Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Getting Organised With a very DISORGANISED Mum of Five Girls #2 Fridge/Freezer Tips

So this week's organisational tips have been a bit delayed due to my state of disorganisation..ironic much!

An area of constant frustration is my fridge/freezer so this week I have decided to tackle this problem and see what solutions I could come up with.  

With 7 people constantly opening the fridge/freezer, rummaging around for food, moving things around etc... the fridge and freezer are always a disaster.  I clean it out and a few days later disaster again!!

Add to this the fact that grocery shopping is often done on the run so bags of cold items are shoved wherever they fit whilst I run out the door to pick up the kids or get to sport etc...  The disaster never ends!

Some of the main issues are that the condiments placed on the table for our evening meal are put back in the fridge with extreme haste by the children responsible for that chore....they seemingly cannot see if the sauce tips over and leaks down the inside of the fridge or if the salad dressing spills all over the fruit and veg....their main concern is to get their chores done and get the hell out of there!

Leftovers have become another area of contention.  Aforementioned children who throw the condiments back in the fridge can often be caught shoving leftovers into the dark depths of the fridge rather than face scraping, rinsing and washing the bowl or plate that the food is on...ingenious I know but frustrating none the less!!

So it was time to tackle the fridge/freezer (not literally of course!) and try to create some order that would last more than an hour or two.....

I can't believe that I am doing this.....but I am going to show you a before photo.....

tried a little photo editing to distract you from the mess in the fridge/freezer there...did it work!!??

Here are a few ideas that I have come up with...

Tip # 1...... Use Containers .....

I thought about some possible solutions to the condiments problem and decided that it might be useful to put the regularly used condiments into a basket/container of some description which can then be taken in whole to the table each night and after dinner it can be put back into the fridge housing all of the condiments.

I also decided to group like items into various baskets/containers to stop them from straying to other areas of the fridge.  I put all of the breakfast type condiments, jams etc... into one container so the same principle breakfast time the container can be removed, the preferred condiment used and then the whole container goes back into the fridge.

So it has been 3 days and this system is working well so far (hopefully the novelty won't wear off!)

Here's a photo of the containers in the fridge.....

 and here are the regular dinner condiments at the table in their container....

The use of the baskets/containers has definitely helped to keep things in order to date and gives more items a designated home.

I have used the same container concept in the freezer when I do a big grocery shop and come home with loads of meat I sort them into various sized portions, put into freezer bags, label them (well usually!!) and then I put the steak into one container, chicken into another, sausages into another etc..  Makes it heaps easier to pull out the correct meat for that night and it all stays nice and neat in the freezer...rather than random blobs of miscellaneous frozen meats!

(If I could find my label maker I would even label all of the baskets/containers....might need to make stationery department a focus of my organisation soon!!)

Tip # 2...... Fridge Rules .....

The issue of leftovers was one that was a tad tricky....some nights I am happy for the leftovers to be disposed of or fed to the cat....other nights I can see an opportunity to refashion the leftovers into a meal the following night. So I devised some fridge rules.....

Rule #1  Any return of leftovers to the fridge must be approved my mum.  Then all leftovers must be placed on the bottom shelf in a sealed container....not half-heartedly covered in foil or glad wrap.

Rule #2  All condiments baskets/containers are to be placed back into the fridge in the exact same position where they can from (no excuses ....... refer to the photo below!!).

Rule# 3  If you cause a spillage or see a clean a spillage.

No doubt there will be more rules to come as I think of them!

Tip # 3...... Eye Level .....

Lastly I have tried to keep certain foods at eye level to Miss 4 that I would prefer she choose as an option....such as small yoghurts  cheese and other approved snacks!!  This way she will think she chose and perhaps she will be more inclined to eat it!

So here is the finished fridge/freezer....still looking good after 4 days!!  A huge improvement on the before photo I'd say!

Sadly with school holidays looming  it looks as though we are due for another grocery shop.....!!

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