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We’re on a Freedom Journey (Refrigerator) that will declutter and organize your kitchen in 21 days, using about 10 minutes per day. Three weeks will come and go. If you are able to join us on this Freedom Journey, after 21 days, you will be celebrating in your newly organized kitchen. You can do this.
Today’s and tomorrow’s Freedom Journeys may take more than 10 minutes. You can do 10 minutes a day until you are finished. You can do 10 minutes for each category of items. Or, you can set aside an hour each of these two days to focus and finish each in one day. You are free to choose what works best for you.
Remember, first we declutter. Then we organize.
- To preserve the quality of your food, gather from the refrigerator one category of items at a time. (See #2 below.)
- To Sort “like items with like items,” pull out only one category of items at a time. First, follow the instructions in this declutter section. Second, put that category of items back into the refrigerator (don’t worry about placement yet – that’s organizing; don’t worry about cleaning the inside of the refrigerator yet – that’s cleaning). Third, begin again with the next category of items. Categories include leftovers, dairy, fruits, vegetables, meats, condiments, drinks, other.
- Purge through your piles. There will be only two (non-keep) piles today: Trash and Recycle. Place your Trash receptacle near you. The Recycle pile may actually be your sink, since after you empty the container into the trash, you will have to rinse it. (Plastic recycled items should have the little triangle with an appropriate number inside. Appropriate = your community recycling program accepts those numbers.) Trash/Recycle items accordingly. Check expiration dates. If there is no expiration date, OPEN IT, SMELL IT, FEEL IT, AND MAKE AN APPROPRIATE DECISION. Sorry to yell at you, but this is really important. If you are unwilling to do any of these four things, it is Trash. Remove any items you no longer use, love or want. (Tip: if you own a microwave, there is no need to let fresh meat deteriorate in the refrigerator. When you bring the meat home from the grocery store, place it immediately in the freezer. When you want to use it, you can thaw it immediately before cooking in the microwave. Or, the day before use, place it in the refrigerator to thaw. Note: thawing meat on a countertop for a period of time is usually dangerous to your health.)
- Make a Purge Storage Area. This could be individual paper bags, plastic bags (different than your regular trash bags), boxes, containers, or a section in your laundry room or garage. Label your containers to avoid confusion. Place your Trash, or (rinsed) Recycle piles into the appropriate container. Place that container in its designated space until you get ready to dispose of these items.
- Take a look at the remaining refrigerator food.
- Where do you want their home in your refrigerator to be? Door? Bin? Shelf? Will they fit in this area? Your refrigerator items should have a specific home also. Then, everyone knows where to find the pickles whenever they want some.
- Would you like to buy organizing products to divide/contain them? Lazy Susans / Turntables? Bins? Baskets? Plastic? Stainless? Color? Style? Size? (Note: you may find it helpful to wait to purchase any organizing products until after you’ve completed decluttering and organizing. For now, just make notes about what you might like and the size it needs to be.)
- Locate your selection in which to house them.
- Place your items into your selection. Place the selection into its home.
- Enjoy being able to find your refrigerator food whenever you need it.
- Remember to return your refrigerator food to its specific home after each use.
Congratulations! You did it! We’ll continue your Freedom Journey tomorrow. There are only 7 days left to your newly organized kitchen.
“Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge.” Psalm 31:4 (New International Version)
Hello, my name is Tina Bonifacio, and I am a Professional Organizer working with residential and commercial clients in the greater Savannah, Georgia area. For more information, visit http://www.OrganizedByTina.com. Thanks for stopping by. You are welcome back anytime.