Prep Your Fridge For Thanksgiving

You may have missed National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day yesterday, but it’s not too late.  Aptly timed to help you clear your space before the Thanksgiving stuffing begins, don’t turn this into more of a chore than it already is.  Just keep it simple.

Start by scanning all your condiments.  Toss out empty, scary, “don’t know how old this is”, and anything you are truly not going to use again.  Take note of condiments you may be running low on and add them to your grocery list.  Keep that list nearby.  As you clean, you can keep adding things like milk, eggs, etc.  Group all your condiments in one area, if you can.  You will be more likely to use that cool bottle of Sriracha if you see it.  See if there is anything you can use up and  turn into a meal in the next few weeks.

Work top to bottom.  Start on your top shelf.  Continue to discard anything you won’t use.  Wipe down the shelf and the sides of your fridge with a multipurpose cleaner.  You can take everything out and clean the entire shelf, or just clean in sections, depending on how much time you have.   Again, take note of anything you need to use up or can turn into a meal.

Empty your crisper drawers.  Pull them out, give them a quick shaking over the sink to dump out anything loose and then wipe clean and dry.  Line drawers with clean paper towels and replace contents.  Again… what can you use up and cook this week?  Need to add anything to your grocery list?

You can work on your fridge over the course of the next few days, taking advantage of any time you notice a lot of one shelf empty.  (If it’s already on your counter, half the job is done!)  Maybe at night, while you’re cleaning up and putting away leftovers?

Good job!  You have a much cleaner fridge and are now in good shape to head into Thanksgiving with a lot more space for all that great food.  Here’s a great tip as a little reward for your efforts…   Use a sheet tray over the top of your casserole dishes to make more space.   You can now get double the amount onto one self, and the sheet tray makes it really easy to carry things back and forth, too.

Here are some tips to help you keep your fridge cleaner all the time:

  • Get in the habit of wiping condiment jars and bottles before you put them away.
  • Keep a black sharpie in a drawer close to your fridge and write the date on every item you open.
  • Wipe up any crumbs or drips as soon as you see them.
  • Don’t ever put anything away in a container that doesn’t seal well.  (No more surprise leaks or drips.)
  • Get in the habit of cleaning your fridge out of opportunity.  Anytime I notice 3 or 4 things from one shelf out on the counter, I empty the rest of the shelf and wipe it down.
  • Crisper drawers are super easy to clean as you are putting away groceries.  They are already mostly empty and it only takes a few seconds to wipe clean and re-line with paper towels.
  • Keep cotton swabs in your kitchen.  Spritzed with a little cleaner, they are great for getting into tiny spots.


Donna Ferguson

Donna Ferguson

I love to cook, garden, and write about all the things in Vancouver and the Northwest that make life so great.

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