decluttering the fridge

This morning I walked into the kitchen and was greeted with that autumn light and a clear, clean table. The rest of the house, despite my Sunday evening quick clean, left much to be desired so I focussed all my attention on the freesias, dried wattle, beeswax and my little teapot from Bali. I sat there and ate porridge with banana and maple syrup, drank ginger tea and chatted to the children (one sniffly, one not).

After teaching a class I returned home to clean. Work has been busy and staying on top of housework isn’t a priority when deadlines are looming. But today, with the sun and warm air it seemed best to put the words aside* and focus on the tangible and practical.

My first step? Clear surfaces. The kitchen bench was sprouting all manner of ephemera, as was the entryway and the fridge. Oh, the fridge. I always seem to forget about the fridge but it is a magnet for paperwork, artwork, bills and certificates. This morning it was hidden under an extra-large pirate drawing that spanned the length of the fridge and the freezer. Time to relocate said artwork to the wall and work my way through my dis-organised fridge filing system. Ninety per cent of the paperwork was out of date so it went straight into the recycling and only the essentials remain (the certificates and paintings made their way into keepsake boxes). A quick and satisfying declutter.

Next? Time to open the fridge. Every Monday fortnight is organic delivery day so if I’m organised enough I go through the fruit and vegie compartments and use up what I can in juices or dinner. That’s the good thing about buying organics – the produce lasts, especially if you store it correctly (I use glass containers to store and cut the larger veggies like kale, celery and spinach into small pieces to make meal times that bit easier). I’ve still got broccoli in perfect condition from last fortnight’s delivery – will blanch it tonight and add s+p and a squeeze of lemon. I’m cooking bolognaise for dinner so will add grated carrot and zucchini and will juice the remaining carrots with oranges for breakfast tomorrow. I could bake a years worth of banana bread based on the rotten bananas in my freezer but instead I’ve turned my attention to rhubarb (bought specifically to make this and this). I baked the latter last night and am currently eating it with a cup of tea – highly recommend. It’s delicious.

How’s your fridge looking? What are you planning to bake this week?

*confession: I’ve got writer’s block and the book intro needs to be done by tomorrow – I’m well and truly stuck.

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Showing 17 comments
  • thesaga bySteinsdotter

    That's a gorgeous picture, AND table!!!

    My fridge is looking fine, and healthy. And I'm not planning to bake anything, sadly!

  • mel @ loved handmade

    there must be something in the air, I've cleaned out the fridge too and I'm about to hit our wardrobes. It feels good to cleanse before a new season begins x

  • Reply

    My fridge is looking happy with apples, feijoas and feta 🙂 I have just baked a date, walnut and oat loaf, hot from the oven, delish with a cuppa, thats my dinner tonight! 🙂

  • Elke Indigo

    We recently had to replace our fridge – the old one was wonderful and still working well but occasionally decided to leak – not so good on rental wooden floors, so we felt best to replace it. The new (second hand – but new to us) fridge is marvellous and merely based on it's layout and compartments I feel I'm making much better use of our food. It seems strange to say, but this new fridge is really very inspiring with our food! The new one is a side by side style which is handy – but lucky we have a stand alone freezer as certain things like last night's raw cake plate and the dehydrator tray when I'm making granola, don't fit in. It was hard to say goodbye to the old one. We'd had her since before Chilli was born and she was like part of the family – especially the artwork that had been painted over her over the years.

    On the baking note, the rhubarb is great here at the moment, I'll have to check out the crumb cake – however persimmons are the star of our kitchen recently, being eaten; fresh, in ginger steamed pudding and baked into persimmon bread. Enjoy your Autumn baking xxxx

  • Christie R

    Writer's block is a wild animal! There's nothing to be done for it but to sit patiently and wait for it to change it's mood!

    I hope to tackle this recipe ( this week. Looks simple enough!

  • Audrey Lin

    My fridge is looking cluttered! There is so much food in my house, but none of it is snack-able, so I'm always complaining about how there isn't any food in the house haha. I should get a start on decluttering 😛 I've also been feeling stuck for blog posts lately, so we're all kind of in the same boat! I spent a few days away from my computer (mostly because it was prom weekend and I spent the next two days just sleeping) and now I'm feeling a little better! Good luck with your book! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's

  • Brandi

    I woke up this morning determined to get through some decluttering, and this post is quite the inspiration. Might even get me off my morning computer time wasting black hole to actually do something! Our rhubarb is just coming up, so perhaps after all the cleaning, I'll trash the kitchen again with some baking. I'm quite the slob, especially in the kitchen. Best of luck with your work and writer's block.

  • Jayview

    You write so well you even make uncluttering the fridge sound interesting – almost appealing! We have those word fridge magnets with which to make poems, and they form sedimentary layers of our history here. Inside – well the veggies are organic though our closest little green grocer just closed. Fructose friendly veggies too thanks to FODMAPS app. Jean

  • familyfaithfoodfabric

    How very inspiring… "sprouting ephemera"… OH how I can't wait to read your book and get lost in your imagery!
    We have been on a simplifying mission with the kitchen. We have a goal : Take down all of the wall cabinets before they end of summer. We have a very small home only made smaller buy all the heavy 14 inch deep cabinets everywhere. So to go from 17 cupboards to 6 cupboards and an armoire, we need to get rid of so much!

    Please keep sharing your views and secrets…

    • Margaret

      Oh, you will be amazed at the difference, my kitchen was original early 50'sand when the 10 inch deep glass fronted wall cabinets went, it was like the wall was moved out 3 feet (a metre) ……no wall cupboards went back up in the reno, and all the new ones are drawers, sooooo much better storage.

    • Jodi

      Enjoy your kitchen renovation – so many possibilities! x

  • Flick

    I just baked Emma Dean's Rhubarb Cake on the weekend – it was delicious! I have another bunch of rhubarb that I picked up at the farmers markets, and have now bookmarked the recipe on Lemon Rhodes….thanks so much, Flick x

  • TOI

    I declutted my fridge few months ago and I've been keeping it clutter free and it makes food shopping very easy. This week I'll bake a quiche

  • Reply

    My house is never cleaner than when I'm procrastinating! My procrastination always involves words – those of others though, not my own (marking is the bane of my work life).

    • Jodi

      Oh yes, I completely understand where you're coming from x

  • JoKnows

    Thanks for sharing this. I feel better about the piles of stuff that currently reside on my kitchen counter and table – stuff that needs to be photographed for the blog, bracelets my daughter is in the process of crafting, papers that need to be dealt with…it's an ongoing struggle. Like you, I will often tidy one little area so I can sit and enjoy my tea without clutter in my view. 🙂


  • Reply

    Oh I did our fridge last week too! After a few months of avoiding the area due to morning sickness, it had grown slightly out of control. Literally, grown. Ew. Now that everything is clean and fresh inside I've been a cooking machine again. Like you, we get a fortnightly organic delivery too. I love the motivation that comes with it, and the surprises that get you trying new things or new ways of doing things. That vanilla rhubarb cake looks so good! Now I wonder if we'll be getting any rhubarb this week…

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