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5 Tips for Organizing Your Fridge for Thanksgiving

Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is just around the corner; which means your fridge is about to get a workout. Get it ready for turkey day with these simple steps.

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Woman taking food out of fridge at homePixel-Shot/Shutterstock

Refrigerator Prep

There’s a lot to think about when planning a Thanksgiving feast. What dishes should you make beforehand? How many place settings will you need? Is Uncle Frank going to cause a scene? Check at least one thing off your list by ensuring your fridge is ready for all that extra food.

A clean and organized fridge will take away some of the stress of hosting a big holiday meal. Here are five of our favorite tips for prepping your fridge for Thanksgiving—and be sure to check out our guide for keeping your fridge organized year-round.

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Close-up Of Young Woman Wearing Blue Glove And Cleaning RefrigeratorAndrey_Popov/Shutterstock

2 Weeks Before: Clean Out The Fridge

On Thanksgiving day it’s no question you’re going to need all the fridge room you can get, but don’t forget about the extra space you need before the big day arrives. You’ll need a place for all those ingredients and for the dishes that you make ahead of time. So empty the fridge, throw away old items, and give it a good scrub down at least a couple weeks before Thanksgiving.
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View Looking Out From Inside Of Refrigerator As Man Opens Door For Leftover Takeaway Pizza SliceShutterstock / Monkey Business Images

1 Week Before: Eat Up

Once you’ve thrown away any expired items, naturally you’ll still have leftovers and other everyday items in the fridge as the days tick closer to Thanksgiving. A week before the big day, it’s a good idea to try to consume as much food in the fridge and freezer as possible to make extra room. And if that means more than one dinner that week is made up of leftovers, so be it. Here are some creative ways to turn leftovers into new meals.

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A fresh raw plucked turkey in refrigerator, become tenderShutterstock / pictoplay

3 or 4 Days Before: Make Room for Turkey

Most frozen turkeys require at least three days to thaw in the fridge, you might need more if you plan to brine your bird. Set aside space for the turkey by adjusting shelves and moving as many items as you can into the refrigerator doors. Remember to thaw the turkey in a container to avoid any cross contamination. Get more tips for how to thaw a turkey.

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freezer with assorted frozen foodsTaste of Home

1 Day Before: Use Labels

It’s probable that your fridge is probably already close to overflowing the day before Thanksgiving. If there are any prepped items or dishes that have been made ahead of time, consider labeling them with simple fridge-safe labels. That way when family members are helping you in the kitchen, they’ll know exactly where to find the green bean casserole or sweet potatoes when it’s time to pop them in the oven.

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bottles of various kinds of soda chill in a large in of crushed iceShutterstock / iyd39

Thanksgiving Day: Move the Drinks

It’s go time! Thanksgiving day is when you finally get to start taking things out of the fridge to prepare for the feast. During the hustle and bustle of last-minute touches, you’ll want guests looking for chilled beverages to be out of the way. Consider creating a drink station in another part of the house, and moving the drinks into a cooler or ice bucket to clear up fridge space and minimize kitchen traffic. Psst! Here are a few Thanksgiving drink recipes to try.

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Erica Young
Erica is a cleaning and home décor expert. She knows exactly how to tidy a filthy kitchen and straighten out a mixed-up pantry! When she's not writing you'll find her organizing a closet, buying more bins she doesn't need or bingeing her latest TV show obsession.