Today’s Project: Simplify Your Refrigerator & Freezer

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This is a series in which we resource and challenge you to simplify a different area of your home each week. So let’s get at it!

The Refrigerator

Does your refrigerator get cluttered? Do you struggle to find things? Have you lost track of what’s in it? Do you have an excess of random jars, bottles, and Tupperware that aren’t getting used?

If so, I think it’s time to minimize and simplify!

Here’s my approach:

  1. Remove everythingYou’re probably going to want to wipe your refrigerator down here. I use 409 and paper towels.
  2. Throw away anything old, expired or questionable. I have nothing against eating expired food (within reason), but the truth is I probably won’t do it because it doesn’t sound good to me, so it’s better just to get it out of the way.
  3. Consolidate duplicates. Do you have two Ranch dressings open? Combine them if possible. Two ketchups? Same.
  4.  Separate out all the little things you bought last year and haven’t used since (like that random jar of caramel sauce from some party) and the things that you bought but didn’t end up liking (an off-beat marinade perhaps). I give you permission to throw those away too.
  5. Organize your food into similar categories and put it away neatly. I have a meat/cheese drawer, a veggie drawer, a fruit drawer, a shelf for leftovers, a shelf for snacks, etc.

Hopefully now you know exactly what you have in your refrigerator, and everything it is both useful and fresh. Believe me, it’s a good feeling.

Now it’s time for the freezer side.

The Freezer

Follow the above procedure, except here, let me challenge you to get rid of the following:

  • Anything that’s over one year old. If you haven’t eaten it by now, you’re probably not going to, so it’s just taking up valuable space and getting old.
  • Anything you can’t confidently identify. I finally learned to keep a sharpie by the freezer and label everything with date and contents. I highly recommend doing that.
  • Anything that you bought and don’t like.

Again, wipe it out and organize the keepers with similar items.

The Exterior

If you want to give your kitchen a clean, _MG_8646_7_8simple, de-cluttered look, something to consider is removing those beloved photos, magnets and paper scraps from the front of your refrigerator. While this an easy way of displaying so many things, overall the affect can be overwhelming to your space and contributes more to the feeling of a cluttered home than you may realize.

We now store these same items in a drawer right beside the refrigerator. They are still very accessible.

I hope you enjoy your simplified refrigerator/freezer as much as I am enjoying mine!


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