Yes, we’ve come full circle, it’s another November 14th, time to clean out that refrigerator! Here are my thoughts from last year, and for this year let’s focus on being fresh.
Start by taking out all the condiments (ketchup, mustard, jelly etc) and check the dates on them. If it’s more than 1 year past their expiration date, you definitely need to recycle them or throw them away. If you’re not sure, here are three tips:
-jams, jellies, ketchup, margarine: 6 months
-mustard and maple syrup: 1 year
-butter and mayo: 2 months
While you’re at it, take a quick minute to wipe down each section of the refrigerator as you go along.
Once you’ve cleaned out those shelves, go to the cheese and fruit/vegetable drawers. Check those expiration dates, and make sure nothing looks bad. While cheese does have an expiration date, sometimes it goes bad before that date, so do check the cheeses, especially if they’re already opened. Fruit and vegetables don’t come with an expiration date, so look at them and even touch them to make sure they’re still good. If they’re blackening or squishy and aren’t supposed to be, get rid of them!
Then move onto the shelves. If you have lots of full shelves go through them one by one. Check for dates, appearance and even smells. Here are some guidelines on undated items.
-leftovers: 4 days maximum
-eggs: 4 weeks after date on package
-meats: uncooked-2 days, cooked-4
I hope you’ll clean out your refrigerator of items that are bad, and clean it up a little too. If you are overwhelmed just thinking about it, consider hiring an organizer to help you. And if you have any questions about organizing and cleaning your fridge, I’d love to answer them.