By TMoM Team Member Sydney D. Richardson, Ph. D.

It’s time for summer cleaning!  If anyone does not know what that means, allow me to share: summer cleaning is for those who missed fall and spring cleaning. That’s me!  I completely missed the two opportunities during the year where it’s okay to demand dusting, mopping, clothing giveaways, and window cleaning from the family. It’s the two times per year where our bodies ache from the bending, lifting, and contorting it does to get those hard to reach areas of the house. It’s the two times per year where everyone dreads getting their homes in order, but loves how it looks and smells afterwards. I missed both of those times, and I bet many other people did as well.

So, when I looked at the calendar and realized that I only had a few weeks left before my family was back in the house (spouse teaches and children went back to school), I seized the opportunity to get my home (or most of it) back on track.

The first place I decided to start with was the kitchen. To me, the kitchen is like the bed of the house. If it’s clean and organized, the rest of the house doesn’t look too bad. However, there was one area of the kitchen that I loathe cleaning…to the point where I avoid it at all costs…and that’s the refrigerator. The refrigerator is like the living room of the house. It’s full of things that everyone uses. If I clean it, it’ll be dirty ten minutes later. The refrigerator houses dinner leftovers, kids’ school snacks, drinks, and anything else that my family didn’t want to throw away. How was I going to get this monstrosity organized?

Containers, that’s how.

One thing to know about me is that I spend WAY too many hours scrolling organization hack sites. I love looking at what other people do in their homes and never get around to doing the same thing in mine. Well, it was time to put what I learned to good use, and that came by way of simple containers. Between the Dollar Store, Dollar General, Family Dollar, and Amazon, I found everything I needed for the refrigerator. Even the kids got into helping me find stuff.

We found large and small jars, as well as square, circle, and rectangular bins. After we got home with bags of fun goodies (at ridiculously low prices), we got to work. Within a few minutes, the kids’ snacks had a home, our canned drinks had a place to rest, vegetables would no longer have to be tossed about, and even eggs had a home where they wouldn’t be crushed. A week later and the fridge was still intact and organized. Now, I’ve got to work on the freezer…

Below is a list of great places to find inexpensive containers for the refrigerator and pantry:

  • Dollar Store
  • Dollar General
  • Family Dollar
  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • Any grocery store

Let me know if you have other useful tips for keeping your fridge (and kitchen) organized and clean!

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