Earlier this month I read a post by Jenn @ Clean & Scentsible about organizing a fridge. I was inspired to take a crack at my fridge... and somewhat embarrassed by the outcome.
As you can see, we have a lot of stuff crammed into our freezer and quite a nice little bottle collection in our fridge. My husband has a love of hot sauces (in fact, my brother-in-law makes & sells his own ghost pepper hot sauces and BBQ sauces). I was having a hard time finding things in our freezer and have absolutely no room to grow if I find a great sale on meat at the grocery store so it was time to take action. I also felt that we didn't have a good system in our fridge- like items weren't really with grouped together and leftovers were finding their way to the back of the shelves and getting forgotten about.
So, Step #1- pull everything out of the fridge, group into like categories and throw out all the expired items.
That was about as far as I made it, since... well, pretty much EVERYTHING in our fridge was expired!
I'm so embarrassed! And I must apologize to anyone who has eaten a salad at our house within the last month but thankfully you've all survived the dressings. But I'm willing to put my shame out there for the whole world to see as a cautionary tale. Warning to all: I think it's time to sort through your fridge & pantry on an expiration date checking adventure!
I tried Jenn's idea of using storage bins in the fridge, but, as you can see, there wasn't much left to sort. I did put all the condiments in one bin so when we have cookouts this summer I can easily grab everything at once.
You can't really tell from the photos, but all the frozen meat is labeled and sorted by type. I can actually see all the boxed items in the freezer now and have one place to put frozen veggies (top shelf of freezer door). Birdseye and Green Giant are always on sale but if I'm not careful there won't be room for anything else in the freezer besides bagged vegetables & rice. Now I can see exactly how many I have and will know when to avoid the sales and when it's time to stock-up.
My husband's hot sauces and BBQ sauces are all together in one door shelf. I'm going to try to get him to limit himself to what will fit on that shelf. All leftovers will now go on the left side of the bottom shelf- no more getting lost in the chaos!
After the fact I added a glass bowl to the top shelf to hold fresh veggies, like peppers and cucumbers (two things I often forget I have plenty of and over buy). The two vegetable crispers are now dedicated to potatoes and onions, which I like to buy in the big bags.
I wish I could offer more tips, but you don't really need any when you have nothing to organize! I guess the lesson of the day is to do an expired item purge, at least more frequently than I have!