It started innocently enough. I didn’t intend to clean out every closet or start folding all of my clothes like cute little tents. But now I can’t stop.
One night I randomly selected “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” when I couldn’t decide what to watch on Netflix and it was crazy how much I identified with the young family the episode featured. Toys, clothes, laundry and general clutter were robbing them of time and energy. So for the next month I went on a Kondo rampage throughout my house. Each project was so rewarding that soon my entire home was Kondo-ed.
If you haven’t watched the show or read the book, Marie Kondo is an organizational expert with a unique approach to tidying up that includes asking the simple question “does this spark joy?” to help you decide to keep an item or not. Cute shoes that I never wear because they give me blisters? You’re out of here. Sweet ruffled yellow dress my daughter wore to the hospital to meet her new baby sister? It now has a special spot where I’ll keep it forever.
While this approach works great for closets, I wanted to extend the organization to my fridge. But I already know that cheese sparks joy for me. Lots of joy. Too much joy.
Even so, there are other aspects of the Kondo method that can make your fridge an organizational dream.
Clear it all out
When cleaning out a closet, Kondo recommends taking everything out so you can see just how much you have and then make decisions about what to put back in. The same approach works well with your fridge. It’s amazing what you can find hiding in the back once you clear the shelves. While it’s empty, give the inside of your fridge a deep cleaning.
Decide what to keep and what to trash
This is the “does it spark joy?” step. But for the fridge, let’s tweak it to “is this expired?” or “will this possibly give me food poisoning?” or “does this look more like a science experiment than food?” You get the idea.
Put all things alike together and make sure you can see it all. I now have a clear bin for meat with the added bonus that if the hamburger or steak I’m thawing leaks, the mess is contained to a single container. A lazy Susan makes it easy to peruse homemade dressings and sauces, and condiments are grouped with a section for “summer cookout fixings.” One door shelf is reserved for dips like hummus and cream cheese (like the one my husband hoards when that random meat and cheese stand pops up in the mall over the holidays), and another holds all of the nut butters and jams. A clear egg case now lets me easily see when we need to add eggs to the shopping list, and smaller boxes in the produce drawer help fruits from straying throughout the space.
I can’t tell you how much peace of mind clearing out my house, and specifically my fridge, has brought me. I waste less food because I can clearly see what I have. I don’t overbuy at the grocery store any more, and packing lunches and preparing meals is much easier.
To take the Zen up a notch, sign up for Service Guard. Clean or messy, you know your fridge will be taken care of. Now there’s a thought that sparks joy.