The holidays are here and for me they bring with it a time of renewal for cleaning and organizing for the busy festivities. This is a big season for cooking, baking and creating delicious treats whether it’s for family get-togethers or seasonal potluck parties, and you need all the space you can get to store these dishes this December! Don’t fret over fitting your homemade goodies with your everyday groceries; you can get the most out of your large space after a good scrub down and some reorganization. I will admit that the refrigerator is one area that could always use some concentration in our house and it was my project this past week, a project that was long overdue, I’m afraid. Once cleaned and items sorted in the fridge though, it’s in perfect condition to help me get through the holidays and beyond!

Below are some great ideas for cleaning out the refrigerator and essential items to fill your refrigerator with and make sure you have on hand during this busy season.

Get It Clean: Gather Your Cleaning Supplies- Break out two dishwashing tubs and a cookie sheet . Fill one of these tubs with two tablespoons of baking soda and one quart of warm water for wiping down the interior of your refrigerator. Then use your cookie sheet and other dishwashing tub to put all of the condiments on and empty your drawers into for removing items quickly and easily so you can wipe down the interior without a hassle.

Let the Drawers Clean Themselves: Before cleaning the interior of the fridge, fill each drawer with the same amount of baking soda solution in each one and let the baking soda solution do the dirty work of cleaning them while you are wiping out the inside of the fridge.

Wipe Down the Interior: Using a rag or microfiber cloth, dampen the cloth with the baking soda solution. Gently wipe the interior of the refrigerator and all of the surfaces. If the washing solution begins to look murky, be sure to dump it and get another tub full to for cleaning.

Tips for Stubborn Spots: For stuck on interior stains, you can sprinkle a little baking soda directly on the spot and add just a little water to it to make a paste. Allow the paste to work on the set in stain and then scrub gently to remove the gunk.

Put It Back Together Again: Go back to your drawers and empty them and wipe the interiors of these. Now place these back into the fridge and then take your dishwashing tub of solution and empty it into the sink. Refill the tub with just warm water and add a dash of lemon juice to the water. Use your rag to do a final swipe using just this water & lemon juice solution. This will remove any grit that might be left in the fridge and the lemon juice will give it a nice fresh scent throughout. Dry thoroughly with a terry towel.

Take your cookie sheet of condiments and make sure to give each of these a quick swipe with the rag before returning them. Half the battle is not having clean items in your fridge and this is a good way to start fresh. Return all of the items in the other tub to their proper homes. The Kenmore Elite® 31 cu. Ft. Grab-N-Go Bottom-Freezer French-Door Refrigerator has extra space for condiment shelves that give an organized look and helps you keep everything in one easy to find spot!

Tidy the Exterior: The exterior of your fridge can often be overlooked, but it needs attention too. As a mother of two little ones, fingerprints and smudges are all over my fridge on any given day. To remove these, I spray my homemade all-purpose cleaner on my fridge. You can use a microfiber cloth to clean the outside of your refrigerator, as it is gentle but also abrasive enough to remove any marks. Any scuffs still left? Break out your Mr. Clean Eraser (a mom’s best friend!) You can find a generic equivalent of one of these at your local dollar store.

If you have a stainless steel appliance, dip your microfiber cloth into a little vinegar and give the outside of the fridge a good swiping with the vinegar. Then give the appliance another swipe with just plain water and dry thoroughly with a terry towel.

Restock Your Fridge: Now that your refrigerator is nice and clean it is time to restock it for the holidays. It’s important to remember your everyday routines during this hectice time. That means keeping stocked up on easy essentials that can be used for all of your breakfasts, lunches and dinners. There are also a few items that will definitely come in handy in case of unexpected guests dropping in!

Here are ten essential items to have on-hand when restocking your refrigerator.

Ten Fridge Essentials

  1. Milk
  2. Coffee Creamer
  3. Butter
  4. Jelly
  5. Cheese- Slices & Shredded
  6. Orange Juice
  7. Bread
  8. Lettuce/Romaine Hearts
  9. Lunch Meat
  10. Condiments (check your expiration dates on your condiments & toss any expired items)

Don’t forget to get into the season and get those additional items just for the holidays. Treats like eggnog, cut and bake cookies, and cider can find an easy space in your newly organized fridge. They only come once a year, but these seasonal goodies are worth picking up before they’re gone again!

Let us know in the comments what you always keep stocked in your kitchen during the holidays!

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