I was sitting in the car waiting for my husband who had just run back into the house to get his coffee. “What do you mean?” I asked. “I just like that it’s never too full, and we can always see where everything is. It’s really nice,” he said.
I was shocked. Moved. ELATED. About the fridge. About his noticing the fridge. “Thank you.” I said. I think that’s all I said out loud. But inside I heard angels singing the hallelujia chorus. Organizing, tidying, and cleaning up the fridge is just a thing I do, mostly for my own peace of mind. I do it because I don’t like spoiled food. Because I want people to see the leftovers and eat them. Because I’ve been in many a client kitchen with a refrigerator so full there could be food from the Bush era in and they wouldn’t know it.
As the manager of a family of four, a house, a yard, two businesses and a labradoodle, I create order for my own sanity. To keep the trains running on time and meet my life goal of keeping them all alive and thriving. In the process I hope I’m modeling behavior that my kids will model back as they grow up (still waiting…) But one rarely gets feedback. You assume others don’t need this kind of order. It’s just type-A you. But on this day, he noticed. He cared. He commented. This was a win.
Celebrate your wins. Let them fuel you for the 999,999 other times they don’t notice. What you do matters.
This is an organizer’s blog, so of course, I have to explain what I do in my fridge:
*I purge. Sometimes daily, certainly weekly.
*I wipe – whenever it looks yucky. Sometimes that’s one shelf, sometimes it’s a deep dive pulling everything out. But it’s often.
*A place for everything and everything in its place - Drinks on the drink shelf, condiments in the door, Cheese in one drawer, cold cuts and bacon in the other.
I try not to mix these things up. I hate buying cheese only to find there’s another one molding in another part of the fridge. I move things back to those places all the time in the hopes that my family will do the same.
I put things that I want eaten at eye level. This includes leftovers and items with a short shelf life like fruit and things I’d like to encourage my kids to eat – yogurt, baby carrots, fresh fruit.
I try to shop with intention. I try to know what I need when I go. When I actually manage to plan my meals and shop to the plan, I put all the meal ingredients on the bottom shelf. I don’t pull this off every week, but when I do, it makes my daily schedule much simpler and manageable.
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