6 Easy Tricks for Spring Cleaning Your Messy Fridge (PHOTOS)

Mary Hawkins | May 3, 2012 Home & Garden

woman looking in a fridge

Ok, be honest. Are you a little bit afraid every time you open your refrigerator? I won't lie -- I'm pretty terrified at what's lurking inside mine. I'm way overdue for a good spring cleaning of my fridge -- and I'll honestly be lucky if some of its contents don't get up and walk right out my front door.

Every single time I clean my fridge out from top to bottom and wipe down the shelves and get it all sparkly shiny, I vow to never let it pile up with unused food and containers full of leftovers again. But somewhere in between work, spending time with my family, and running countless errands, it always winds up looking like something out of a horror movie.

Don't believe me? Then take a good look at this photo -- yep, that's my fridge.


And no, you're eyes aren't fooling you. There's a leftover pizza box from last weekend in there & a bottle of wine that seriously needs to be finished. (I'll get right on that later.) But don't ask me what's in the Ziploc bag sticking out of the deli drawer -- because I have no idea what's in there.

More from The Stir: 8 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Closet

Believe it or not though, when I do clean my fridge, I'm actually pretty good at it. Come to think of it, I think I'll give it a good emptying this weekend for sure.

That being said, Here are 6 tips for how to clean out and organize your refrigerator to avoid it becoming a bottomless pit.


Images ©iStock.com/killerb10; via Mary Fischer

  • Keep It Simple


    Instead of stocking up for weeks of meals when you go to the grocery store, buy what you need for 3-4 days instead. That way you use what's in your refrigerator and have plenty of room when it's time to replenish.

  • Group Items Together


    Keep similar items in groups so they're easy to find. Put condiments on the door, drinks stacked up on one shelf, dairy on another, etc.

  • When in Doubt, Throw It Out!


    If you have a habit of storing leftover food in containers or plastic bags, make sure to write the date of when the food was cooked on them before putting them in the fridge. And if you aren't sure exactly how long ago something was put in there -- throw it out immediately.

  • Don't Be Stupid -- Use the Drawers


    You know the fruit, vegetable, and deli drawers in your fridge? Yeah, those are there for a reason. Use them as a cheat sheet on how to organize your food, and keep it fresher even longer.

  • Start Over


    At least a few times a year, make sure to take each and every single item out of your fridge and wipe it down from top to bottom. Starting over and giving it a thorough cleaning will give you more incentive to keep it organized going forward.

  • Get a 2nd Fridge


    If you're like most people I know, then half your fridge space is taken up by water bottles, soda cans, juice boxes, and booze. Investing in an inexpensive second fridge to keep in your garage or basement solely for the purpose of storing drinks will free up much more room for delicious foods in your main fridge.

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