Cleaning out the Fridge

dirtyfridgeI have mixed feelings about this column.  Maybe there should be a parental disclaimer attached to it.  Something like:  The information contained in this column may not be fit for children, overly sensitive lap dogs, or older people with gastro intestinal problems.  Be warned.

It’s time to talk refrigerator cleaning.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  Go ahead and admit it.  Every normal person in America has let the refrigerator get “out of hand” at one point or another.  Notice I said every “normal” person.  Yes, there are people who have NEVER let the refrigerator get “out of hand.”  But these people are NOT normal.  They are the ones who alphabetize the pantry items, organize the condiment jars according to height, and clean out the oven on a regular basis with oven cleaner and Brillo pads.  I also get the sneaking suspicion that these are the same people who use vacuum cleaner attachments.  I’ve always wondered why attachments came with the vacuum cleaner.  I think the person with the alphabetized pantry knows why.  No.  I don’t want to know.

For the rest of you, I feel the need to put your mind at ease.  You’re not alone.  All of us have been there.  We get busy and overwhelmed.  We keep shoving stuff into the refrigerator.  All  items naturally “drift” to the back.  It’s a disaster waiting to happen.  Yes, things turn blue and green.   Stop crying, friend.  It’s not too late.  I have a plan.

Step #1 involves removing every item from the refrigerator and placing it on the kitchen counter.  Get it all.  Yes, even the mustard jar that’s been stuck on the second shelf of the refrigerator door for three years and has to be pried out with a crow bar.  Now.  Everything is out.  The temptation will be to scrub and scrub and even sand blast all the hardened particles until the refrigerator looks brand new.  Don’t do it.  Perfection is not the goal, friend.  A hot soapy rag over every surface.  Done.

Now, you’re faced with a crucial decision.  Perhaps it’s the most crucial decision of all.   The light green Tupperware container your aunt gave you for high school graduation contains baked beans from the Christmas church potluck of ‘09.  It’s May of 2010.  You don’t wanna look.  You beg your kids to look.  They scream and vow that they would rather be eaten by wolves than remove that airtight lid.  Is it worth it?  Hard to say.  You desperately want to just throw it in the trash.  But that seems wasteful. No.  I won’t decide for you.  Let your conscience be your guide.  fridge_cleaning

In regard to some other items, let me make myself clear.  Throw the salad dressing away.  Yes, all of it. That bag of half-eaten salad needs to go too.  I know.  You didn’t know a big bag of red grapes got trapped behind the cabbage head a few months ago.  Unless you own a winery, throw the grapes out.  Blue/green tortilla?  Out.  Fuzzy strawberries?  Stop sayin’, “What a waste.  What a waste.”  Just throw it out, friend.  Show some courage, would you?

When you get the refrigerator completely clean, you will do what we always do.  You will say, “Never again.  We will forever live clean.”  Yeah.  Good luck with that.  Might wanna cut out this column and throw it in the junk drawer “just in case.”

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Beth Firth
    Jun 22, 2013 @ 05:55:31

    You mean I’m not alone? I’m a member of an actual group of normals? Happy tears…happy tears.


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