Like most students after high school, I moved away from home to live in the dorms on campus, and later in an apartment with three other girls for the following years. We had the time of our lives, making the most fun and lasting memories imaginable, but we also shared in some problems too.
Surprisingly, the biggest issue we had to tackle involved organization and storage of our stuff, especially when it came to our refrigerator. With four girls living together in a tiny apartment with different personalities, diets, and taste, we quickly realized we had far too much food and no place to put it.
In order to avoid further future conflicts, I devised a plan of action to better the relationship between me, my fridge, and my friends, and hopefully it can help not only college roommates, but newlyweds and families alike.
A majority of problems can be solved, before they ever begin, with simple communication, and your relationship with your fridge is just the same.
When it comes to food staples, start off by making a list of items that everyone in the household enjoys. This way, there is a visual of what to buy regularly without getting multiples of the same things. There is hardly enough room in anyone’s fridge for a gallon of orange juice, let alone two jugs and four bags of baby carrots. Keep the list posted on the fridge door (a fun magnet will make it more exciting) to inform others on what is available or what needs to be replenished.
Always ask what needs to be bought before the next trip to the store; who knows, maybe someone else already brought home eggs for the week. For those special foods you want, like chocolate cake from the bakery or a rotisserie chicken (because it was on sale), see if there is room for it and ask others of its alright to have it there. Hummus is great, but there is no need to constantly replenish three tubs of it if only one person has a scoop every month.
2. Check Labels
It may surprise you that some items in your fridge don’t actually need to be there. Some foods, such as mayonnaise, fruit preserves, and other sauces like ranch, BBQ or mustard, don’t need to be chilled until opened (but please keep them cold after opening, or suffer the dire consequences).
Other products, like butter, fresh fruit, or soda can last without any refrigeration. I know, most people don’t enjoy room temperature soda, but a couple of ice cubes will solve that problem quickly.
3. Stack ‘Em Up!
Not every food needs its own designer space on the shelves of your fridge. Sharing is caring, and sharing precious space in the fridge will surely benefit everyone.
Use large, stable objects with a flat top and bottom as a sturdy foundation to stack other items on top. Large containers of Greek yogurt and leftover Tupperware are perfect for bottom stacking, while small, awkward shaped items like cheeses and pastry containers can go on top. For leftovers and reheatable goods, try to avoid using bowls covered with plastic wrap or foil.
The flimsy surface won’t allow other items to be stacked so use containers with resealable lids instead. Nesting Tupperware is perfect for this! It’s varying sizes and sturdy walls allow for maximum storage. Just remember to choose the proper tub too. You are happiest when full, and so is Tupperware. Always pick the container that is small enough to get the job done and still fit the whole enchilada. Don’t be afraid to downsize too. Taking the last spoonful of strawberry jelly and adding it to the next jar never hurt anyone and it gets rid of clutter by saving room for other items.
4. Squares Do It Better
Finally, be square, or you’ll be… square. Round jars and containers leave too much room between each other because there is only one point where they truly connect, but squares are friends with each other because they lay side by side.
Flat edges and corners allow for maximum storage with little to no gaps between. Although it may be impossible to completely accomplish, try purchasing foods that come in more agreeable, square-ish vessels. Many products like condiments, beverages, and even yogurt now comes in cornered containers. Yes, some items, like soda, are just impossible to avoid when it comes to roundness, but by getting squares when you can, it’ll save the extra room for when you can’t.
By following these steps hopefully you and your refrigerator can be back on track for a happy and healthy lifestyle, but if your relationship is beyond a point of return, maybe its time to call in the experts.
For more information on refrigerators, maintenance and repair, installation, and organization check us out at New Life Appliance Repair for questions or call us at (949) 929-3198.