Check expiration dates and throw away items shelf by shelf so you don't overwhelm yourself. It's easier to see that the mushrooms are turning brown when opening and closing the fridge daily but the mustard has an expiration date as well!
Now take the left over items out and organize them on your counter. Leave them there until the last step has been completed.
Do you always wonder why your fruits and veggies rot so fast? It may be a sign of ethylene. Ethylene is the kind of gas that speeds up the ripening process of veggies and fruits. So if you have even only one little veggie or fruit that is going bad it most likely is causing your fresh produce to rot soon as well.
When cleaning your fridge I am sure you will clean the shelves and the drawers but go beyond what the eye can see. Mold and other yucky items that you don't want in your food hide in crevices such as the door seal, behind the drawers and in between the glass. If while moving some items you notice it has left behind a sticky residue or part of the cardboard container has stuck to the shelf, DON'T SCRUB!
I know it's strange to hear a cleaning blog say not to scrub but sticky items and molded onto the glass items wont come off with scrubbing they will just smear.
Take a cup of water
Put it in the microwave for 5 minutes
Pour a small amount of that water on the area of the fridge that has a sticky situation or cardboard leftovers.
Let it soak
Then wipe it up!
Comes clean every time!
I suggest using a mixture of equal parts White Distilled Vinegar and Water to clean and disinfect the fridge.
The vinegar odor will dissipate after a few minutes but will also take the odors from the food that you don't want left in your fridge out.
Take each glass shelf off carefully, even the ones on top of the drawers and disinfect and wipe those clean. Usually they get sticky in the place that connects the glass to the drawer.
The good old fashion trick of sticking a box of baking soda in the fridge still works however it's quite hard to remember that the box has expired! I recommend slicing a lemon and placing it in a small open container or bowl
You will visually see that the lemon is getting old and once you see that, throw it away and slice another. It still averages about the same price as using a box of baking soda but stays fresher longer.
If you can't remember when you bought those tomatoes I doubt you will remember when you bought the baking soda box!
Now that your fridge is clean you can organize your items in the same like order. Try to place everything in rows with labels facing the opening of the fridge so you don't have to shuffle items around causing them to spill when looking for something. I always liked how on MTV Cribs when they showed celebrities homes they always showed the inside of the fridge! I always laughed because I know the inside joke to that is that their lovely housekeeping team or MTV production staff most likely stocked it and organized it for show. Most celebrities aren't home enough to have clean organized stocked fridges. I don't know about your household in the summer but mine is full of children opening and closing the fridge way more often than during the school year. So this is a great time to get it cleaned, deodorized, organized and stocked!
No one wants to eat anything out of a dirty fridge!