This is the seventh in a series of articles featuring techniques for decluttering your home—one room at a time. As owner of Joyful Downsizing and a Sun Lakes resident for over 12 years, I am passionate about helping boomers and seniors declutter to simplify their lives, organize the remaining items, and downsize unwanted stuff.
This month, we will tackle the fridge and freezer.
Given these appliances are visited an average of 22 times daily by various residents of the home, they deserve some serious attention!
The secret to creating a clutter-free fridge and freezer is to stop it from being jam packed in the first place, which often results in frustration and food waste. Organizing by category should free up about 20% of the total space.
Let’s start with the fridge. The first step is to remove all contents and purge expired items, as well as those that you will not use again. Clean every area of the fridge and then add containers. Begin with clear acrylic bins in a variety of sizes and shapes. They allow for good visibility and categorizing of foods by type. Also, the entire bin can be removed to assist in meal prep and save time by reducing trips back and forth to take items out and in.
Repeat the process with the freezer by removing all food and categorizing items. Because freezers often provide wide-open spaces, you can use a wire or mesh stacking shelf to store items vertically.
Clutter clearing and organizing tips for your fridge and freezer:
* Store items in temperature zones. Eggs and dairy belong in the coldest middle section, while doors are best for items requiring less cooling.
* Leave 20% of the space empty for future shopping, food deliveries, leftovers, etc.
* Rotate the fridge foods—when bringing new items home, place the freshest in the back to use the least fresh first.
* Place a small box of baking soda in the back of the fridge to absorb odors. Change it out monthly.
* Put paper towels in salad bags to absorb moisture and extend freshness.
* Keep food in “whole dirty form” to maintain freshness, only wash when ready to use.
* For meat eaters, consider storing meat in the lowest section so it doesn’t contaminate other foods in the fridge.
* Label shelves or bins with a Sharpie on freezer tape. Designate a shelf for “eat first” items.
* Stack items vertically where possible to conserve space.
Remember, by removing confusion and clutter, you’ll require fewer visits to the appliance, which will likely reduce your electricity consumption. Bon appetit!
Future articles will feature entrances, digital/office, medication decluttering, and garages. Stay tuned.
Contact Kim to learn about her free 30-minute consultation at 480-720-8566 or [email protected]
Review her services and read what happy clients say at www.JoyfulDownsizing.com.