Yesterday was “attack something that needs attention in my home Wednesday”!
Not really. I can’t possibly limit myself to a certain day of the week for house attacks. I must have the flexibility to attack when inspiration strikes…or it most likely won’t get done. That’s just how I work. And I certainly couldn’t keep this up EVERY week! I’d perish for certain! :-)
However…even though today’s project was definitely ambitious…it turned out to be much easier and took less time than I even anticipated! The “cleaning” part took about 1 1/2 hours…start to finish. The “organizing” part took me awhile because my OCD self kept arranging and rearranging the whole set up. But I was super happy with the end result…so that’s ok. :-)
Phase One: The Cleaning
This was the first time I’ve ever tried this “method” of cleaning my refrigerator and it was by FAR the easiest and fastest way I’ve ever done it! I got a few inspiring ideas from Leslie at Goodbye House, Hello Home for both the cleaning and organizing part of this post.
I guess we need to start with some “before” pictures.
Next I took out every moveable part (ie. shelves and drawers, etc) and dumped them in the hall bathroom bathtub. (That bathtub is sure getting a workout lately.) I filled the tub with HOT water and some Dawn dishwashing liquid, dumped a cup of ammonia in there for good measure, and left it all there to soak.
Back at the “scene of the crime” I grabbed my “kitchen buddy”…my bottle of 1/2 ammonia, 1/2 water that I keep under the sink at all times, and started spraying. Now I know there are going to be ughs and boo’s to the use of ammonia…but it’s my choice of cleaning agent. I don’t tell you what to clean with do I? Oh wait….I guess maybe I do. hmmm. But anyway, it works GREAT! But I’m sure vinegar would work great as well! It’s a free country…YOU choose! :-)
I sprayed EVERYTHING liberally, let sit for just a few minutes, then wiped the whole inside of the fridge out with a wet cloth. It literally took just a few minutes. If you have ever tried cleaning your refrigerator by wiping down all the shelves and drawers while they were still IN it…trust me on this….that is WAY harder!
After this quick spray and wipe I went and checked on the stuff soaking in the tub and after just that short period of time, everything washed up wonderfully with just a washcloth. I didn’t have to expend one drop of elbow grease. :-)
As I took each piece out of the tub, I poured a large container of clean, hot water over it, just to get any suds off, then I took all the pieces and laid them out on several large bath towels that I had put down in the living room. Since it was a nice day I opened the windows and the front door and turned on the ceiling fan and within 15 minutes…everything was completely dry. Of course, living in a semi-arid state helped a lot too. :-) If you are in a humid area…give it a bit longer. No matter how long it takes…it sure beats drying everything by hand!
Phase 2: The Organizing
The main changes I made when returning the shelves and drawers to the fridge were lowering one of the top shelves to accommodate tall bottles. The way it was before, anything “tall” had to go inside the door or be laid flat on a shelf. I like this set up MUCH better. The rest of the stuff went back in pretty much the same as before.
Looks pretty nice huh?
Now to the “serious” part of the organizing. I have been eyeing these bins at Walmart for a long time now. I knew I could use them for SOMETHING, but couldn’t put my finger on it until I saw this post from from Leslie at Goodbye House, Hello Home. That was it! The missing piece of the refrigerator organizing puzzle that seems to have plagued me my entire life. BINS! BINS, BINS, BINS, BINS, BINS! I bought 3 large ones and 3 smaller ones for less than $15.00.
I wouldn’t presume to tell you WHAT to put in WHICH bin in YOUR refrigerator…but here are a few “guidelines” that I followed. Since we eat a good deal of cheese in this family (call it compensation for a lack of gluten in our diet)…I ended up devoting two of the bins to just that. One thing that has always puzzled me about cheese is how to store the blocks that get opened. I hate using so many ziploc bags, but didn’t really know what the alternative was. Well, according to the good people at Food52.com the “proper” way to store blocks of cheese is wrapped up in some sort of paper…like parchment. Since I was out of parchment paper (which was kind of odd) I improvised with brown paper lunch sacks, which I have a huge inventory of. A quick wrap (no securing with tape, etc needed) and a stroke of the Sharpie, and the cheese dilemma was solved.