Tips To Spring Clean Your Fridge

Spring is in the air and everyone I know is trying to get organized.

 I have been cleaning out closets, drawers the garage and now it’s time for my refrigerator.  I try to clean my fridge every month, but I have to admit I have been procrastinating for a while.  The light broke about 3 years ago, and I haven’t had time to fix it.  My husband finally got the part and fixed it about 2 weeks ago and I was seriously so happy.  Having the light fixed was a miracle, but then I saw how disgusting it was.  I was totally grossed out, and I actually can’t believe I am showing you the before pictures.

Don’t judge.

BEFORE

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YIKES!

Ashley Spring Clean Your Fridge (3)

Ashley Spring Clean Your Fridge (7)

Ashley Spring Clean Your Fridge (15)

First things first.

 I had my girls help me take everything out of the fridge.  We dumped expired salad dressings, old sandwiches, bad fruits and veggies and a lot more.  The kids actually thought it was fun to help clean it out.  We turned it into a game and whoever got the most items out first won a popsicle.

Ashley Spring Clean Your Fridge (11)

Ashley Spring Clean Your Fridge (12)

Next we had to give the fridge a good scrub.  We got sanitation wipes and a mixture of 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1 quart of warm water.  Baking soda is the best sanitizer and it removes unwanted odors.  You don’t even need to rinse off the baking soda and water.  This will make your refrigerator sparkling clean.  Keep an open box of baking soda in you fridge to keep it smelling fresh.

The recommended temperature is 40 degrees.  You should always buy a separate refrigerator thermometer to get an accurate temperature reading.

AFTER

Ashley Spring Clean Your Fridge (18)

Ashley Spring Clean Your Fridge (21)

I have had my eye on these pyrex storage dishes at Costco for a while.  You can store and cook food in them and they were under $40.00 for this box set.  I love them.

Ashley Spring Clean Your Fridge (9)

  I need to have food in my fridge that is quick and easy because I am always on the go, and I don’t want to snack on junk food all day.  So here are a few must haves that you will find in my refrigerator.

1. Greek yogurt

  My girls love yogurt for a snack and so do I.  Dannon light and fit Greek yogurt has only 80 calories and it is delicious.  Greek yogurt can have twice as much protein as regular yogurt.  This makes you feel fuller longer.  It is easy to digest and low in carbohydrates.

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2. Fruits and vegetables

 We love to munch on carrots, apples, celery, oranges and avocados.  I try to leave healthy snacks out on the counter top so if anyone gets hungry they can reach for an apple instead of a fruit snack.  Fruit and vegetables are rich in essential vitamins that help keep the body healthy, they are high in fiber, can help contribute to weight loss and help maintain your energy level.  Add some hummus and it is the perfect combo.

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Ashley Spring Clean Your Fridge (32)

3. Boiled Eggs

 We eat a lot of boiled eggs in our home.  They are perfect for a snack or breakfast.  Eggs are filled with protein.  Protein helps give your body energy and makes you feel full longer.  They also are a great source of vitamin D which helps grow healthy hair and nails.  We eat both organic and commercially produced eggs.  Pasture-raised organic hens produce eggs that have 2/3 more vitamin A, three times more vitamin E and seven times more beta carotene.  Read more here.

What do you prefer?

Ashley Spring Clean Your Fridge (38)

4. Green Juice

 This is my favorite green drink.  Even my kids love it.  I drink it for breakfast and lunch and then I will have a healthy dinner.  Some benefits to juicing are you get all the fruits and vegetables you  need in one serving,  juicing keeps you regular (natural diaretic), it is a quick meal when you are on the go, and it helps your complexion and gives you a natural glow.

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Green Juice

2 green apples

2 peeled cucumbers

1 stalk of celery

3 handfuls of kale

2 handfuls of spinach

a bunch of parsley

5.  Salads

 You can buy 2 salads for under $5 at Costco.  There is a choice of either a honey dijon or a sante fe salad that are each under 300 calories and so tasty.  Or, just make your own–I love to add Kale, greek olives, cucumbers, feta cheese and some light balsamic vinaigrette.

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Ashley Spring Clean Your Fridge (40)

6.  Organic or Regular milk

  Organic vs. Regular milk.  I actually buy both.  Organic is more expensive and one of the most popular organic products.  Organic milk is produced in all natural conditions.  Regular milk is obtained from cows that are fed on grass sprayed with fertilizers and chemicals. Read more here.  Milk does do a body good.  It is great for bone health, smooth skin, strong immune system , dental decay, and obesity to name a few.

7. Water and Coconut Water

  I drink about 8 glasses a day.  I really want to purchase a Brita water filter.  They are at Target for under $40.00.  Sometimes I get super hungry right after I eat breakfast and lunch.  If you are not drinking enough water you will get dehydrated and it will trigger a false hunger.  Coconut water not only removes toxins from the body but they have anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial properties that help to cure the disease.  Read more here.

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Food Safety

-Raw ground meats, poultry and seafood,can be refrigerated for 1-2 days

-Raw roast, steak and pork can be refrigerated for 3-5 days

-Cooked meat, poultry and seafood can be stored for 3-4 days

-Milk can stay fresh for up to 5 days after the expiration date on the carton

-Raw eggs maintain their freshness for about 2-4 weeks

-Opened fresh deli meats last for 5-6 days

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What do you think about organic vs. nonorganic?

When was the last time you cleaned out your refrigerator and filled it with healthier choices?

What are your favorite healthy snacks and meals?

I hope you enjoy spring cleaning out your refrigerator.

Ash Sig

Ashley was born and raised in Boise, Idaho and now lives in Henderson, Nevada.  She studied in Germany and created a hand knit hat business in 1998–Mutze by Ashley (meaning hat in German).  She is obsessed with her Husband, three daughters, fashion, coconut desserts, and garden gnomes.

Read all of Ashley’s posts

35 Comments
COMMENTS
  1. April 12th, 2013 at 6:53 am
    Britney Mills says:
    I love all the little containers! I just cleaned my fridge out a couple weeks ago and was so glad I did. It's crazy how gross things can get!
  2. April 12th, 2013 at 7:52 am
    Shasta says:
    I love this idea!! I also thank you for posting your green juice recipe. I've just started juicing and am needing all of the recipes I can get my hands on. Your fridge looks a lot like mine and I KNOW mine is going to be nasty when I pull everything out. Great blog! Thanks!
  3. April 12th, 2013 at 8:39 am
    Tisa says:
    Ashley, thank you for this post. I just had a new frig delivered yesterday and I LOVE IT...BUT...I need to organized it...the metal basket that has your friut in it, can you share where that was purchased?
    • April 14th, 2013 at 5:05 pm
      ashley G says:
      I got the metal basket 2 years ago at Target but I did some research and I found some similar metal baskets at The Container Store. Good luck.
  4. April 12th, 2013 at 9:42 am
    Missy says:
    I have to clean out my fridge before my Costco trips or there is never enough room to put anything when I get home! When it is empty right before the trip is usually when I wipe it all out and it always makes me so happy to open the fridge after...all sparkling clean...for a few days anyway. :) - I haven't used baking soda though - I will try that next time.
    Do you drink the coconut water straight? I don't like the taste - I need to find a way to hide the flavor so I will drink more of it.
    great tips! thanks!
    • April 14th, 2013 at 5:09 pm
      ashley G says:
      Yes Missy I drink straight coconut water. But I am addicted to all things coconut. They have flavored coconut water with mango and pineapple. You might like that better. Great idea on cleaning out my fridge before Costco.
  5. April 12th, 2013 at 10:11 am
    Kat Chavez says:
    Spent some time cleaning out some cabinets last night, maybe I should tackle the fridge this weekend. It looks very much like your before picture :) Are all those eggs hard boiled? I just discovered that my kids love them after Easter. Will have to add those to our repertoire of on hand snacks.
    • April 14th, 2013 at 12:41 am
      Ashley says:
      We love hard boiled eggs in my family. No they weren't all hard boiled but I boil about 6 every other day. Such a heathy snack or breakfast.
      • April 16th, 2013 at 11:34 pm
        Shelly says:
        do you any good tricks for hard boiling your eggs. I hate peeling em so i don't tend to keep em on hand
  6. April 12th, 2013 at 11:35 am
    Mikey says:
    Love the idea to use baking soda as a cleaning agent. Last time I cleaned my refrigerator I ruined my favorite tee with bleach stains. Great post. Thanks
  7. April 12th, 2013 at 11:40 am
    Angela says:
    Your post made me hungry! Looks great, very informative and so glad to see a light bulb in that thing!

    Here's another suggestion: I write inside my fridge with a dry-erase marker the leftovers in the fridge to give my family a heads-up on what we need to eat quickly. This also cuts down on mystery-fridge-smells!
    • April 14th, 2013 at 5:13 pm
      ashley G says:
      Thanks for the great idea. Having a light bulb again is amazing.
  8. April 12th, 2013 at 11:49 am
    Brooke says:
    What is it about spring that makes us want to clean?! I tend to wipe around things in my fridge... It could definitely benefit from being emptied and thoroughly cleaned out. Thanks for the motivation to get me going!
  9. April 12th, 2013 at 12:09 pm
    Rachel says:
    I am an organizing freak, and a healthy eater, so I am loving this post! Thanks for the great tips!
  10. April 12th, 2013 at 12:25 pm
    Marleah Ramos says:
    Great post! You've officially inspired me to spring clean my fridge this weekend.
  11. April 12th, 2013 at 12:27 pm
    Audra says:
    PLEASE come do this to my fridge!!!! Amazing, amazing!!!! :)
  12. April 12th, 2013 at 12:27 pm
    Shannan says:
    You just motivated me! I know what I am doing while the hubby is gone this weekend, clean the fridge and fill with healthy options. Thanks for the info on the coconut water I knew it was all the rage but hadn't cared enough to find out why.
  13. April 12th, 2013 at 5:14 pm
    Rachel says:
    I love that you put the fruits and veggies within reach for a healthy snack! I want to organize my fridge this way too. I never really knew exactly how long raw meats could stay in the fridge or cooked meats, I was always guessing so thanks for posting the accurate time frames!
  14. April 12th, 2013 at 5:17 pm
    Rachel says:
    Awesome tidbits. Our fridge needs a good cleaning out.
  15. April 12th, 2013 at 7:22 pm
    Libby says:
    Great article! I love the food safety tips and had no idea I should invest in a separate thermometer to get more accurate temps. You have such healthy food in your fridge. You're a great example of good eating and getting kids to understand and love healthy snack options. Thanks!
  16. April 12th, 2013 at 10:03 pm
    Deanna says:
    That was one dirty frig--I say that because I too hate to clean out my frig, but when I do, I am much happier. Your frig is filled with so many yummy snacks and meals now that I want to come live with you. I appreciated all the good info on temp thermometers, cleaning with baking soda for a fresh smell and shine, and info on how long to keep meats in the frig. Thanks for great information an a delicious looking refrigerator!
  17. April 13th, 2013 at 8:16 am
    Whitney says:
    I love it! I think looking in your fridge and seeing the healthy food options displayed so pretty is a great way to want to eat healthy! Ill be cleaning mine out today. Thanks for the inspiration. I want to know what is in the glass container next to the Greek yogurt. That looks delish! I'd love to see a post on some of your favorite healthy recipes!
  18. April 13th, 2013 at 9:22 am
    Joanne says:
    I like to go through my frig and throw away any week old food the day before garbage pick up.
  19. April 13th, 2013 at 9:57 am
    Nicolette says:
    Ashley, where did you get your wire baskets to hold your fruit? I've been looking all over for something like that. It's nice to have fruit more accessible.
    • April 14th, 2013 at 12:35 am
      Ashley says:
      I got mine at target a couple of years ago. But check out the container store they had some nice wire baskets. http://m.containerstore.com/mt/www.containerstore.com/shop?productId=10029530&N=&Ntt=Wire+baskets
  20. April 13th, 2013 at 11:47 pm
    Jen says:
    What a great post! I just recently started eating healthy but haven't yet cleaned out my refrigerator. Top on my to-list now! And thanks for sharing your 'green juice' recipe. Will definitely be giving it a try! (:
  21. April 16th, 2013 at 8:30 pm
    Stephanie says:
    I would be a very happy house guest in your home with all your healthy food and snack options! I know I'm one of many people who have already said this, but thanks for posting the green juice recipe!
  22. April 16th, 2013 at 8:50 pm
    JB says:
    Thanks for being brave enough to show the before and after. Doesn't it feel good when it is all cleaned out? It looks so nice. Like the containers, will have to look for some next time I am in Costco.
  23. April 16th, 2013 at 8:54 pm
    Cherie says:
    I'll be cleaning out my fridge too. Thanks for the prompt to get in gear. Where do you find coconut water by the case at a decent price? I love the coconut milk I get at WM but it's an expensive habit. Hope that the coconut water is a cheaper way to be healthy. Is that couscous salad or quinoa beside the yogurt?
  24. April 16th, 2013 at 10:46 pm
    Wendy says:
    We recently moved and the house we rent didn't come with a fridge. We bought a used one for cheap & I cleaned it really well with a sprinkling of baking soda & a spray bottle of white vinegar then rinsed with warm water.

    I've been trying to buy as many things organic as I can to avoid GMOs - my favorite is the American cheese slices from Organic Valley, they taste so much better than the processed cheese slices. I also like to buy local for fruits & vegetables when I can to support our local farmers. I'm looking into buying local grass fed beef.
  25. April 17th, 2013 at 10:06 am
    trece says:
    What a great post, thank u for the tips. Being wife and mother of four this post will make my days a little easier. its also great to see a blog with real life situations because at some point and time all of our fridges have needed some cleaning and to see u show it to the world reminds me that there are real life blogs out there and not every home is picture perfect. alot of times i look at all of these home blogs and everything is so so perfect. Once again thank u for being real.
  26. April 17th, 2013 at 12:50 pm
    Carlee says:
    Great Spring Cleaning post. Sometimes, I just know the leftovers I put in a plastic container, stash in an already too full fridge are never going to be eaten; really just one step closer to a moldy science project and eventually in a week, the receptacle...
    Thank you for showing how to have a clean AND organized fridge so my guilty conscience can rest!
  27. April 17th, 2013 at 7:55 pm
    Kim says:
    Just a quick easy tip that helps my frige stay clean... I use plastic placemats on my glass shelves. Makes cleaning a lot easier. Thanks for this and all your posts!
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