Too often, a messy refrigerator falls victim to the "out of sight, out of mind" syndrome. The food's behind closed doors most of the time, after all. By stashing a cleaning kit nearby, you may be more tempted to clean up accidents as they occur.
Why the hurry? For one thing, cleaning up fresh spills saves the time and effort of scrubbing after they've dried. It may also save you trips to the bathroom and even the emergency room. A glob of deviled ham can harbor a thriving colony of listeria, the bacteria that cause listeriosis, a foodborne illness marked by nausea and diarrhea, fever and chills. The E. coli strain that's responsible for a potentially fatal illness can also survive refrigeration. A quick swipe now may prevent prolonged misery later.
Chances are your fridge is located near a sink, which conveniently provides storage space as well as hot water. Assemble supplies with efficiency in mind. Fill a small bucket or handled tub with basic tools for a variety of common tasks: reusable terrycloth towels, sponges, brushes, and all-purpose cleaners with a mild disinfectant like bleach.
The next bit of advice illustrates the wisdom of the adage, "A place for everything and everything in its place."