Mini Mission Monday ~ All over fridge declutter

Mini Mission Monday is about finding ten minutes a day to declutter. To make it easy for you, each Monday I set seven declutter missions, one for each day of the week for you to follow. It takes the guess work out of decluttering and makes it easy and “fun” for you to achieve some quick decluttering.

I have dug this set of mini missions up from the archives as I figured it was about time we performed another fridge declutter. This week we are going to take care of not only the inside but the outside of our fridges as well, over under around and through in fact. So lets get started.

Monday – If you keep stuff on top of your Fridge/freezer clean it off and leave it empty for a while and see how you like it.

Tuesday – Not too many people I know have an empty fridge/freezer front. There are usually photos and kids drawings, invitations and a notice board. Clear off everything that isn’t essential and try living with a clear fridge for a while.

Wednesday – Perhaps what is on the front spills over to the sides of the fridge. Time to clear that off as well.

Thursday – The inside of the fridge always is in need of a little decluttering no matter how soon ago you did it last. Have a dig around and see if there is any out of date items or just items that you keep thinking you will use up one day but never do.

Friday – Today is the day to declutter the inside of the freezer. Maybe it would be a good idea to plan tonights meal around using up bits and pieces in there.

Saturday – Since everything is clean on the inside and out why not move the fridge out of it’s position today and clean underneath it. Perhaps if it is an old fridge it might be an idea to give the element on the back a bit of a vacuum.

Sunday - Sundays are a good day for leftovers. Whip up lunch today using up some more bits and pieces out of the fridge.

Good luck and happy decluttering

Today’s Declutter Item

I don’t have any fridge clutter to share with you today but I do have some little kitchen clutter. This set of ramekins have been in my kitchen for about five years give or take a couple of months and have never been used. Out they go to the thrift store.

Creme Brulee Ramekins

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow

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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. This one will be easy. We have a built-in fridge with a wood paneled door, so we can’t put anything on top of it or on the front or sides. The inside is a different story. We have way too many condiments. The fridge looks full, but it’s mostly ketchup, mayo, mustard, sauces, etc. I did declutter two cookbooks this morning, though.

  2. Too funny. This is one place where my mom is as picky as I am about decluttering. Our fridge is never full. A friend of ours is always commenting about how little we have in there. It’s because we freeze everything. Our freezer is pretty full but it is full of things that we are eating on. We cook up multiple recipes and freeze them in serving size containers. The one place that is still a little too cluttered in my opinion is the side. We have nothing on ther front but 4 vistorian style house magnets. The side has lots and it’s things Mom thinks she needs. I’ve been gradually taking off a thing here or there and dumping it. She hasn’t noticed.

  3. Hi Deb J, my fridge is often close to empty too.

    • Ditto! I feel uncomfortable if the fridge is full, I’m sure I’m forgetting stuff which is going bad! My DIL has often remarked “You’ve got no food, the fridge is empty” when I had just put stuff in after shopping!

  4. LOL as someone who is “cateringly challenged” my fridge is usually in a state of requiring a declutter. And yes I’m sure my poor kitchen management abilities are a major contributor. 🙂 Once I have gotten a bit further a long with my decluttering, my next project is to design a system of running an effecient kitchen system.

    Fortunately the refrigerator is set into the kitchen joinery so all clear on top, and it is stainless steel so magents won’t stick to it.

    • “efficient kitchen system”. that is exactly the phrase I was looking for. thats what I have. I know what I have in my kitchen and I declutter on a regular basis, just when I figured that I am not using a particular item for anything. I also find that the use-it-up challenge is working fine (I ate myself through 6 jars of marmelade in the last month and I decided for the future to have a max of two different sorts at home).

      my fridge is usually full, because I dont eat out much, in order to save money (and to be honest, because I really like my food). I have troubles to keep it clean though, because its on the floor and I have to kneel down… So thanks for that reminder, I will do that right now and get it over with. so my mini missions are done for today.

      • Hi Lena, I guess you have a very small fridge too. We mostly eat in too except on Saturdays when we spoil ourselves completely.

        • In order to lose or keep weight I had to know whats in it. So I stopped eating out a lot. I found out, it saves me money, I eat healthier, and I dont waste a lot of food…
          My fridge is big enough for me alone, but if I have more people over, I sometimes wish for another one that I could put bottles and drinks in. its all about rearranging 😉

      • Hi Lena – the term was devised by two of my friends, one of whom is a chef and one of whom is a self-employed solo mum who every cent counts. Ironically they have very similar methods in place to run their kitchens, just the quantities and varieties differ.

        My mum tried sooooo hard to pass on all her wisdom, and we do manage to eat and reasonably ok but just not my forte. Anyway, they are going to write me “Kitchens for Dummies”.

        I have 3 teenagers who eat like horses, so I am definately in the quantities not quality phase of life.

        • I can tell you what my magic key is: I have a chalk board in the middle of the kitchen where I write down what I need to buy as soon as I think of it. I go shopping around twice a week, and I make sure I have my list with me before I leave the house. If I am short on olive oil, I write it down, if I just used the last can of tomatoes, I write it down, if I want to cook something with special ingredients I write it down. because if I dont, I forget to buy it.

          another simple trick to avoid mess is the use it up week at the end of the month. I eventually have the use it up moments, when my account is empty and I have to prioritize with my last 50 euros. I usually try not to spend money on food and drinks but just eat what I have at home. The following week (the “fat account” week), I do the big grocery shopping that gets me up to date with my list again 🙂

    • Hi Moni, it is good to know ones limitations and have a plan to improve them. I am curious though about this no magnets on stainless steel. I have a stainless steel fridge and magnets stick to it. I might have to google this to find out what the story is. Perhaps some of these fridges are actually aluminium and not stainless. ???????

      • Hi I just did a double check as we have in the garage a matching pair fridge and freezer from the white era about 20 years ago. I grabbed a magnet off one of those and no they don’t work on our stainless steel fridge. Our kitchen fridge is F&P. Maybe they built in magnet repellant to complete the streamline look?

        The fridge in the garage is pretty empty at the moment – Lena would love to have this extra fridge – very very handy for entertaining and peak times. The freezer beside it is looking a bit empty at the moment too. Two of my teens are away for the school holidays and we have a drastic drop in foodbill!

        However I probably won’t be replacing these when they eventually give up and die, my eldest is potentially leaving home from next year, and I have two supermarkets within 3 minutes drive, and I’m sure I will have my “effecient kitchen system” up and running by then.

  5. Hi Colleen,
    A little update: I’ve broken through my decluttering plateau! (Meaning that I went through a period of not decluttering, as I’d reached a point where everything fit into closets, drawers, or cupboards, so what’s the point?)
    I’m planning to move during the summer at some point, when my lease is up, and I’ve been living in the same building for six-and-a-half years. I’m moving from Manhattan to Brooklyn, so I’m looking at things thinking, do I *really* want to pay movers to take this to Brooklyn for me? The thing that unstuck/dislodged me was nine matching picture frames. They’re large, they get dinged up easily, and they’d take up a whole box by themselves! I’ve gotten my $5 and my five years use out of each frame, so on to someone else’s life!
    Thank you for the continued inspiration!

    • Laura, funny you ask whats the point. I always had the goal in my decluttering journey that I one day have empty drawer. I put signs saying “empty” on the bottom of those drawers. I really hope I will be there soon to see the signs again 🙂 if I am sure I wont need my empty drawer anymore, I will just declutter the furniture as well… One day I will have my things down to a couple of boxes and the basic items a household needs, and only then I will have reached the plateau =)

    • Hi Laura – I was sitting here thinking what a wise girl giving yourself so much notice to declutter before shifting, until I clicked that your Summer is coming up and not our southern hemisphere summer which isn’t due back until December! 🙂

      However, it sounds like you are miles ahead as everything has a place and everything in its place. Lucky girl. At this stage is my goal, however it has occured to me that if we ever shift and the storage facilities are less than what we have arranged in this house, or if we decide to downsize when the kids leave home, it would mean starting over again.

      Good philosophy to base your judgement on whether you’d want to pay someone to shift it for you. We helped shift a relative and there were boxes and boxes from the kitchen, and upon unpacking at the other end, there were empty jam jars and preserving jars (to the best of my knowledge she has never made her own jam or preserves) and at the time I was baffled why she would shift them with her each time. Of course, our labour was on a volunteer basis, so that’s probably why.

  6. I clean my fridge every week before I go shopping again. I see what I have, what needs to be used and plan menus around that so I don’t waste food. There isn’t a lot in the fridge at that time so it is easy to clean. I clean out the freezer every couple of months and see what is there that needs to be used. I like to keep things rotated so they don’t end up getting freezer burn and we have to toss them. I go through my cupboards every 3-6 months and see what isn’t being used. When I buy cans, I mark the date with a sharpie that is big and easy to see. I put the cans that need to be used first towards the front. When I look into the cupboard, I see all the dates right in front of me and it is easy to see what needs to be used. It is also a good idea to put dates on the food in the freezer and on leftovers in the fridge if you aren’t good about eating them the next day.

  7. I do this, too and it makes it so simple. I always have a clean fridge, which seems healthy to me. Plus savings becuase of buying only what we need and also not throwing out food gone bad.

    • It is kinda mindblowing how grotty the inside of your fridge can get isn’t it.

      I’m with you Connie, I find it more economical to keep the fridge tidy and that way I only get what I need to get. It just makes good sense all round.

      Since being more vigilant with my fridge, I haven’t been throwing so much out and the resident kangaroos are starting to give me dirty looks, they always got bread, fruit & veges on a regular basis, now they wait in earnest everytime I go out the back and look at me longingly. Now I feel mean 🙁

      • if you take them into account, you were not really throwing it out. as long as someone is eating it, its not wasting food 😉