I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe it’s already the middle of November! Wasn’t it just Halloween! Well, in order to keep pace with the upcoming holidays, there are some things you can do to make it go smoother.

In order to prepare for the large amount of food you might be preparing for Thanksgiving (including the storage of that pre-cooked turkey), I suggest that this is a good time to organize the inside of your refrigerator to accommodate the room you will need to store all that food.

Here are some quick tips for A Better Space in your fridge:

1. TOSS – Go through your refrigerator and freezer, shelf by shelf, and toss out anything that has spoiled, has an expired date on it, anything you are unable to identify or that you know you no longer want.

2. CLEAN – Clear out one shelf at a time either by moving items to another shelf or temporarily removing them from the fridge or freezer. You can lay them out on a towel on your counter or floor. Wipe each shelf out with warm water and baking soda. Scrape off any bits of food and wipe up any spills. Don’t forget the refrigerator door and drawers. Then wipe down the items before they are returned to the fridge or freezer to remove whatever might be on the outside of them or stuck to the bottom.

3. CATEGORIZE – Designate different shelves for different categories. By grouping things together, they will be easier to locate. Some suggestions are to keep milk, juice and other drinks together. Keep all left-overs together and towards the front so they are easily seen and used before they go bad. Keep all breads together. Keep all condiments together either on the door on in a low container on a shelf for easy access to the ones in the back. Vegetables and fruits should be kept in their designated drawers with the correct setting to assure longer life.

4. DON’T FORGET THE EXTERIOR – Clear the front of the fridge of all loose papers and toss anything that is outdated. Coupons should be kept in a coupon organizer and recipes you intend to prepare should be placed in a recipe file. Remove excess magnets to keep the front of the fridge free of clutter.

By using these simple suggestions, you will create more space inside and outside your refrigerator and freezer for the holidays and be able to find what you need more easily. Don’t let all that fridge clutter “gobble” up your space!

So, now that the fridge and freezer are organized, another issue arises AFTER the Thanksgiving feast – WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFTOVERS!

Sometimes we just keep eating them until they are gone or take them and prepare something else from them -such as turkey soup, etc.

However, sometimes, we want to freeze the leftovers (in our recently organized freezer!) but are not sure what the guidelines are for how long they will last.

When storing your leftovers, select a shallow, air tight meal-sized container that you can clearly label. You want to put the date and the contents on the label for future reference.

Here are the guidelines for how long you can save your leftovers in the freezer:

Turkey meat (removed from the bone)………….4 to 6 months
Stuffing……………………………………………..2 to 3 months
Soups………………………………………………..2 to 3 months
Cranberry Sauce……………………………………2 to 3 months
Vegetables………………………………………….1 year (if blanched)
Cakes, cupcakes and pies…………………………2 to 3 months

 

I hope all of you enjoy your Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season with your family and friends. Try not to “overstuff” yourself. Remember, you can freeze those leftovers!

 

Audrey Cupo is a full-time Professional Organizer and sole proprietor of A BETTER SPACE based in Bucks County, PA. She specializes in residential organizing and focuses her business on helping busy moms and women entrepreneurs get organized with her in-home services and her U Can Do It product line. To get your FREE “U Can Do It Room By Room Organizing Checklist”, go to www.4abetterspace.com.