What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cleaning Out the Refrigerator

I routinely clean out our refrigerator on a weekly basis but not the deep purging that sometimes becomes necessary.  When our kids were young we did a fair amount of camping, quite often every weekend possible as well as extended camping trips.  We had a large RV with good size refrigerator so I got into the habit of making a few things like salads and meals like lasagna or chili to take with us.  The day before I'd turn on the refrigerator then once cooled would pack it with any specially prepared camping dishes as well as things like eggs and condiments.  So basically food we would have used at home simply went right along with us.  This saved us a great deal of time and money because it really lessened what we had to buy when we got to our destination.  I do the same thing for any extended boating trips.  Now that we have the vacation home I had to change that game plan.  The main reason is logistics.  If we fly out we are restricted what we can bring and if we drive we are also restricted due to the length of the drive.  Furthermore, there are border (US Customs) restrictions on the way down and back (CDN Customs) as to what can enter into the country so mainly the beautiful local produce I am so used to has to be left at home.

cleaned refrigerator
About 10 days before leaving for the vacation home I start paring down the refrigerator contents.  If we run out of something, we simply go without.  This provides the perfect opportunity to clean the refrigerator from top to bottom as well a cull through any sauces, cheeses or leftover bits it jars and bottles.  Anything unopened with an expiry date after we plan on returning is returned to the refrigerator after it is cleaned.

Cleaning the refrigerator in this manner helps to control any of the clutter that just seems to happen.  I have a bad habit of wanting to try a sauce or gourmet type item that only uses a small amount for the dish but the bottles end up being left in the refrigerator just in case.  Here's my method for deep cleaning the refrigerator:

  • remove everything from the refrigerator
  • cull though items checking for expiry dates
  • fill sink with hot, soapy water
  • remove crispers, cheese and meat keepers
  • wash the inside compartment from top to bottom
  • wash crispers, cheese keeper, meat keepers
  • drain sink and refill with hot water and about a half cup of baking soda
  • wipe down the inside compartment from top to bottom
  • rinse the crispers and keepers with the baking soda solution
  • dry inside compartment, crispers and keepers
  • replace crispers and keepers
  • replace the food items that are being kept
The refrigerator is now ready for another round of abuse.  I say this with tongue in cheek but like anyone our refrigerator takes a fair amount of abuse especially during the heaviest of the canning season when things tend to get pushed to the back and accidently forgotten.  Other periods of heavy use like having all the kids home or entertaining also take a huge toll on the refrigerator.  I try to do this type of refrigerator cleaning at least once a month in addition to my normal weekly refrigerator cleaning.  

Garden Gnome


dawn @ meandcraig said...

I think this post was a sign for me! I have been dreading cleaning out our refrigerator ... but it oh so desperately needs it! I will do it - today!!!