies at eye-level for healthy snack options. In my dreams, I would cut everything up and put them in tupperware containers… but it’s just not going to happen, people!
I LOVE these fridge coasters – such a pop of colour and so much easier to clean. I haven’t yet find a local supplier – but I’ll keep looking!
- If your fridge is full to overflowing, chances are that items are going to waste.
- Store food where it makes sense – easy to reach snack items at the children’s eye level, and condiments in the fridge where they can be seen and used.
- Invest in a few perspex storage containers for the fridge – they end up saving space and make keeping items together a breeze.
- Dedicate one meal a week (ours is on a Sunday evening) to using up leftover veggies in a stir fry, roasted veggie bake or soup.
- Immediately after eating, pack any leftovers in a container to take to work for lunch the next day. Or use them in the children’s lunchbox. Or place in a tinfoil parcel ready to hand out to someone on the way to work.