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Challenge #7- Refrigerator

Today’s challenge is easy, and will surely give you a sense of accomplishment. Time to clean out the fridge!

Today’s challenge is easy, and will surely give you a sense of accomplishment. Time to clean out the fridge!

Let’s recall the process we are using throughout the month:

THE PROCESS

  • Gather your supplies:
    • Boxes or bags labeled with:
      • “Donate”
      • “Elsewhere”
      • “Store”
    • Trash can/recycle bin
    • Damp rag/wet wipe
  • Empty challenge area for the day. And by empty, I mean EMPTY.
  • Once the area is empty, wipe it clean with a damp rag.
  • Now sort the items into these categories: (The Seana Method’s R.E.D.D.S. system)
    • R- “Restore”: items to go back in
    • E- “Elsewhere: items to keep, but which don’t belong in this space
    • D- “Donate”
    • D- “Dispose”: trash or recycle
    • S- “Store”: items to keep for sentimental reasons, or perhaps for a long-term future use, but which are not regularly used. (These items will eventually need to go into a bin/box in an attic, basement, or closet.)
  • As you are sorting, put items into the boxes/bags you prepared.
  • Once you are finished sorting, put the “Restore” items back into your designated area.
  • Carry the “Elsewhere” box/bag around your house and redistribute its contents.
  • Move the “Donate” box/bag to the car to be donated.
  • Trash/recycle the “Dispose” items
  • Put the "Store" box aside for now. When the month is over, these items will be packaged for long-term storage.

 

THE TASK

The refrigerator is a busy place in our lives. Items are added and subtracted from it on a daily basis, and multiple people access it around the clock. Therefore, keeping a busy fridge organized can be difficult. The best course of action is to simply be diligent in keeping it free of “build up”: expired food, moldy food, remnant food that no one in your home will eat.

Begin today by emptying your fridge one shelf at a time, beginning with the top shelf. When the shelf is emptied, wipe it clean. Then sort through the items, pitching whatever you don’t want. Remember that most containers can now be recycled, so consider emptying/rinsing them and putting them in your recycle bin. Continue moving down your shelves to the drawers, and then finish with the spaces on the door. Work quickly, and you won’t need to reload as you go. (If you have time, you can move on to your freezer, or hold this for a weekend project!)

You should now have a counter full of the food you want to keep. This is when you have some options. You can simply return it all and be finished. Many people establish general “zones” in their fridges for like items, such as bottles on the door, milk on the right, butter/cream cheese up top, etc. If you want to go one step further, you can consider purchasing some organizing containers such as Fridge Binz, which help keep items organized. Old ice cube bins, if you have some, are also a great tool. If you decide to use containers, be sure to label them so the other family members are able to “get with the system”.

This task isn’t complicated, so don’t overthink it. The key is to simply get it done, and minimize the clutter. Remember to post your questions & comments, and check back tomorrow for a project involving paper!

 

Submitted by Seana Turner, founder and President of The Seana Method

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Leslie Yager January 10, 2013 at 10:16 PM
I love how you've broken down overwhelming problem into bite size tasks! I can do this!
VRMorgan January 30, 2013 at 08:59 PM
Our organizing buddies tackled the fridgerator...some do it weekly when buying groceries or on their garbage day, others of use had some old stuff.. now for the freezer..a bigger challenge for all as it is hard and has really old stuff...? advice
Seana Turner January 30, 2013 at 09:10 PM
Tips for organizing the freezer: 1. Have a trash can right near your workspace for quick disposal, and a bucket of HOT water & a rag so you can wipe down shelves as you go. Refill the hot water as needed so it stays hot. If you have lots of crumbs in the bottom, a mini vacuum can work well before you wipe it down. 2. Clear out one section/shelf at a time to minimize time spent out the freezer. 3. If you don't know what it is, pitch it. 4. Look for items past their expiration date and pitch those. 5. If you don't know how long ago you put something in (e.g. leftovers), pitch them. When reloading: 1. Create zones (e.g. veggies on the door, meats on the bottom shelf) 2. LABEL every item you package yourself with what it is (e.g. chicken breasts), quantity (e.g. 1 lb.), and date you put it in (e.g. 1/2013). 3. Sub-divide cavernous spaces with boxes or shelves. (shoe boxes work well as mini drawers, but remember to label). 4. Keep quick-thawing items (e.g. ice cream) away from the front/off the door. Good luck!

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