Excuse the pun, but the timing has never been riper to celebrate National Clean Out Your Fridge Day on November 15! This is the perfect opportunity to tackle that science experiment that’s been growing way in the back, there. Of course, ideally, we’d all clean out our fridges far more often than once a year, but let’s be real: Making it an annual occasion provides everyone with the reassurance that at least the horrendous situation with your roommate’s long-forgotten “homemade kombucha” will be rectified eventually, and marking it as a day on the national calendar gives you plenty of scope for getting passive aggressive in the preceding weeks.
National Clean Out Your Fridge Day - History
The arrival of freezers large enough to make more than ice cubes revolutionized the frozen food industry
Founded by the folks who brought you General Motors, the brand became so popular that many Americans called any refrigerator by the name of the company
First Household Refrigerator
Produced by General Electric, the design was based on one by a French Cistercian monk and physics teacher, Marcel Audiffren, and primarily designed to help GE sell electricity
First Ice-Making Machine
And it only took about a hundred more years for the phrase “on the rocks” to be ascribed to Scotch by bar staff
Artificial Refrigeration Begins
Scottish professor William Cullen used a pump to create a partial vacuum in the world’s first refrigeration machine
National Clean Out Your Fridge Day Activities
1. Give far too much heavy-handed and serious notice
Nobody likes to check for their precious turkey and Swiss cheese sandwich at lunch time and find it’s been chucked out with the furry pasta that was last touched last month. The trick to this part of celebrating National Clean Out Your Fridge Day is to give a series of increasingly escalating pieces of overwrought and deadly serious-sounding notice. You might print out a picture of a nuclear mushroom cloud and fix it to the fridge, writing, “days to National Clean Out Your Fridge Day,” and count it down on a daily basis. Send an office-wide email, cc’ing your boss. Or if it’s your roomies, send a series of group texts over the days before you do it.
2. Buy a hazmat suit
There really is no way you can go too far with National Clean Out Your Fridge Day. Real hazmat suits cost hundreds of dollars, but you can buy a killer costume version for around $30. It’ll make for an excellent picture when you finally come to dispose of that…wait…what even is that, anyway? Tweet about it. Make it a big deal.
3. Actually clean out the fridge
The chances are, if you’ve made a big enough deal out of it, that you might even have roped in some help for cleaning out the fridge by the time the big day rolls around. Apparently cleaning your fridge requires things like “warm, soapy water” and “a sponge,” and unplugging it if you’re planning to have the door open for a while, so you don’t waste energy. But hopefully one of your friends or coworkers will be better with the details, after all, you’ve spent so much energy on the promotion. It’s only right to share the work.
Why We Love National Clean Out Your Fridge Day
A. More of us than ever are sharing living spaces
The number of adults sharing a household with a roommate has surged as rents have risen more quickly than incomes across America over recent years—25% of adults now share with a roommate. The fridge is a major source of roommate tension, and cleaning it out is great for your roommate relationships. It also is good for your health—by diffusing tension, it lowers stress.
B. It’s a perfect way to be appreciated
Nobody at the office likes to do this horrific chore, which means the person who does do it gets a medal, which could even mean a raise, which would be hugely disproportionate to the amount of effort it takes to hold your nose and do the dirty work. Remember: When there are dirty jobs to be done, there is money to be made!
C. You didn’t run out of that after all
When your fridge is cluttered, it's easy to forget you have a long-lasting sauce tucked away in the back there behind the stuff nobody wants to touch. So before you buy that second bottle of sriracha, check your own fridge! You'll save money, time, and get what basically amounts to free condiments. What's not to love about free condiments?