This is the fourth day of my 28 Days of Spending Zero Challenge. To read all the posts in order, start with Day One or visit the Overview Page.
Yesterday you cleaned, organized and assessed what you had available in your pantry. Today, you’ll repeat the same exercise, but this time you’ll focus on a system to clean and organize the refrigerator and freezer.
If your family is anything like mine you’ll discover and uncover a huge amount of usable food hiding in the corners of your refrigerator and freezer.
Sure, some of it might not be salvageable but most of it will.
During the last challenge I did before I moved into my new home, I found several bags of frozen fruit. At first, I was like, ‘what the heck am I going to do with this stuff’? But I quickly realized they were perfect for breakfast to make protein smoothies, and it just so happened that I found a big container of protein powder in my pantry the day before when I was assessing what I had on hand.
That fruit and protein powder was my go-to breakfast food for MANY of my no spend mornings during the challenge.
It was great to be able to use it all up and not waste it.
During the challenge, when I found myself getting sick of eating the same thing, I focused my attention on a couple of things:
- I was grateful I had food to eat when so many people struggle with poverty and starvation in the world.
- I was grateful I was using things I had already spent good money on.
- I was grateful I was not being wasteful and was using what I had.
By focusing my energy and attention on these three gratitude statements, I was able to refocus my energy and attention away from what I perceived as lacking and instead focused it on what I had.
We’re going to do an exercise later in the challenge that expands on this very concept, but I want you to understand how an important of a lesson this is as we move through a month of no spending.
Ok, so are you ready to tackle the refrigerator? Don’t forget to download the Refrigerator/Freezer Inventory Form.
Day 4: Clean and Organize The Refrigerator and Freezer
Take everything out of your refrigerator and freezer and assess. What is beyond salvaging?
Toss whatever is no longer edible from the fridge. Not everything in a freezer can be used past a certain point. Some meats, for example, will taste off if you try to cook and eat after six months. Keep what you can and discard the rest.
Anything you save, jot it down on the Refrigerator and Freezer Inventory Form. Now you’ll clean your fridge and freezer before replacing items.
Step By Step Directions To Clean Your Refrigerator Quickly and Easily
1. Empty all contents of the refrigerator and put in a cooler.
2. Turn up the temperature in the fridge or if you are planning on cleaning the freezer as well, shut off the refrigerator.
3. Remove all trays, shelves, and drawers.
4. Open up your dishwasher and place the trays, shelves and drawers inside. Put it on the quick cycle. You may need to do this several times to get all items cleaned.
5. While the dishwasher is cleaning the shelves for you, you’ll be focusing your attention on the inside of the fridge.
6. Wash out the inside using dish detergent and a clean cloth and a Mr. Clean Sponge. Mr. Clean sponges do a super, fantastic job at getting the stuck on crud that builds up from spills and splashes. Pay attention to all the seams, edges and other hidden areas.
7. Use a sanitizing solution to wipe down everything a second time. Don’t skip this step as you want to make sure you’ve killed all the germs that are lurking inside your refrigerator.
8. Let it air dry, no real need to wipe it a third time.
9. Replace all shelves, drawers, and baskets to their position.
10. Turn the temperature down, fill your fridge and close the door.
Again if you find you’re missing something essential for your family, you can now head to the store to purchase those very few items. Again, don’t buy anything additional; just what you absolutely need.
If it’s been a while since you cleaned your fridge, you’re probably amazed at how awesome it looks! Good for you. Enjoy it.