Clean Fridge Challenge

The “Clean Your Fridge Challenge”

More daring than the spoonful of cinnamon challenge – more shocking than the ice water dare…

Clean Fridge 400

This week I am participating in the “cleaning my fridge” challenge!

Every homemaker knows this is a dirty and sometimes dangerous job, but it has to be done.

The challenge of cleaning out the fridge is real. You and I both know that no one else in the house is going to tackle it. If they lose their nerve because the sink drain needs to be cleaned out after the plates are rinsed on spaghetti night, you know you can’t risk relying on them to clean out a fridge.

When we replaced the refrigerator in our house, I made the foolish decision to get the smallest fridge. I was temporarily insane enough to think that fewer cubic feet would be “no problem”. I think I even said those very words to my husband – “no problem”.

I honestly think that the days we spent in appliance stores looking at the price tags on those large side-by-side fridges froze my brain. Somehow I forgot that our three kids were drinking a gallon of milk everyday.

So we got the smaller, cheaper fridge – I have regretted it every day since 2008.

With two teen-aged boys in the house, I shouldn’t currently have so many leftovers, but somehow it happens.  I blame Papa John’s pizza for this.

I admit that I do not usually notice the fridge needs cleaning until jars start coming out of the fridge with unidentifiable sticky goo on the bottom and stuff in the plastic containers that is not spinach, starts to look green. I am an “out-of-sight-out-of-mind” kinda gal.

My family doesn’t notice either. They just keep shoving stuff in there. Eventually, something as simple as getting a carton of eggs off the bottom shelf feels like playing a game of Jenga. That is the time to take action!

It has Looked Worse


I am sharing my pre-cleaning fridge picture (taken today!) in the spirit of transparency, since the fridge organizing tips pics are from a time when my fridge was actually clean – probably the last time I cleaned it.

Anyway, not too long ago, I had  this brill idea, but so far I am the only one in the house who has tried to follow the new “leftover system”. I am going to try again since I truly do think it will help with fridge management.

#1. Purchase Magnetic Dry Erase Markers

Magnetic Erasable Markers

#2. Mark Plastic Storage Dishes with the Date as you put them into the fridge.

#3. Remove the Plastic Storage Dishes According to the Date.

NOTE: This will be the new criteria for throwing out the leftovers – instead of checking to see if the leftovers are green.

Fridge Items

#4. Store Your Magnetic Dry Erase Marker on the Front of Your Fridge.

This way, you can easily grab it to mark your plastic containers when you are storing leftovers.

NOTE: This works for storing items in the freezer as well.

Magnet for Fridge

#5. Make your Fridge Sparkly Clean and then Use Your New Markers to Keep Track of Leftovers

NOTE: I have found that you will need to threaten dire consequences if you have any hope of getting teens to follow this method when they are helping in the kitchen. Please help me think of ideas for horrible punishments. 


6 comments on “Clean Fridge Challenge

  1. Great tips!! It’s always important to stay on top of that. You’re always proud when you open the door after, huh? 🙂 #HomeMattersParty

  2. I love the dry erase magnet–such a convenient way to stay on top of what is fresh! Thanks for co-hosting #HomeMattersParty

    • Merit Kirkpatrick

      June 28, 2016 at 9:56 am Reply

      Glad you like the idea, Michelle – it has been great and I am hoping to guest co-host again soon! #HomeMattersParty has a great group of Hosts/Co-hosts

  3. livefromjulieshouse

    June 28, 2016 at 8:35 am Reply

    Hahaha…so true. The fridge is is my least favorite thing to clean next the oven. Love the magnetic marker idea, I’m going to pick one up. #HomeMattersParty

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