You might have originally wondered what this post title really meant – how can a clean and organized refrigerator equal a healthier me? Just think about it in terms of your closet. When it’s clean and organized, you’re able to make quick and good decisions because you can see everything, you can easily put something back in its designated place, and you feel happy.
Well that same logic applies to your fridge. Almost 40% of the food we buy gets wasted. When your fridge is full of food, and some is past its prime, you’re going to have a hard time making those quick and good decisions, you’ll be more likely to just place it back in haphazardly because nothing has a specific spot, you’re less likely to throw out old foods, and you’ll walk away feeling stressed. No bueno!
It’s a new year and we’re all trying to implement healthier habits into our lives, so let’s do a quick fridge makeover since it’s something you most likely use every single day! I promise it’s much easier and less painful than you’d think.
Here’s what to do:
-put some good music on, an interesting podcast, enlist the help of a loved one (or an enemy!) or call someone! This is a crucial step in my opinion.
-remove everything from the fridge or the freezer (not both at the same time; you’ll repeat all steps on the other one when you finish!). Yes everything, nothing is off limits here because we’re going to give you a clean slate when we’re done! While you’re removing all foods, toss out anything that’s expired, anything that you haven’t used recently, or anything that will lead you to make a poor food choice.Those holiday treats are not only quite old by now but I’m going to guess they are in no way nutritious! Also while you’re at it and if you can, try to recycle those containers too!
-wash all surfaces from top to bottom. I admit this part isn’t so fun but just think about how nice it’ll feel to know your fridge is clean…not a science experiment petri dish. Place a fully opened box of baking soda or refrigerator air filter in the corner to absorb odor and keep things smelling fresh!
-designate a place for all foods and start organizing. Keep your eggs inside the fridge where it’s colder, not the shelf on the door. Fruits emit a gas that can spoil your veggies, so keep them each in a separate drawer. Keep your tomatoes outside the fridge. Rearrange your foods so that the ones you see first when you open the door are the healthiest, that way you’ll be likely to grab them when you’re in a rush and you won’t need a map to navigate your fridge.
-upgrade your food storage containers. Isn’t it tough to see what you’ve really got with all those plastic veggie bags clouding your view? Consider investing in some clear glass containers like these from the Container Store that are not only BPA free but allow you to see what’s inside.
-upgrade your food storage habits too! When you get home from the store, remove some fruits and veggies from the plastic bags (gather them for recycling, to protect your to-go soups or dressings for work, or take them back to the grocery store for recycling) then rinse, dry, chop them up for easy use, and place them in your fancy new containers. Next time you’re craving a snack you’ll have those fresh red pepper slices all clean and ready to go!
-don’t let things pile up and continuously toss out old stuff! Keep up with the awesome progress you’ve made.
It takes a little bit of time to makeover your fridge but once you do it, it’s so worth it! Not only will it keep ickiness and sickness at bay, but a clean and organized fridge helps you make wise, nutritious decisions when you’re busy and hungry. The cherry on top is that maintaining your fridge will help you know what you have on hand and buy less, thus reducing your carbon footprint, making you a more responsible contributor to the environment, and saves money.
Tidying this part of your life might even inspire you to tidy another area such as your car, your bathroom cabinet, your nightstand or even your closet (eek!). Why not take control and improve parts of your environment that will result in a more positive daily experience?
Take care of yourself because you’re worth it!
Ok, I’m off to clean the fridge now!
Laissez les bons temps roulez et bonne sante,
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