How to Prepare Your Fridge for a Gathering
Reduce Holiday Headaches With This Simple Guide to Organizing Your Refrigerator

As the holiday season approaches, it becomes more and more important to prepare our homes for the inevitable holiday gatherings. Whether large or small, making the right preparations ahead of time can help your get-together run smoothly, and can also provide you some ever-important peace of mind that you've done what it takes to avoid the dreaded holiday disaster!

One of the most important aspects to any family gathering, is the kitchen. It's where the food is prepared and stored, and often serves as a gathering place for your guests. When you have guests over, it's always a good idea to make sure your kitchen is prepared to host a group, and that can often center on the refrigerator. Your fridge plays an important role in the dinner party, as a place to store pre-made dishes and those brought by guests, to housing a variety of cold beverages for your guests to enjoy. When the party is done, the refrigerator is going to become the home of all your leftovers! That's why it's so important to make sure your fridge is neat, organized, and fully operational before your guests arrive.

That's why we've put together this handy guide that will help you ensure your refrigerator is ready to go for any get-together. We'll go over some of the steps you'll want to take ahead of time, from removing old items and cleaning the refrigerator itself, to adjusting your shelving and your fridge's temperature so that everything is just right when your guests roll in!

Getting Rid of Expired or Unused Items

The first step in any refrigerator preparation project is to get rid of any items that you're not planning to eat. We've all been in the situation where we've left something in the refrigerator a little longer that we should, and any of these items that you come across should be discarded. Not only will they make your refrigerator look messy, but they can also result in unpleasant odors, and nobody wants that when guests are over! Removing and discarding these items also has the added benefit of making more room in your fridge for food and drinks that you'll want to keep cold

Take a Refrigerator Inventory

Now that you've managed to get rid of all your old and unwanted items, it's time to take a refrigerator inventory. Eliminating any food items that you don't plan on using makes it a lot easier to create a list of everything that will be stored in the refrigerator when your guests arrive. A good way to perform a refrigerator inventory is to remove everything from the fridge and jot down a list of everything that will be stored in your fridge come party time. Removing everything from the fridge will also give you a head start on the cleaning process down the line.

Knowing what will be in your fridge by the time the party starts will help you understandhow much room is available in the refrigerator, and prevent you from running into space issues if guests bring food or beverages that need to be refrigerated. When it comes to hosting a dinner party, organization is the key!

Give Your Refrigerator a Clean

It's time to get to the messy bit of your refrigerator organization task: cleaning. You've already emptied the refrigerator of all items when you did your refrigerator inventory, and this will make it easy to clean out the rest of the fridge. You'll want to use some household cleaning products to remove any stains or spills, and using an anitbacterial cleanser can also reduce the amount of harmful bacteria that may be living on your refrigerator surfaces. Don't forget to remove any trays or baskets, and give those a thorough cleaning as well. It's also a good idea to wipe down the door gaskets, as they are often clogged with dirt and grime.

Change Your Refrigerator's Water Filter

This step won't be necessary for everyone, since not everyone has a water filter, and everyone changes their water filter at different intervals, but if it's been more than 6 months since you've last changed your water filter, it may be time to swap it for a new one. Changing the filter will ensure that the water that comes from your refrigerator's water dispenser will be properly filtered (and the ice that comes from the ice maker will be as well!), To find the water filter that's right for your refrigerator, check out our Water Filter Finder.

Adjust Your Shelving and Get Organized

In order to properly organize your refrigerator, you'll want to ensure that your shelves are at the correct height and orientation. Every fridge is a little bit different, so you'll have to work with what you have for this step. When adjusting your rack heights, it's important to consider what you'll be filling the refrigerator up with later. Will you be putting an entire box of beer or soda in the fridge? Well, it's probably important to leave one section with some extra space to accommodate that. Similarly, if you're planning on brining your turkey ahead of time, you'll need some additional space on one of the shelves in your refrigerator. Again, it's important to do what's right for YOU in this situation, as everyone's fridge and everyone's individual needs will be a little different!

Adjust Your Refrigerator Temperature

This step is one that people often forget or don't consider at all. When you have party guests, or even making a complicated meal in your kitchen day-to-day, it's a good idea to adjust your refrigerator's temperature to make things just a little bit colder. The reason for this is that if you have guests serving themselves beverages (or if you're doing the bartending), or you're adding and removing food items often, the refrigerator door will be constantly opening and closing. This can cause the refrigerator's temperature to rise slightly, and this can impact the refrigerator's ability to keep everything cold. If you lower the temperature of the refrigerator ever so slightly, you can compensate for the constant opening and closing of the door, and keep everything nice and cold for your guests!

Like anything in life, there are always going to be a number of different ways that you can prepare your refrigerator for a gathering, and these are just some of the tips that we find work well for hosting a party. You're going to understand your own situation the best, so make sure that everything you do in preparation for your party suits your own needs. With these simple tips, you can rest assured that you've done what you can to prepare for guests, and your holiday party will be a resounding success!