Kitchens are all about food storage and preparation, and having an effective and consistent food maintenance strategy is a good idea. Foods like milk turn relatively quickly, and keeping your fridge clean and organized will help you keep track of food stores so you can use them before they spoil. When the inside of your refrigerator looks like it might be ripe for a visit from the health department, don't expect to be able to monitor or control what goes on in there. Decaying food will produce odors and sometimes bacteria that can escalate the decline of other foods, and when you leave spills in place, you risk creating problems with cross-contamination.
The cupboard is another spot to keep an eye on. Although canned foods may be relatively indestructible, baking powder, spices, nuts and other products should be monitored. If you know the freshness date on that loaf of whole wheat bread is about to elapse, you may be able to turn it into breadcrumbs before it turns green and fuzzy. While you're checking around, keep a look out for insect activity and vacuum up any flour or other food crumbs or dust. Spilled, spoiling and neglected food can breed legions of bacteria and encourage insect invaders. If you're waiting for the next holiday to mount a cleaning campaign, your bread may go moldy and a thriving community of weevils could move into your flour, dried pasta and other packaged foods in the meantime. Food is perishable, and using it to its best advantage requires regular cleaning and maintenance.