Leaky soda cans, moldy cheese and expired milk make your refrigerator a very sticky and smelly place. Fortunately, the thankless chore of cleaning out the refrigerator can be made a bit easier by waiting until right before or after a vacation to clean it out. Most of your food will either be eaten or tossable, so your fridge will be exceptionally empty and easier to clean. The same concept goes for your pantry, which is equally crowded, but hopefully much less messy, since you're probably not storing too many spillable liquids there.
So, how do you know what to get rid of? Obviously, anything that's expired or stale is past its prime. Be sure to toss out any freezer items that have taken up residence for more than 9 months and refrigerated jars, bottles or cans that have been open for more than 6 months.