Friday, February 26, 2010

Refrigerator Organization

We now have a new best friend at our house. The seven-year-old got a great playhouse out of the deal. The thirteen-year-old is just impressed. The 16-year-old loves the fact that choices are now easier. And the remaining adults are just as happy as can be. The new friend...a shiny black refrigerator with double French doors on top and a freezer compartment on the bottom.

There are many reasons why our old refrigerator needed to go, but let's just focus on how the new guy is going to help organize life in the kitchen. While helping to unload the refrigerator, a friend commented, "Wow. You certainly have a lot in your refrigerator."

I stepped back and tried to take an objective look, and yep, it was crammed to the gills. But everyone always said, "What's there to eat?"

Since I knew where every last container was, my reply would usually be, "All sorts of stuff. Can't you see the leftovers from two nights ago?"

"Nope," they would reply.

"Well, they're right here," I would retort angrily while pulling away miscellaneous containers to unearth it. Obviously time for a new routine with this new refrigerator. Especially with a second refrigerator out in the garage.'s the plan. Nothing was moved back into the new refrigerator unless we actually needed it. I also set up designated areas.

  • Those for leftovers. 
  • Another for ingredient-type items - lime juice, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, eggs. 
  • A shelf for condiments - pretty obvious here, ketchup, mustard, mayo, etc. 
  • This refrigerator has a great drawer for deli items so the only thing that will be allowed here will be - deli meats, sliced cheese, flavored cream cheese, etc. Sandwich makings.
  • Of course there are your standard crisper drawers. But they're pretty self- explanatory. As there are three of them, one has been designated for quick snack items - yogurt, baggies of jerky, precut veggies for snacks.
  • The shelf with milk will hold all of the dairy products - sour cream, buttermilk, etc. 
  • And another section is just for stuff that goes on other stuff - salsa, jam, dressings, etc. 
  • There's another section for bread-type products - tortillas, bagels, and the next loaf of unopened bread. 
  • And my brainchild, a shelf just for those foods that were purchased for dinner this coming week. That might seem obvious, but how many times does newly purchased food become forgotten and wasted? Well, at our house it was often enough. 
  • The freezer compartment is only going to house frozen juice cans, frozen snack food items, and anything purchased intentionally for this week's consumption. No mystery freezer bags. Those can go live outside.
The other's going to stay in the outside refrigerator until I can purge through it. I do a lot of coupon shopping and so end up purchasing block cheese, butter, and other items that keep very well but don't need to end up in the house refrigerator. Those will be stored out there. And all the condiments or obscure ingredients that seem to keep forever, they're not coming in. I can always go out there to fetch them and promptly, hopefully, return them. As we have our own laying hens, our egg supply will be out there as well as jarred goat's milk when we starting milking again.

Now when we take a peek in the refrigerator, you can actually see what we have to eat. No excuse for not being able to make a sandwich. Easy to tell when you're on the last jug of milk. Dinner ingredients are staring at you reminding you to use them up if the weekly menu plan gets out of synch. And those lovely leftovers are front and center.

The other refrigerator was so packed that I had considered getting rid of any round storage containers as they were space wasters, but so far there's enough room that it doesn't seem necessary. Nice idea though to have square, stackable containers. And clear ones too. It's a little hard to distinguish at a glance what's inside that frosted purple container.

So what's your refrigerator like? Is it prettier on the outside than it is inside? Do you have a trick up your sleeve for keeping it organized and purged? Leave me a comment. I'm guessing this is an area that we could all tweak a bit to make more efficient for ourselves and our families.

2 comments - click here to leave your comments:

Melinda said...

Woot! Love the new fridge! I've had my new one for a year and I love it!

Weekend Cowgirl said...

New fridge's are the best. Yours sounds really nice. I guess I need to take a good peek and see if it is time to clean!!

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