simple tip to keep your fridge clean

This week my friend Laura asked me to partner with some other bloggers to share simple 10 minute cleaning tips.

Now I love a cleaning tip as much as the next person.


And I wanted to share one that was amazing and earth-shattering, but yet so simple my cat could do it.

So I did a little research on Pinterest.  I found this seemingly amazing tip.  But would it work?  Has anyone actually used a glove to pick up pet hair?  Or how about this tip?  Will a dryer sheet really work?  Has it met my soap scum before?

I needed help.  And guidance.  And assistance.

So I did the only thing a girl can do at a time like this.

I phoned my cleaning-tip-phone-a-friend.

My mother-in-law.

refrigerator with open shelving

My mother-in-law is wonderful and clever and funny and her house is so clean you could serve dinner to the governor off the floors.

I remember when I started dating my husband and I walked into his house for the first time….

….and stared at the carpet.

It was fancy.

With perfect lines in it from the vacuum cleaner.

And if you could have seen that carpet and knew I needed a cleaning-tip-phone-a-friend….

….you would have dialed her number for me.

Butler's Pantry with fridge

And the tip she gave me was so simple, I totally should have thought of it years ago.

It would have saved me hours of cleaning time.

And anyone can do it.

cleaning tips for the refrigerator

To illustrate what I’m talking about….let’s look at exhibit A.

A spilled Gatorade.

This happens all the time in my refrigerator, except most of the time I don’t know it’s been spilled.  Someone (usually named Nobody or I don’t know or Not Me) spills the Gatorade on the refrigerator shelf.  And Nobody and Not Me think it’s funny and that no one will notice and leave it on the shelf.

And it drips.

From shelf to shelf.

Until the next time I open up the refrigerator door and see the kind-of-half-dried gooey mess.  And I take out all the shelves and wipe them down and sigh and yell and ask who did it and where are they and why in the world did they leave spilled Gatorade everywhere and could they help me clean it up.

But Not Me never shows up.

fridge cleaning tips

Enter my mother-in-law’s cleaning tip.

She calls it preventative.

I call it brilliant.  And time-saving.  And easy.

cleaning tips

She uses plastic shoe bins from the dollar store to hold all her spillable items.

Like salad dressings.

And syrup.

And soy sauce.

Simple Tip

She groups them together in the see-through plastic container and places them on the shelf in the refrigerator.

The shoe boxes come in different sizes and the store I went to even had decorative containers if you want to get fancy.

Then….if anything spills….all you have to do is pull out the container and wipe it down.

Nothing drips to the next shelf.

All the spills simply stay put.

cleaning tips for the fridge

Oh…and if that idea wasn’t brilliant enough….

….she gave me one more tip for the road.

She lays down a sheet of plastic wrap in the bottom of the vegetable drawers.

Just in case your cucumbers or broccoli or tomatoes get a little crazy.


PS  I’ll share her tips, but I won’t share that wonderful mother-in-law of mine.

I adore her.

And she’s already taken. 🙂


And here’s a few more cleaning tips from some of my friends:

Cleaning Your Grill at Finding Home

Quick Painted Furniture Touch-Up at Inspired by Charm

How to Clean Your Hairbrushes at TidyMom

The Best Way to Clean Windows at Four Generations One Roof

10 Minute Cleaning Tips at Julie Blanner

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Amy W. Amy W.

    Eureka!!!! I'm taking your Mother-In-Law and you with sharing this post, into my day! Dollar Store here I come! Wishing you both a Super Great Day! :)

  2. Image for Patty Patty

    I bought cheap plastic liners and placed them on my fridge shelves. This has saved so much time and cleaning for me. I only wonder where this tip was when my boys were younger. I could have saved many, many, many hours of cleaning. I put paper towels in my vegetable drawers but I think I will change that to the plastic wrap. Please than your Mother-in-law for me!

  3. Image for Peg Peg

    Hahahaha! I used to say to my kids, as they looked at me with shrugging shoulders, and raised eyebrows..."OK, then a ghost did it?" Have a great day rock star!! : )

  4. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    Heh,mid my refrigerator looked like the one pictured, I'd be happy. Mine is stuffed. Um, maybe I need to do some serious purging? Lol. Great tips. Wonder if my family would cooperate and put stuff in the bins?

  5. Image for Renae Reis Renae Reis

    I miss my mother in law. I used to call her for all kinds of domestic things. Not to say that I don't call my own mom for things but my mother in law knew different things. They were the perfect complement to one another. Now she's gone and I miss her even more. Thank you for your tips, from your wonderful mother in law. They are truly worth their weight in gold!!

  6. Image for Tina Matteson Tina Matteson

    I love this tip, KariAnne. Now... let's come up with a fabulous craft to do with all the lids from those containers, that we won't be using...! Any thoughts?

  7. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    Miz you must have two refrigerators? One for the drinks and another for actual food and leftovers, etc? I do the one in the crisper drawers, either with plastic wrap or just paper towels. either way they save a bunch of cleaning time.

  8. Image for Patricia Patricia

    I line the fridge drawers with cute plastic placemats. Way easier to pull out a placemat to clean than those dang shelves. Love the shoebox idea- my thanks to your MIL.

  9. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    Too funny! My three culprits have moved if there's a spill it's either him or me! But, great tips none the less! Enjoy your day! ;)

  10. Image for Jillynn Jillynn

    Oh! My! Word!!! I have been opening my fridge EVER DAY wondering if this will be the day I FINALLY finish my Kitchen Organization 101 series (but this would include my fridge....) hahaha. Here I go. You motivated me! Jillynn

  11. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    Gee I wish I would have thought of all those tips -- and I'm a mother-in-law!! You know we are a nice breed -- we've been given a bad rap and most of us are always ready to help!! I am going out and getting some plastic bins. No more spills!!! Thank you and thank you're mother-in-law!

  12. Image for Joanne B. Joanne B.

    love the idea of the separate bins for drip-able stuff! I liked the idea of the plastic wrap in the veggie drawer until I let my brain wander and came up with this gem: how about keeping your eyes open for a perfect sized styrofoam tray like meats or produce is packed in? If any veggies hide (like mine often do) and get gooey you can just lift out the whole tray and salvage what is left and clean the whole mess up, wash the tray and reuse. I am soooo brilliant.

  13. Image for Carmen Carmen

    Looks great and great idea but... if I take all the condiments from the door and place them in a container and place that on the shelf I won't have room for the actual food and then I have empty doors. What does mother-in-law do with her doors and where does the food go?

  14. Image for Jae Jae

    I use those and also plastic dishpan tubs on the wire shelves in my pantry to keep things organized and clean. Why did I never think of using them in the fridge? Brilliant! Thanks to your mil, and you, for a great idea.

  15. Image for Susan Susan

    Another easy way to accomplish the clean shelves is to use Glad Wrap's Press-n-Seal on the shelves when they're clean. Once they get dirty, remove and replace the Press-n-Seal.

  16. Image for Rosanne Rosanne

    I bought placemats from the Dollar store and cut them to fit my shelves and the door shelves. The wipe up nicely and look pretty (black & white filigree pattern)'s a nice surprise every time I open the door!

  17. Image for Nadine Nadine

    Love you, love your blog... But the new amount of advertising is making it unpleasant, and completely interrupting the possibility of enjoyment. Just sayin'. Thx. Nadine

  18. Image for heaven heaven

    Your mother in law has inspired me to follow your blog on Google. :) Great tips and I envy all those white dishes too. Such a beautiful kitchen. Pinned! Stopping by from Whimsy Wednesday.

  19. Image for Don M Don M

    Haha great tip. Does the bins get hard to move around at all with different size objects? Seems like it could go over well and then people would get lazy and start leaving objects outside of the buckets. Then again if people are constantly spilling stuff I imagine anything helps! Cheers!

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