IT'S CLEAN!!! I Did the Fridge Challenge! -# - 21 Days to Get Organized

Ok, first of all, I want to remind everyone that I keep it very very real on this blog even when it's unpleasant.

And it doesn't get much more unpleasant than this.  It may even make some people scream and run and never return to my blog.  That's cool. I understand. Looking back at the before pics... I wonder how we ever lived like that.  My family has been through some really hard and dark times the past few years and it can alter your thinking. It's taking some time to "flywash" (as FlyLady would put it) ourselves of the "stinking thinking" that comes with that sort of life.  So I consider this a huge step forward for me, almost like therapy.

Totally not making this photo bigger.
The most embarrassing part is the brown goo on the bottom left. I have no idea how many cans of cola spilled or whatever else may have contributed to it, but it covered the bottom of the fridge. I needed a hazmat suit to tackle it. The fridge is pretty ancient, and has had most things that can break just fall off.  All the door holder thingies are gone (in freezer too), so we put up bungees which work ok. The drawer on the left disappeared. Honestly, I have no idea where it went.  I think someone once decided whatever was in it was so gross the whole thing had to go (it wasn't me - guessing Hubby). So, the dishpan took it's place. It's just gone downhill from the beginning.

When was the last time I cleaned it? Honestly, probably when Zoe was a baby. I kept the house spotless then, like OCD spotless. I'd joined Flylady while pregnant with her and jumped in feet first and became a mad woman about cleanliness... then PPD set in and things got bad. About the time I was getting better, getting healthy and losing weight and taking care of myself and my home again, Mom died, then 2 months later my husband lost his job. The following year he had a heart attack.When you're wallowing in Depression, cleaning your fridge is not on your list of priorities.
Anyway, that was then and this is now. Life is better and now so is the fridge!

Baskets!  Lots of them.  Christopher is not convinced he likes them yet.
Top shelf is just for milk and tea and Koolaid pitchers most of the time.  This is where everyone's lunchbags go when I finish packing them. I put them in there in order of who grabs them out first, so the older kids' bags go in front then Zoe's and Christopher's behind them since they leave later. They all fit perfectly now.
The blue ones are two deep and fit perfectly on the shelf. I put the one we use more often in the front. (the glass looks dirty in this pic but it's just scratches actually.)
These two are in the front. The yogurt one is actually already saving room because I can stack stuff on top of each other in it and still just take up the same space without things falling over when you reach for something.
The empty green container is another of my collection of jadeite Tupperware (I love the color and they were so useful, and it reminds me of Mom). It's a "celery keeper" and fits perfectly on the shelf between the blue baskets. Now I need to buy celery! (It does have a lid which I'll put on it if I ever get any celery in it hehe.) Below that is the smaller shelf which is just the right size for eggs and the tub for sandwich stuff. I love this idea.  I found it on another blog somewhere (I think it was one about Food Storage and kitchen organization).  It makes it SO easy to fix my kids' and Hubby's lunches now.  I just pull out the tub and take it to where I'm making the sandwiches.  No lugging an armload of lunchmeat, condiments, etc. It currently holds a pack each of ham and turkey as well as mayo, mustard, hummus and flour tortillas for wraps. I usually also have a ziplock bag of lettuce already torn into sandwich size pieces to make it even easier at sandwich making time, but I forgot to get lettuce this week.
Instead I've been using fresh spinach leaves which are in the "lettuce keeper" jadeite Tupperware. That is seriously my favorite item in the series of keepers. I am currently keeping it in my "Salad Stuff" tub at the bottom of the fridge.

Just below the small shelf with the Sandwich Stuff, I have a basket with kids snacks. I'll often make a couple extra wraps or cut up apple wedges and put in baggies or small containers.  If it's in there, they don't have to ask me if it's ok to eat it.  They're pretty good about not getting more than they need and sharing with their sisters - usually.

Next to that is yet another jadeite Tupperware! Love it! haha!  It's holding meat to be thawed for meals for the next few days. I usually just keep it frozen and thaw it in the microwave, but I'm going to try this method.

And beside that is an empty space for leftovers since the containers those go in will be all sorts of sizes. This should also prompt people to package food into containers to store in here instead of just jamming the pot or pan with food leftover from the stove into the fridge.  The one remaining drawer is for veggies I have set aside for recipes.  This keeps folks from snatching them for a salad or snack. It's empty right now as I used the cabbage and mushrooms that were in it for Cashew Chicken tonight. mmm. In fact the leftovers are in the jadeite Tupperware leftovers keeper haha!

 And this is where the nasty brown goo was seeping down rom in the before pic... I got in there on my hands and knees and scrubbed every inch of the fridge. It took two kettles of boiling water to dislodge some of it. I may have ruined some towels cleaning up the toxic waste.  I am actually still in the process of cleanup from this project. I WILL NEVER LET IT GET THAT NASTY AGAIN!

And the door. Bungee cords still there, but straightened up and a few baskets and containers used here too. The long narrow one is perfect for children's liquid meds we like to keep cold. I tossed 4 empty bottles of ranch dressing!

The little green basket holds sauce packets from take out places. Mostly soy sauce, plum sauce and hot mustard from the Chinese place, but also a few malt vinegar and ketchup from Long Johns. I've actually used the soy sauce packets in an emergency when I ran out before. This looks so much better than a shopping bag just jammed in there.
My butter dish that matches a bowl my Mom gave me. I found this in an antique store years ago and I use it all the time.

Well, that's it! Yes I feel SO much better now.  Actually like a weight has been lifted off of me. I used to cringe when people came over and wanted to put something in my fridge. Finally it's clean and organized, and we deserve it!

The A Bowl Full of Lemons Challenge is still going on, check it out

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