When was the last time you went through your kitchen and organized it? It’s a great time to start. Begin with the refrigerator and work your way up to the pantry and cabinet shelves. Finally, sanitize the entire space.
#01 Empty the refrigerator
Empty the refrigerator, one shelf at a time, followed by the doors. While cleaning, keep foods cold in a cooler. Wipe down shelves with a kitchen disinfectant spray, beginning at the top and working your way down, including the doors.
Sort the food you took out of the refrigerator, check the dates, and decide whether it should be returned (or on another shelf). Continue until you’ve emptied everything, checked, sorted, and replaced it.
#02 Bring open items to the front of the line .
Bring open items to the front of the line. If you only have a few tablespoons left in a jar, use them up within the next day or two, or find a way to incorporate them into a recipe. Make a note of any cheese or cream cheese that is about to expire and plan a meal around it before it goes bad.
Keeping organized can also aid in the reduction of food waste. Once you’ve determined what you have and what you might be able to donate, you can plan a few meals using ready-to-use ingredients.
#03 Reduce waste
Do you have a stale veggie tray or a bag of broccoli that you never cooked? It’s a great time to make a stir fry or a vegetable soup. Have any fresh herbs leftover? Make a herb pesto for pasta with them. Cut tomatoes, peppers, onions, and citrus should be stored in produce keepers to keep them fresher for longer.
Do you have frozen cooked shrimp in your freezer? Chop it up and use it to make our salsa. Consider using a cereal container if you have several cereal boxes open. These have airtight lids that keep cereal fresher for longer and reduce waste. Consider donating any excess canned goods or pantry ingredients to your local food bank or church. Donate now, while the “best buy” date is still valid.
#04 Maintain a clean and clear counter.
Sanitation isn’t just important during flu season; it’s also important to keep your kitchen and home safe all year. Wipe down everything after you’ve cleaned your refrigerator and cabinets. Wipe down the outside of your cabinets with a damp cloth after using a multi-purpose kitchen disinfectant spray (or bleach wipes) on all countertops and faucets, cabinet knobs/handles, and cabinet knobs/handles.
Fill the sink with hot, soapy water and clean anything sticky or marked (microwave turntable, utensils, toaster oven ‘crumb catcher,’ coffee carafe). Remember to clean all appliances, including the top of the refrigerator or microwave, as well as vacuum and mop the floor.
#05 Clean kitchen
A clean kitchen, as well as proper hand-washing, keeps food safe. Always wash your hands frequently when handling and cooking food, and make sure your children do as well (it’s a good idea to have your children wash their hands immediately after school).