Spring Cleaning Carnival: Freezers and Refrigerators

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Today is the first day that our Spring Cleaning frenzy begins! Step by step this month we will clean ourselves through the kitchen for a brighter, cleaner, more organized kitchen. This in turn will make our job cooking nourishing foods more fun and easier too.

And today it starts with the refrigerators and freezers.

There are few things as unpleasant as cleaning out the refrigerator when it hasn’t been for a while. There can be some unpleasant surprises lurking in the back quarters. However, there is also something so nice about having it clean. You can find what you want when you need it, it smells better, and you have room for your groceries. Well worth the effort.

I have been trying to clean out my refrigerator once a week before shopping day. This week, I went shopping a day early, and so had not cleaned out my refrigerator yet. So it got pretty full.

This is what it looked like. I had missed a few weeks in cleaning it out, so it had gotten pretty dirty too.

I took everything out one shelf at a time, wiped the inside out, threw away the bad food, and reorganized the remaining items as I put them back in the refrigerator. In the end, I had a still pretty full refrigerator (as remember I had just done my week shopping), but so much more organized and cleaner.

Much improved!

I still need to tackle the freezer and will post that later this week.

Meanwhile, it’s your turn!

Anytime this week, if you are a blogger, post about your results on your own blog and then use the Mr. Linky to link to your post. Don’t forget to link to this post!

If you aren’t a blogger, post about your results in the comment section of this post. Both of these (linking in the Mr. Linky and leaving a comment sharing that you finished the assignment and how it went for you) will enter you into the fabulous 6 giveaways!

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!


  1. rachel says

    I recently cleaned out our stand alone freezer because we ordered a portion of a cow. This week I actually moved the freezer/refrig combo to clean under and behind it. Yuck! I think the last time that I did that was about two years ago when I was pregnant with my last child.

  2. says

    I tackled this job last night. My husband thanked me. It was a good thing I did too, because he then found out that he needed me to make breakfast for 20 people at work the next morning! It was so much easier to put in the fruit tray and find room for all the other stuff I needed not to mention that I knew what I had! Thanks for encouraging us with this challange!

  3. Bekah says

    Cleaned out most of my fridge (with help from a friend!) and found some nasty leftover presents. I think I’ll tackle the door next and get rid of all those old condiments. Thanks for the motivation!

  4. Kelly says

    Whew! I cleaned out my fridge today and feel so accomplished for having done so. It wasn’t as bad as I thought … but just wait until it’s time to tackle the pantry! You got me motivated, thank you!

  5. Oemissions says

    I am very messy because my kitchen is small and the door is backwards so I often spill stuff trying to cook and quickly put things in.
    It can get quite sticky in there so I do one shelf t a tiome. starting t the top.
    After the shelf is emptied, I sprinkle bkg soda. On the stove I have a pot of hot water on simmer, to be sure I have seriously hot water then I dip and wipe, then wipe with a dry cloth.
    Keep a pancake spatula handy for bigger sticky stuff.

    • Judy @ Judys Traditional Cooking says

      Oemissions, I think most refrigerators have the capability to open either way and can be changed….in case you want to try this. The little discs on the surface of the door and elsewhere cover up the alternate holes for the hinges and handle. Maybe you would have more ease of use if you tried this.

  6. AJ says

    the fridge is done…..more work than I predicted. Very satisfying:) Thanks for doing this carnival, community always helps!

  7. Angie says

    Our freezer was in good shape but the fridge needed a serious wipe down. It was a great job for the kids. They have to do at least five chores a week to get an allowance and I love when I can find odd jobs for them like this. They can help with the rest of spring cleaning too!

  8. Elizabeth says

    I am moving at the end of March and in past moves have left the thorough cleaning of the refrigerator until the end. You inspired me to clean it now and throw away condiments, etc. that I will not be taking with me and rarely use now. It was interesting to find what I had stored on the door which included one supplement with an expiration date of 2007! Last minute cleaning at the end of the month will now be much easier and faster.

  9. Katie says

    I just moved into a new house in October so my fridge and freezer weren’t too bad! I did find a scary jar of homemade mustard that was a failed experiment. The mustard powder I purchased is the hottest mustard I have every tasted in my life! I also have a bottle of toasted sesame oil I purchased by accident in the fall. When I taste it is has a bit of an acrid feel to it. I’m guessing that should be tossed as well!

    I did tackle my downstairs chest freezer. I think I finally have a system that works down there so I can find what I want. Thanks for the inspiration to get organized!

  10. Heidi says

    I usually clean my fridge out once every two weeks so it wasn’t too bad, but the freezer whoa!!! The bottom looked like a crumb-topped pie. It was pretty bad. It’s nice to know what I need to use up in there.

  11. Maria says

    Whew. Done. Thanks for giving me an excuse to stop the “I’ll do that when I have time” game with the fridge/freezer. 🙂 Linked to my blog post with Mr.Linky

  12. Jessie says

    I just finished!! I didn’t have a block of time – so I did it in 3 installments. Happily the freezer was pretty good, but the refrigerator needed some effort!

    Thankfully I found a dozen eggs that were from last week that I put in a very odd location in the back. Sadly, I realized today that I accidentally tossed my spelt flour from the freezer that was still good – but left the whole wheat flour that has been there a little too long. Oh well!

  13. says

    Thank you for this challenge. I need to clean out the fridge, the freezer and the pantry. Maybe then I’ll be able to open the freezer without things falling on me!

  14. Angela says

    Hooray! Not only did I get my refrigerator & freezer cleaned out, but your project prompted me to take the time to start a batch of home-made stock simmering (to get rid of all those bones I’ve been saving in my freezer!), mix up a batch of powdered milk to keep my food storage rotating, and make some home-made beef jerky with a large flank steak that’s been in the freezer too long to be delicious as steak anymore! My, what a productive morning it’s been. Thanks so much for the challenge!

  15. Kylie Thomas says

    I got this tip from Kelly the Kitchen Kop- and it is brilliant! Make a list of everything you have in your freezer- and organise it into categories- eg. meat- dinners- fats- breads etc. This way, you can look at the list and know exactly what you have in your freezer- no more standing with the freezer door searching around whilst wasting power! Everytime you take something out of the freezer, take it off the list, and everytime something new goes in, add it on. Easy! And this way, you never forgot about that banana bread you made and put in there, or your left over frozen soup! I like to keep mine on my pantry door.

  16. Chrysta says

    Nice to have the encouragement to start getting my kitchen back in order. Am new to your blog and enjoying it.

  17. Tamara says

    I did it, i finally did it (procrastination and all lol)!!! Now my fridge and freezer look positively empty (i had so much to throw out, ick!). Ive really gotta keep on top of that fridge/freezer cause that was scary, lol.

  18. Saille says

    Thank you for organizing what I’ve been wanting to do for several weeks. Week 1 is accomplished. Cleaned out the deep freeze and reorganized it, the fridge is clean and sparkly, and the fridge-freezer no longer has things falling out of it. So nice! See you next week!

    Btw, any suggestions on labeling shelves in a deep freeze? Not sure if my labeler will stick to the shelves in the cold.

  19. Jacinda says

    I generally have a good idea of what is in the fridge, but the freezer is a different story. It’s nice to finally be aware of what’s all in there and get rid of some stuff. Thanks for the motivation!

  20. Karlin says

    Just finished the fridge. Not as much spoiled food as I had feared and I found some food that I didn’t know I had. So I can get a couple more meals out of what I have. Thank you!

  21. Sheri Willingham says

    oh, thank you for this needed push! i know we would not have a lovely cleaned out and organized fridge/freezer if not for this challenge. it looks and feels good. we started getting a touch of spring organizing fever and we even tackled some closets along w/a started garage sale pile…

    oh, and i think we have the same exact fridge!


  22. Daisy says

    I FINALLY did this yesterday evening… I did my freezer and fridge, but didn’t tackle the door yet. I’m going to try to finish that today. I try to keep my fridge reasonably clean most of the time, so it really wasn’t bad at all, but it sure is nice to see my freezer all cleaned out. Yay for spring cleaning!

  23. says

    Whew, I finally got this done! Yesterday afternoon I cleared out first the freezer, then the refrigerator, wiped everything down and purged a lot of old, sticky condiment jars with only a couple drops left in the bottom. The freezer wasn’t too bad because I cleaned it out only a month or two ago, but the refrigerator…oh my, it was terrible! This was very helpful, too, as we’re moving in a couple weeks. Oh what fun!

  24. says

    It took a lot longer than I thought, but I’m glad I did it. I linked to my blog with Mr. Linkey. I can’t believe how much more I can fit in my refridgerator now!

    Thanks for the carnival!

  25. Jen says

    I know I’m late, but better late than never, right? Thanks for the motivation. I didn’t know how much room I actually had in my fridge after getting rid of all the old/bad/won’t use any more stuff! Not so with my freezer, but it still looks better than it did. Thanks!

  26. jen says

    Sorry I am late!! Busy week but I got the fridge and freezer done. It feels wonderful to have a clean fridge. Now all I have to do is keep it up. Can’t wait for the pantry. Thanks for the motivation ;0)

  27. says

    I was extra diligent in getting things used up out of the fridge this week, it’s great to have it all clean. It’s quite liberating to be able to see everything in your fridge and know what it is!! Those mystery containers of ick are quite intimidating!!

  28. KellyBelly says

    With the help of my 4 yr old got the fridge cleaned today. Amazing what a little organizing can do in there. I really liked the comment someone made about using all square glass containers. That would be a really good idea for the pantry this week. Currently I have such an assortment of containers, the clean look of them all being the same would be great. However need to find them 2nd hand because I don’t like the idea of purchasing new stuff when it is not necessary.

  29. Amy says

    Finally got around to cleaning out our fridge and freezer. Yikes, I think the last time I cleaned it was around Christmas time, so I definitely found some nasty leftovers lurking in there. Feels so good to have a clean fridge and freezer. Looking forward to the pantry challenge!

  30. Jean says

    The whole family got sick so this was put off until tonight when I FINALLY did it! Husband opened up the fridge and said, “Wow, looks great, Honey.” I got rid of the things I was holding onto that were on the verge of spoiling, and shuffled around some items. It feels wonderful to have a spacious fridge/freezer again. I also wiped down all the surfaces and put in a new box of baking soda. Thanks for this challenge!

  31. Janelle says

    I got my fridge cleaned out yesterday! It was really yucky…hadn’t cleaned it a very loooooong time. I ended up throwing out almost a laundry basket full of stuff. I’m still in the process of converting to real food so some of it was junk that we don’t eat anymore! That felt good! Now my fridge looks empty…but I know it’s better that way!

  32. Sarah L says

    I just got to cleaning out my fridge today. We are traveling in a week so it’s good to see what food needs to be used up before we go. Looking through the fridge helped me to think through what meals I’ll try to make in the next week as well.

  33. says

    Done!! The fridge and the freezer are clean and organized, thanks to you!! I didn’t know how much space I had in there until I started throwing out stuff I hadn’t used in ages.


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