Holiday Prep Day 9- Clean out the Fridge

Cleaning out the fridge is probably at the very bottom of my list of things I ever really do. Even when I do my big house cleans, I don’t even consider the fridge. I like to pretend the things in there are just fine. They’re getting better with age. Yeah right.

We eat left overs at our house pretty frequently, but sometimes a dish or two might get pushed to the back of the fridge, and then it’s kind of a bacteria free for all. I hate cleaning out the fridge. But if I’m bringing home tons of food when I go shopping this week, I have to make room.

I actually had Travis help me with this one. He held a big trash bag and did the tossing of the gross things while I took care of cleaning each shelf with a cleaning solution as we moved on up.

There’s two worlds of thought when it comes to fridge cleaning {I can’t believe I just said “worlds of thought” in regards to cleaning out a fridge… Sheesh}. One says start at the top so you clean each level as you move down and don’t risk brushing bits of something off onto an already-clean shelf below. And the other school of thought says to start at the bottom so you don’t accidentally drip your cleaner {no matter how Earth-friendly} onto your eggs or some other food product on a shelf below. This is how I do things. Really, in the world of things that matter, I feel like your refrigerator cleaning plan amounts to far less than zero… Somewhere in the realm of “who gives a crap?” But that’s just me.

Not only do you want to throw out any leftovers that are growing tiny colonies, you also want to toss any condiments or staple items that have expired, and get rid of any fruit or veggies that are no longer edible.

I clean all of the shelves with surface cleaner since I’m in there anyway. This is really for those moments when my aunt will open the fridge to help put away left overs. I’d rather her not see the sticky explosion that resulted when someone put the grape jelly in the door with a loose lid.

I organize what’s left in there in a way that makes room for the items I’ll be bringing in. I also move everything to the upper shelves of the fridge to save that bottom shelf exclusively for the multiple casseroles I’ll make a day ahead of time next week. I don’t want to be shuffling things around on cooking day, so freeing up that bottom shelf ahead of time really saves me some stress and effort when I’m in the thick of the prep work.

I usually also clean out the pantry while I’m at it. I haven’t yet, but I will today! There are some dry goods in there that are expired or we’ll never eat. If they aren’t expired, they can be donated. The whole point of today’s to-do is to just free up some space for the haul you’ll be bringing in soon.

None of these prep days should be extremely stressful or overwhelming. My personal goal this year for Thanksgiving is to enjoy the holiday- even the getting ready part. I don’t want to stress myself out over polishing silver {yeah right, like we have silver to polish}, ironing napkins, scrubbing places in our home no one will ever see, or dedicating hours of my time fussing over things that don’t add to my family’s enjoyment at all.

At our house, “Day After Thanksgiving Tired” is a title we use to describe a level of exhaustion that rarely rolls around and only comes from throwing far too much of oneself into something. We coined this phrase after last Thanksgiving. We moved into our home only a week or two before Thanksgiving, so preparing for the holiday was a whirlwind unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I don’t know that I enjoyed it… I may have, but honestly, I don’t remember much of it! All I know is the day after Thanksgiving, I was so exhausted I could barely move.

I want that title gone! And I hope that none of you have to drive yourselves into the ground trying to create a magazine-perfect holiday. If you, as hostess, are relaxed and well-rested, and well-prepared in advance, then your guests will have a wonderful time and that’s better than the images captured on the cover of magazines.

Here are my goals to keep from feeling overwhelmed this year:

  • Stay on top of things.
  • Do big jobs in advance {like cleaning the fridge or washing the china}
  • Delegate delegate delegate
  • Prioritize {it WILL be okay if you can’t clean and disinfect the baseboards in your kitchen.}
  • Start early but not so far ahead that you lose your gumption by the time Turkeyday rolls around.
  • Cook and freeze ahead of time if you can. If you can’t, then chop veggies and freeze them. I already have my celery, onions, and green beans ready to go.

Good luck! Remember, we’re going to take things slow and enjoy the process this year!

Get ready for tomorrow- We go shopping!

Kat

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1 Comment

Filed under Holiday Tips

One response to “Holiday Prep Day 9- Clean out the Fridge

  1. Nanny

    Where did you learn all this cleaning stuff????

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