Monday, January 26, 2015

52 Weeks to A Clean House: Week 5 - Refrigerator Wars

I once had a poster that listed 101 ways to say "No" to something. One of the excuses included "I am making a movie about the thing that grew in my refrigerator."  If you have ever lived with roommates at college, you know what a viable excuse that is.

Removing everything from my fridge so I can clean.

My sophomore year of college, the kitchen of my apartment took on a horrible odor. My roomies and I were stumped. We took out trash, cleaned, and tried to locate the smell. Finally, we realized it was coming from beneath the refrigerator. Someone had spilled milk in the fridge, and it had flowed down into the area beneath the appliance, rotted, and now smelled like vomit. It was incredibly awful, and I think the roommates who cleaned up this rank mess deserve a medal.

Today as I started to clean my refrigerator, I was happy to find it was not in such a messy state, My husband routinely helps put away groceries, and while he is at it, he wipes out refrigerator produce drawers and tosses old food, so the fridge stays in pretty good shape. Still, it was time for a thorough cleaning.

Squeaky clean refrigerator!  Now if I can get those shelves back in...

Here are my observations from today's kitchen cleaning:

  • I almost needed an engineering degree to remove refrigerator drawers and shelving, and get it all put back together.
  • Baking soda is my favorite kitchen cleaner for tackling grime.
  • It is a great victory when you remove expired food from your refrigerator AND get it in the trash can before garbage pick-up that day.
  • If you don't know how long something has been in your refrigerator, chances are it has been there too long.
  • It is best to clean the fridge before a trip to the grocery store...fewer items to take out!

I just have this week left to finish my kitchen, and things are looking good. I still have to clean a few miscellaneous cabinets and drawers, and the stove and oven.  Thankfully the oven is self-cleaning. And there are two clutter piles left for me to deal with, and one tiny landfill of papers by the toaster that belongs to my spouse, but I am pretty confident the kitchen will be clean and organized by January 31!

Fridge art, yes or no?

A last thought about refrigerators:  many organizing books say a fridge should have a clean exterior, meaning no items on the outside of your fridge. I admit the look is uncluttered, and it is easy to wipe off fingerprints or marks if there is nothing on your fridge. But my family is used to our fridge calender. Our fridge is also a mini-art gallery sporting magnets of famous paintings collected on various trips, as well as scenes from national parks. Those fridge magnets are fun memories of family vacations. So, I am torn about having a pristine refrigerator exterior, and having things I love on the front of my fridge.

What is your preference? Fridge art? or clean slate?


  1. My new fridge front is stainless which is not magnetic. I have moved my favorite magnets to the sides and that works for me. I love the clean front.

    1. Good idea to move magnets to the sides. That might work for me! I could at least really limit what was on the front that way.

  2. I loved not having to hunt for space after the last grocery run. Everything fits and its so clean!