The Great Refrigerator Cleanout- Before & After

Ivy says:

I cleaned out my fridge yesterday, right on schedule. Some commenters asked for before and after pictures, and I’m glad to oblige! I’ll give you some tips on how I clean out my refrigerator as well.

The first thing I do is fill a bucket with lukewarm water and either a cleaning product or vinegar. Right now I’m fairly flush with cleaning products (I’m a cleaning products addict. It’s sad.) and running low on vinegar, so I used a generic version of “Orange Clean” I picked up somewhere. Grab a washrag and an absorbent towel.

Now, here’s what I had to deal with:

Before: Top view

It looks like there’s a whole lot of food in there, but it’s just arranged badly and there are a few science projects going on there that need to be dealt with. As always, work from top to bottom. I have the nice slide out glass shelves, so I rarely need to remove them for cleaning.

What I do takes a bit more electricity, but I think it’s the safer way- I go ahead and work right in the refrigerator. I pulled out the stuff that needed to be thrown away, moved the stuff that was going to stay to another shelf. I wash down the sides and shelves as I go.

I reorganized to make things easier to find by grouping items together. For example, my condiment pockets in the door were like this:

Before: Side pocket

The salsa and the tequila and the Catalina dressing all in one place? Oh noes! We can’t have that! So I reorganized so it all looked like this:

After: We have a lot of alcohol

Salad dressing type stuff in one pocket, alcohol in all the rest of the pockets. I know how this must look, I promise we’re not alcoholics. We actually drink so rarely that whenever we have people in, we end up with hordes of extra alcohol and we don’t want to waste it! Sometimes we cook with it, but even that’s rare.

Anyway, once the refrigerator is cleaned out and reorganized, it looks like this:

After: View from the top

Now, I know you’re wondering where all my veggies are- let’s just say I’m waiting for the Farmer’s Market to come around on Friday. Well, that and we eat a lot of frozen veggies, because they’re a lot cheaper. If you want to see all my pictures of the great refrigerator cleanout plus a picture of a tiger in mourning, go here.


  1. Georgia on March 28, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Hey there!Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok.
    I’m definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.

  2. KirbyP on June 16, 2008 at 10:19 am

    I sure wish I had a frig door like that (the contents that is, the door is standard). With kids in the house though, the days of stocking easily opened bottles are gone for a few more years. Not so much worried about them deliberately opening the good stuff… more about them seeing a clear drink and getting to it. Oh the days before kids! (and hopefully those of the empty nest!)

  3. The Chatty Housewife on June 12, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    What happened to your cheese drawer? I think we have the same fridge (or at least interior set up) and have always wondered about getting rid of the cheese drawer.

  4. Jasi on June 11, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    That is a party fridge. With eggs for breakfast! I love it. Very clean and organized

    and prepared for fun!

    I’m 9+ mo. pregnant, so I have a condiment craze going on. A thousand little pickled things in the door. Oiled olives, mini sour pickles, red peppers, pickled artichoke hearts- it’s really insane. We do pancakes for breakfast all week lol … my poor family.

  5. Sarah on June 11, 2008 at 11:26 am

    We have the same fridge and I love it! I can always clean the pull-out shelves so easily. Thanks for the encouragement to get down and clean my fridge today. You are an inspiration!

  6. Sara on June 11, 2008 at 12:15 am

    Ah, the requisite Bud Light Shelf. I know it well. We recently cleaned out the fridge, except we call it “not going to the grocery store until there’s nothing but ramen and ketchup.”

  7. Tammy on June 10, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    Yeah having that Super Target 5 minutes from my house is pretty sweet! No more Murfreesboro or Antioch! 🙂

  8. Badbadivy on June 10, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Thanks for the link, Tammy! Yeah, we love Super Target, I wish we could afford to do all our regular grocery shopping there, but it’s a bit spendy.

    That cheesecake? On sale for FOUR BUCKS!!!!

  9. Tammy on June 10, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    very cool! Eye spy some Super Target items…and is that cheesecake?? 😀
    some recipe ideas to use up that sippin’ whisky.

  10. Badbadivy on June 10, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    LOL, Heather! The beer’s new. We had a friend visiting and he brought beer. If I’m going to drink beer, it’s going to be the expensive frou-frou stuff. Not Bud Light. 😀

  11. Heather on June 10, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Yep, I think most of that was in residence back when I visited in October.

  12. Badbadivy on June 10, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Yeah, we do. It keeps it cold in case of a margarita emergency.

  13. Christian on June 10, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Wow. You keep your liquor in the fridge? We just went through a major fridge cleaning not too long ago… but we don’t manage to do it but every two years or so. Not very Home Ecky of us 🙁

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