refrigerator.cartoonIs the state of your refrigerator a reflection of your life? Some experts think so. The recent trend of sharing photos (and live video) of the inside of one’s refrigerator leads to some soul-searching questions. Are people sharing the “before” or “after” views? Do they “stage” their refrigerator before snapping that photo? Maybe they do. It may be some time before the average refrigerator is called to be a special guest on Houzz.

Sharing the contents of our refrigerator online is the virtual equivalent of sprucing up the house for guests. Professional photos do not show seventeen jars of Nutella, a bag of carrots from the 1990s, a box of wine (!!) and a case of Diet Coke. They show fresh, colorful produce. Pitchers of spring water with slices of fresh fruit floating on the top. Farm-fresh eggs (brown, of course). And so on. Perhaps the appeal of the “live-streaming” trend is to show a more realistic picture than what we see in the curated world of shelter magazines.

Our relationship with our refrigerator is personal: what could we love more? And sometimes love not so much? Even opening the door brings our arms into a very close resemblance of, well, a hug.

In a practical sense, keeping a clean refrigerator is a matter of regular wipe downs, inside and out. It might mean throwing away old food sooner rather than later. For some, it might mean turning jars so that the labels all face the front, or organizing condiments by size, type, or frequency of use. Keeping a clean refrigerator sets the stage for feeling good about the food you eat. Whether you choose to share that with the rest of the world is up to you.