Ice Boxes

*the title of this post comes from my childhood when Grandpa used to say ‘put this in the ice box’ and I’d get really confused. An ice box is of course, a fridge or freezer!

When I moved into this house in November 2008 it had a stove, oven and microwave but no fridge or freezer and a broken dishwasher. I talked about what I replaced in this post  instead of spending $1,000 or more on a new unit, I picked up a used one at a garage sale for $40.

Unfortunately my thrifty fridge was missing a few door shelves and had broken tracks for the produce drawers. But the biggest problem was that the seal was broken so ants could get into the freezer (where they would die a cold, quick death).

So I started looking for a new one and pricing a replacement fridge. Thankfully, when my aunt was visiting town to clean out her rental home we made a deal that if I cleaned out the fridge it was mine.

Ready for the UGLY before?

See the renters moved out, cut off the electricity and didn’t remove ANY of the food. So it spoiled. Bugs moved in. And it SMELLED.

So I donned a mask, gloves and grabbed some trash bags, quickly throwing away everything in there. Then I took out the baskets, drawers, shelves and such and scrubbed them down.

We rented a trailer for $10 and moved it to my garage where we could tilt it forward in the driveway and hose it out. Lots of scrubbing ensued.

I sprayed down the inside with a 50/50 mixture of bleach and water. Hosed it out. Then a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water. Then covered every surface with baking soda. Left the doors open for weeks. Scrubbed some more. I leaned the whole thing back (propped up on a piece of equipment in my garage) and vacuumed the coils and removed the moldy piece of insulation on the bottom.

Finally, I was satisfied that the drawers and shelves were clean enough, there was no trace of mold or bugs. So I plugged it in and it works!

So near the end of September I took advantage of my parent’s visit and we moved the old fridge to the garage, scrubbed the floor underneath and brought in the new fridge.

It is larger than the old one so there’s less room on top but it fits perfectly. Aside from a missing glass shelf (we’re looking for a replacement) everything works and runs perfectly. Even the water and ice maker in the door!

Once the space was made it was time to start organizing food in the fridge and freezers better. After all, having two full size fridge/freezers and a chest freezer can be chaotic!

These blue and green containers are wonderful at organizing so things don’t pile up and slide around. The first freezer is full of fruits, vegetables and diary while the second has most of the breads, meats and prepared meals.

please ignore the discolored door handles, they’ve been scrubbed and are still icky.

To keep it all straight I added some paint to the outside fridge. Chalkboard paint:

The first coat was pretty wimpy so I added a second, peeled off the guide tape and made some notes:

I’m still thinking about adding a few more squares of chalkboard paint on the front of the fridge for notes i.e. ‘eat leftovers’ by Tues or ‘here be rum’ but I’ve got plenty of paint so that might come later.

Time to update the projects page!


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