Monday, January 30, 2012

Organized Home Challenge: Week Four

      So I just completed another fun challenge as part of Home Storage Solution's "52 Weeks to An Organized Home." Last week we had to clean out and organize the fridge and freezer. It is actually something that we desperately needed to do. (Though Tim would have told you that "it's not that bad.") Don't judge me by my "before" picture. And also, don't judge me by my food choices. 
No specific home for anything. 

     Also, when I was uploading these pictures, I realized that I have no "before" picture of the inside of the fridge door. I took pictures of it, but they have disappeared. And I don't mean "disappeared." I really did take them and although they were truly embarrassing, as my previous posts have shown, I don't hide the truth from you, dear reader, and I always try to have pictures as proof of my efforts. And I love a good run-on sentence with multiple commas. Anyway, so you'll have to use your imagination. It looked kind-of like the entire condiment aisle in the grocery store, except someone had come along and emptied about half of the contents of every bottle. Got the picture? Okay? Moving on.
       I obtained the help of my sweet husband (who puts up with all my crazy crafting and cleaning) to help clean out the refrigerator. I told him I needed his help because he's better with spatial stuff and utilizing space better. Married ladies, you know what I was doing. The old, you're so good at this so do this thing that is actually a chore. As in, "You're so much better at packing the suitcases, how about I just lay everything out for you and you can pack it?" I think he's on to me though. 
     Anyway, we started with the inside of the door during Owen's first naptime of the day. Basically, we pulled everything out of the door and then picked through it to discard any expired stuff or things that we knew we would never use. We washed and wiped down the inside and then put everything back in based on frequency of use (Tim's idea) and height. Things that are frequently used are in places that are easier to get to and those that we don't use as much or that are really tall go in the bottom. That part was fairly easy.
       When Naptime No. 2 came, I knew that I needed to figure out where to put stuff in the fridge once I had it cleaned. Most of the foods inside the main part of the fridge are things that we use so I knew that we wouldn't be able to just throw away a bunch of stuff to make it suddenly neater. So I did what any organization-obsessed person would do. I drew a diagram so that I could visualize all the "zones" of my refrigerator and then I listed all the types of items I needed a place for in the fridge (like leftovers and Owen's food and meat and cut up strawberries and... you get the picture). After that, all I had to do was match them up. Here's my diagram of the fridge. I actually drew it on paper first, but I saw a cute drawing like this on an organizational blog that I follow and I decided to make one of my own. The inside of the fridge is on the left and the door is on the right. (Though in real life, it's the other way around.)
     After deciding on the function of all the various spaces in the fridge, I just pulled everything out so that Tim and I could quickly wash and wipe down the shelves. They weren't too bad because I did this same thing a few months ago (the cleaning part, not the organization part). Then I put all the food where it belonged based on my new system (Well, except the cupcake, which Tim helpfully ate for me. So selfless.) 
    Here are my "after" pictures. 
I know, it still seems like we have a lot in there, but believe me, it's way better than before.
See the zones? Amazing!
         The zones have been so helpful for our fridge organization. I don't know why I never thought of it before. I mean, we did typically put Owen's stuff in the top of the fridge, but leftovers kind-of went wherever and our fresh fruits got pushed to the back where they were never eaten and meat I was thawing for dinner just got shoved in as well. Now, we can easily grab fruit for a snack and Tim knows exactly where to blindly grab at 5 a.m. for leftovers to take to work for lunch. Other than cleaning out my junk drawer (now dubbed the awesome drawer), I think this is probably one of my proudest accomplishments during this challenge. Also, I was supposed to clean out and organize my freezer, but it's not too bad and there's a pretty quick turnaround for things that get put in there since we don't eat a lot of frozen food. So I didn't do it. And my fridge progress was so great that I don't even feel bad about it. So there. 
    Anyway, the next challenge is to organize your recipes. I already have a lot of my recipes in a binder, so I don't know how much I will do for this challenge. But I will check out the instructions for it and maybe there will be a few tips in there that would help me out. Otherwise, after four weeks of the challenge, I might just take a week's vacation from organizing. 

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