Cleaning the fridge. Is it OCD or Efficiency?

I get a lot of flack for my obsession with organization. It's not a "disorder", in that it doesn't inhibit normal functioning, but people who aren't as organized as I am find it a bit odd. What these people don't realize is that this is actually an obsession with efficiency, rather than a compulsion to clean. Take for instance last night when I asked my roommates to help clean out the fridge.

When I first moved into the house, the fridge was pretty much stocked to the brim. For the first weeks I was either eating out or eating something canned, so I didn't deal much with it. Eventually I decided I would start buying some "real" food and the space in the fridge became an issue. Luckily there was a small drawer that wasn't in use by anyone, so I decided to claim it as my own. I figured that if I couldn't manage the entire fridge, I could at least settle for the drawer.

Over the weekend, however, I was cooking up a meal and was completely floored when searching through the landfill that is our fridge. I knew that I would have some free time Tuesday evening, so I got together with my roommate (not Skunky as you might have guessed) and made a plan to go through the fridge item my item and deal with everything.

You would not believe the crap we pulled out of this thing. There was some sort of prescription "stuff" from a guy who moved out years before I ever showed up, there was what I could only assume used to be antipasto except now it looked like crushed charcoal, there were several takeout boxes originating from before I moved in, miscellaneous quarter cubes of butter, eight different jars of jam, and most notably a Danon's Drinkable which expired in 2003.

It was absolutely ridiculous. But you know what? It's clean now, our fridge is relatively empty, and we have enough room to put food that hasn't already expired years ago. My desire to clean the fridge wasn't just this compulsion to clean something. The fridge was just a pain to deal with. You could never find anything and the stuff you could find you were never sure was fresh. Now that it's clean, it's actually manageable. And that's something even Skunky can appreciate.

posted by Christopher Schnese