The Little Ritual That Helped Me Eliminate Fridge Clutter — And Totally Changed My Weekly Routine

published Jul 4, 2022
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The kitchen has many clutter hotspots, or areas where mess can get out of control quickly if they’re not rigorously monitored. From the paper pile on the counter that you can never get ahold of to the junk drawer that’s stressful whenever you open it, kitchen clutter is some of the hardest to contend with. 

One of these under-the-radar hotspots is the one in your fridge. Fridge clutter means having to shuffle around food when you’re trying to eat or cook. It means food languishing because you can’t see it. And, eventually, fridge clutter means having to throw out perished food, which is not pleasant. 

In addition to strategies like keeping leftovers on one shelf and “shopping” the fridge to see what I already have prior to shopping, I’ve begun incorporating another clutter-tackling weekly ritual into my meal planning routine: Leftovers Night. 

“Leftovers Night” doesn’t sound like anything groundbreaking or even new. But what makes this plan of attack different is that rather than being a vague option that rarely, if ever, gets implemented, it becomes a specific meal on the weekly calendar. This way, the leftovers don’t sit in the fridge taking up space until they have to be thrown out; they’re actually used. This saves so much money, waste, and a whole night of full-blown cooking. 

Leftovers Night, planned thoughtfully, can take a few forms. You can repurpose your leftovers, such as making quesadillas with the pulled pork leftovers from earlier in the week. You could also do a dish like fried rice or a frittata to combine leftover tidbits from several meals. Another way to put on Leftover Night is simply to reheat everything that’s left over and set it out for everyone to take what they want. 

Even if you don’t have leftovers from previous meals, implement a formal Leftovers Night to use up your produce that might go bad in a pasta or casserole dish. Or, dig out something that’s been in the freezer for a while, like the leftover ham from Easter that would make a fine addition to split pea soup. 

Whatever angle you take, making it a point to use up food that’s already in the fridge rather than buying new items will help you clear out fridge clutter in the best way possible, by eating it! 

I’d love to know what you do to cut down the clutter in your fridge, whether it’s a simple ritual you’ve implemented or a cool new tool you’ve put into place, in the comments.

This post originally appeared on Apartment Therapy. See it there: This Little Ritual Helped Me Eliminate Fridge Clutter — and Totally Changed My Weekly Routine