5 Steps for Cleaning Out Your Post-Thanksgiving Fridge

published Nov 25, 2016
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(Image credit: Cathy Pyle)

For those first few days after Thanksgiving, you’re on top of the world. Every time you open the fridge you’ve got turkey, sides, appetizers, cheese, biscuits, and desserts. You don’t have to cook for a week!

Eventually the leftovers dwindle, your family threatens mutiny if one more meal has turkey in it, or the fridge starts to look like a picked-over supermarket before a storm.

Any of those things are signs it’s time to purge! Get in there and get that fridge ready for Christmas or holiday parties — because they’re right around the corner.

Pictured above: A Modern & Vintage London Maisonette at Apartment Therapy

1. Consolidate your leftovers.

First, assess your leftovers. Do they still look good? Or is it time to toss them? Take anything that made it into your fridge still in its serving dish and put it into a smaller, more compact container.

2. Throw any remnants out.

Get rid of any small remnants of food, like that one bite of stuffing left in a huge container. Other common culprits are wilted herbs or any bits of veggies or fruits that are past their prime.

3. Make friends with your freezer.

When used correctly, your freezer will extend the life of your food and any ingredients you don’t want to have to re-buy in a month. If there are ingredients or leftovers that can be frozen, label them (don’t forget the date!) and move them to the freezer.

4. Wipe down shelves and drawers.

With most of the stuff out of the fridge, use this opportunity to wipe down the shelves and inside the drawers. They’ve most likely accumulated their fair share of drips, spills, and crumbs over the holiday.

5. Put everything back in.

Start moving things back into the fridge. Place any food items that need to be eaten ASAP towards the front of the fridge; anything that has a little more staying power can go towards the back.

Now, don’t you feel better? Enjoy your pristine fridge for a week or two until you start gearing up for the next big holiday.