Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Reluctant Meal Maker: A Clean Slate

When we came home from Oregon after the holidays, we cleared all the old stuff out of the fridge and gave it a good cleaning. Raf even rearranged the shelves. Silly as it may seem, this small gesture: starting with a clean slate, has made such a positive impact with helping me stay on point.

I'm always in awe of the refrigerators of my most clean and organized friends. They're so sparkly and spacious and...well, bare! Frankly, I wondered how they ate! Or if their secret to keeping a wonderfully clean kitchen was eating out all the time! Well, now I know that's not the case at all. With a rock solid meal plan and a precise shopping list, I too can have a sparkly and spacious refrigerator. 

It's been a month and the fridge is still clean and organized. I know where things are. I know when we're running low. And I know what's on the verge of spoiling and needs to be used asap. It's no longer overwhelming to open the fridge. And (bonus!), it's no longer embarrassing when someone else does.

A couple side notes: 

1. I also cleared out the freezer this month. I love to freeze things, so it was getting a little unwieldy. I purged all the old, expired stuff, and reorganized like with like (meats together, veggies, fruit, etc.), all the while taking a mental inventory of what I have on hand that I can use in upcoming meals. It's still not nearly as neat as the fridge; maybe if I can ever find a spot to put a deep freeze...

2. Sticking with the FlyLady system and Shining my Sink on a daily basis is also really helpful. I typically do the dishes after each meal, every day. Annoying? Sure. But I'm so grateful for it every time I head in to start preparing the next meal. My head just feels lighter when I walk in and have a clean slate. 

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