Whether you’re interested in losing weight, or just improving your overall health, one of your first stops should be your fridge. And we’re not just talking about the food you choose to store in it (though that’s a big part of it too). A sparkling clean, well-organized fridge makes all of the food inside it seem more appealing — including all of the healthful choices you’ll be adding. So carve out an hour to follow these 5 steps to get your fridge prepped and organized, just in time for summer.
1. Take out the trash: Any food that’s past its prime needs to go. Toss out all the expired bottles of condiments. Veggie drawer looking like a compost bin? Throw out any rotting fruits and veggies. While you’re at it, scour the labels and get rid of foods with partially hydrogenated oil on the label — and any other foods you don’t want you and your household nibbling on.
2. Put it on ice: Before you scrub out the inside of the fridge, you’ve got to temporarily remove the food that you want. To prevent food from spoiling, grab a cooler, add a few ice packs, and put all of your dairy products — and any other refrigeration-necessary foods — in while you get started on step three.
3. Sink it: Who knew a major part of cleaning out the fridge would take place in the sink? Take out fridge shelves and drawers and scrub them out with dish soap and warm water. Tip: If there are any stubborn stains, rub them gently with baking soda and a little warm water.
4. Scrub it out: Using a solution of 1 part water to 1 part white vinegar, wipe out the entire inside of your fridge. Don’t forget the ceiling and the nooks where condiments fit. Tip: If there are sticky patches, soak a paper towel in vinegar and set on top of the residue for 5-10 minutes and then wipe away.
5. Restock wisely: Once you replace the clean drawers and shelves in your fridge, you’ve got a clean slate. Envision the choices you want to be making most often when you open up the fridge door — fruits, veggies, low fat/nonfat dairy, healthy fat, lean protein, cold salads made with beans and whole grains, and any other fridge-required healthy options. Put these choices where you will see them first and stash the grab-and-go items behind. For example, sliced fruit and yogurt or raw veggie sticks and hummus might be front and center, while whole fruit or veggies you plan to roast might be in a drawer. Put the foods that you want to be reminded to eat more often at eye-level.
Is your fridge due for a good scrub? Do you use these steps when you clean your fridge? Tell us if you have any other tips to offer!