December 18, 2015

Maximizing Refrigerator Space for the Holidays

With big holidays come big meals, and despite our best efforts, we seldom finish all the amazing food. Ever found your fridge too stuffed with leftovers?

The truth is, many of us don’t manage our refrigerator space well. There’s actually a ton more room in your fridge if you make smart choices about how your organize what you need to store. Here are some surprising ways to make the most out of the cold space you have in your kitchen.

  1. Ditch the round storage containers. Plastic storage bins are cheap enough now that you can probably afford to replace those old circular ones with stackable square ones. Square or rectangular shapes are far more efficient for the typical fridge.
  2. Prioritize the shelves. Put what you want eaten soon on a middle rack, and don’t let it drift to the back. Items which fade into the back get forgotten, and typically don’t require the coldest temperatures. Put your milk and your meats in the rearward cold zones for freshness and storage efficiency.
  3. Remove tomatoes, onions, potatoes. You’re doing these veggies a favor by keeping them out of the cold. Tomatoes will get mealy and soft, while the cold amps up the starch in potatoes. Onions and potatoes can survive just fine if separated into bags and placed in a drawer away from the light.
  4. Check your condiments. Many of us keep condiments in the fridge that don’t need to be chilled and can be stored in the pantry or cabinets. This includes mustard (8 weeks), ketchup (4 weeks), fish sauce (2 years), hot sauce (3 years), and soy sauce (1 year). Keep them out of direct sunlight in a relatively cool room.
  5. Supplement with a beverage fridge. Sodas, beers, and other beverages can take up a lot of room in your fridge. Consider investing in a smaller beverage fridge. Many can be found for under $300. A beverage fridge will also reduce the in-and-out traffic to the main fridge, ensuring greater energy efficiency and more stable food storage temperatures.
Decluttering your fridge can also promote food safety. A packed fridge prevents air from circulating and keeping foods at their optimal temperature.   

If your fridge isn’t the problem, but your small kitchen is, maybe it’s time to start hunting for a bigger house! Get in touch with me, and I’ll help you find homes in your area with dream kitchens:

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