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Seasonal Cleaning

Make Room Thanksgiving Leftovers

Step into the store this time of year and you’re likely greeted by sales on items like sweet potatoes, marshmallows, canned pumpkin, green beans and fried onions. That can only mean one thing: Thanksgiving is just around the corner.

If you’re hosting a dinner this year, there’s no time like the present to get your refrigerator ready to take on all of those meal prep ingredients and Thanksgiving leftovers. The following tips can provide some insight on how to set up an organized fridge you’ll be thankful for before and after the biggest dinner of the year.

Conduct a Pre-Turkey Day Purge

Most people keep their fridge stocked with a lot of things they don’t really use throughout the year. Half-empty bottles of ranch dressing. Expired containers of olives. Jars of jelly with less than a spoonful left in them. Scary forgotten ingredients that look like science experiments. Take all those out, rinse the containers and toss them in the recycling bin

Next, move onward and upward and do the same thing in your freezer. Throw out the Thanksgiving leftovers you still have from last year, along with any products that have been there so long the packaging design has changed. Let’s be honest, if you haven’t eaten these items now, you’re not ever going to.

Create a Tidy and Organized Fridge

Cleaning the inside of your icebox can be time consuming, but it’s worth the effort to take on this task when you’re trying to prepare an organized fridge for Thanksgiving leftovers. The following tips can show you everything from how to make a homemade fridge cleaning solution to where in the refrigerator you should store foods to make them last longer.

Stock Up on After-Supper Supplies

Maintaining a clean and organized fridge will be a lot easier if you have the right tools. When you’re out shopping for dinner ingredients, make sure you also pick up plenty of the following:
  • Aluminum foil (for wrapping food)
  • Freezer-safe food storage (for storing your own favorites)
  • Stick-on labels or freezer tape (for dating your leftovers)
  • Cardboard to-go boxes (for packing to-go plates)
  • Mason jars (for packing to-go sauces and gravies)
  • Decorative holiday paper bags (for sending Thanksgiving leftovers home with guests)
  • Distilled white vinegar or extra dish soap (for keeping the inside of your refrigerator clean)
  • Baking soda (to help reduce cooking odors and refrigerator smells)
  • Microfiber cloths (for quick cleanups of gravy or cranberry sauce spills)

Limit the Amount of Leftovers You Have

The best way to keep Thanksgiving leftovers from taking over your refrigerator is to reduce the number of things you have left to store. Line cardboard to-go boxes with aluminum foil and pack them with turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole and pies. Runnier dishes, like gravies and cranberry sauce can be stored in mason jars. These can all be placed inside your decorative paper bags for dinner guests to take home with them. With this simple gesture of feeding your friends and family a little more, you’ll have significantly limited the Thanksgiving leftovers you have to store in your organized fridge.

Need more tips to help you out during this festive feeding frenzy? Learn the freezer lifespans for Thanksgiving leftovers, then check out our Thanksgiving cleaning checklist

And if you don’t have time to clean the fridge out yourself, let us do it! Refrigerator cleaning is just one of the many specialty housekeeping services offered by Merry Maids. Contact your local office today to make sure they’re available to help you with holiday cleanings!