Clean out the Fridge: Clean Home, Fresh Start

refrigerator

One of my biggest trouble spots is the refrigerator door. I often pull out a jar of salsa or bottle of salad dressing only to wonder if eating it is going to make us all sick. I never know how long things last before they “go bad.”

My husband tends to err on the side of caution and throw everything away, where I usually give it the sniff test to determine whether it is safe to eat. If you would like a better method of determining the shelf life of food check out this awesome Shelf Life Guide from Still Tasty. It even has a search feature so you can find foods quickly. No more sniff test for me!

I was surprised to find out that opened salsa lasts a month in the fridge and molasses lasts forever.

expired food

I spent some time cleaning out my fridge and found a lot of food and condiments that needed to be thrown away. It was depressing and I felt like I was throwing money in the garbage can.

dirty fridge

A good idea is to clean out your fridge before you go on your big shopping trip. This means most people will clean out their fridge every few weeks. Not only will you be able to toss expired food items, you will also be able to wipe down the shelves. I am sure if you have kids your shelves are probably not very clean!

refrigerator door

Your refrigerator manual probably has recommendations for cleaners, but I use hot soapy water and it works well. I just empty the fridge, remove the shelves and bins, then wash in the sink. The whole process takes about 45 minutes if I haven’t done it in a while. Remember to wipe the bottom of the containers before you put them back into the fridge, it doesn’t make sense to put dirty bottles on a clean shelf!

Keeping your fridge clean and clutter free is an easy way to save money. If you know what is in your fridge you are less likely to purchase duplicate items and are more likely to use up what you already have at home.


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Game Organization: Clean Home, Fresh Start

game organization

I love winning playing games with my family. I do not love opening my hall closet and being hit on the head with a stray game piece or board. Games are fun, but keeping them organized can be difficult.

game organization

Here are a few ideas for organizing your games.

Take stock of your games every few months. Make sure the games are not missing pieces. Throw away games that cannot be played because of missing pieces. Donate or sell games that you do not play anymore, or ones that you have never played and will never play.

Buy small plastic containers when they are on sale. Use these containers to hold games that did not come with their own box, or the box has been ruined.

Fix or throw away broken games. Mailing tape works great for repairing worn boxes and boards.

Keep a small stash of batteries in your game closet. Many newer games require batteries. Storing batteries with the games makes it easy to replace them when needed.

Store games sideways. If the boxes can hold up, this makes getting games out of the closet so much easier than stacking them on top of each other.

If you don’t have a closet for storage get creative. Bookshelves, wooden or metal cubbies, kitchen cabinet, microwave cart, hutch, coffee table, or trunk are all great places to store games.

Keep the games where you are most likely to play them. If the games are stored close to where you would play them, you are more likely to play them.

When was the last time you organized your game closet? As you can see from the above photos, my closet needs a makeover this week!



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Costly Clutter: Clean Home, Fresh Start

Do you struggle with magazine and/ or newspaper clutter? For many years I hated to throw away any magazine or newspaper. Thankfully I didn’t subscribe to many of either, but I was just sure I would need the magazines for a homeschooling project or a decorating idea, and the newspapers for wrapping packages or Christmas ornaments.

magazines

I had stacks of magazines everywhere in my home, bookshelves, bathrooms, next to the bed, under the bed, coffee tables, end tables, baskets, bins, etc. Then we moved and all the magazines were packed up in boxes. I didn’t unpack the magazines and some time later we had a flood in our storage area. When I opened the boxes they were filled with soaked and ruined magazines. I threw the boxes away and was sad that many of my favorite magazines were gone forever.

The interesting thing is that while the magazines sat in storage and after I threw them away I never missed them. Not once. This was a great lesson for me, because once I realized those magazines cost me more than I gained, I decided it wasn’t worth it for them to clutter up my home.

Does clutter cost you time, peace of mind, or happiness? This weekend identify something that is robbing you of your joy. Throw it out, donate it, or sell it on Craig’s List. You’ll be glad you did.

Organize and Decorate Everything also shares tips for Conquering Magazine Clutter.


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Organizing with Binders: Clean Home, Fresh Start

Over the years I have tried many ways to control my paper clutter. I discovered that the binder system works best for organizing important files and documents in my home.

I like binders for several reasons:

  • Portable: If you have ever moved file folders and the movers don’t pack them correctly (meaning right side up) you have a big mess when you unpack them at your next location.
  • Flexible: I have stored binders on shelves, in cabinets, and in drawers.
  • Cheap: Binders are a dime a dozen at yard sales, and even if you buy them new they aren’t very expensive.
  • Easy to use: For me, binders make it easy to file and keep track of papers. I can’t stand “flipping” through file folders with my head bent down over the file cabinet trying to locate an important paper.

Items needed for a using binders to organize your paperwork:

Extra items:

Page dividers

page dividers
Page Protectors

Pencil Pouch

binder

Currently my binders are stored in a drawer in the office. I have a To Do folder that is kept in a convenient place for immediate filing.  Once a week (or sometimes once a month) I take the papers out of the folder and organize them in the binders.

binder organization

I use the page protectors to hold documents are more important and can’t have holes. I use the pencil bags to store small items like envelopes, used checkbooks, store cards, and receipts.

I printed labels on white paper for the spine of each binder, so I can easily see which one I need. I have binders for:

  • Investments
  • Banking
  • Insurance
  • Homeschool Records
  • Medical Records
  • Car Records
  • Household Records

binder organization

About every six months I go through my binder and shred unneeded documents.

I love my binder system. For me it is so much easier than digging through file folders to find paperwork. For the first time in my life, we have moved and I have not opened up a box of disorganized papers on the other end.

What filing system works for you?

This post is linking to Works for Me Wednesday.


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.