Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cleaning the Fridge the ADHD Way

From that widget at the right you will see that I am process oriented. I like to think through the steps of my project as I go through them. I am also a little bit AADHD so I tend to jump from one step to another. Hence my dashing over to the computer to write a blog post about cleaning the refrigerator while I am cleaning the refrigerator. I figure that if I've got my steps in writing next time I can just follow the recipe, and maybe someone else will find my description useful.

Step 1: Empty and load the dishwasher. This will help to clear the counters and the sink and let you know if you have room left in the dishwasher to wash the containers you're going to clean out of the fridge. Run a load of dishes if necessary while you start the next step.

Step 2: Get out your sponges, soap, towels and any other cleaning products you like to use. Wash out the sink and fill it with warm soapy water if you like. I prefer to wash and rinse the shelves under running water but I try to be conscious of not letting the water run too long.

Step 3:  Make a space on your counter large enough to hold everything you've collected in the fridge. If you're like me you'll put a tray on the counter to corral as many of the items as possible. Otherwise the task will expand to fill any available space.

Step 4:  Take everything out of the fridge, and I mean everything that isn't nailed down including shelves and drawers. Keep track of where everything came from so you'll know how to put it together again when it's clean. Put the shelves and other pieces of the fridge into the sink and give them a good scrubbing.  Don't forget to scrub out the inside of the fridge before you start putting everything back.

Step 5:  Put the fridge back together as the pieces are cleaned and dried. This is when you'll be glad you kept track of where everything came from. Just remember it's your fridge. If the configuration doesn't work now is the time to make changes. I just realized as I put my fridge back together that I could put the drinks low enough for my kids to be able to get themselves some milk or OJ by making a taller shelf lower down in the fridge. It takes me a while but I get there.

Step 6:  Go ahead and have a sip of your coffee but don't take a break yet. We still have to deal with all that other stuff that's out on the counter. By the way, I didn't follow my own advice at this point. I sat at the computer and let the dog sleep in my lap and wrote this blog post and tweeted from my @MitziZohar account: 

I'm writing a blog post about cleaning and organizing the fridge, while surfing and tweeting, and cleaning and organizing the fridge. #ADHD

Step 7: Back to work.Now it's time for the 'fun' part. What have you got on the counter? Does it all belong in the fridge? Is there somewhere else you could store your nail polish?Check expiry dates. Open containers and do the sniff test. Look for mould and science experiments.Be ruthless about disposing of anything that's past its best before date, that your family doesn't eat anymore or condiments that you've been keeping around just in case.Empty out containers into your compost bin, green bin or garbage disposal and rinse them out or put them into the dishwasher or recycling bin.

Step 8:  Sort like with like. Our daughter loves Israeli salad so I keep the cucumber, tomatoes, onions and parsley all together so she can make it for herself any time.

In our refrigerator the fruit and veggies go in the crisper and the cheese and meat go in the other drawer. How do you like to organize your refrigerator? Can you tell this is not my favorite step?

Step 9:  Empty the old box of baking soda down the sink, recycle the old box and put a new one in the fridge. Mmmm, now the sink and fridge will both smell fresh.

Yikes! The box says to change it every 30 days. Is that how often I'm supposed to repeat this process? Is that how often you do it? I'm going to start by putting a reminder in my Yahoo calendar for once every three months. I'll let you know if that is too often or not often enough. What's your guess?

How long does this take? No way of knowing because I take so many breaks and do so many things at the same time.

A word to the wise: Take your time. Have fun with it. There are so many reasons to do a great job. For one thing, if your refrigerator is really really clean and organized you'll notice right away if something gets dirty or out of place and you'll fix it. You'll also notice when it's time to get more ketchup, and remember that you don't need yet another bottle of barbecue sauce, if you always keep them in the same place.

The longer your fridge can stay looking terrific the longer it will be until you have to start the process all over again.

1 comment:

Nellie's Needles said...

This is my least favorite job in the kitchen. However, it's the one I have to do at least 3 times a year to 3 refrigerators due to the joy of having both winter and summer residences ... plus the summer one has 2 full sized appliances. SIGH! I don't have a clue how they can get so messy and dirty.

But you're right about being able to keep up with what's there and what needs replacing.