Keeping Your Refrigerator In Precise Formation

My husband Bill and I have been marching band groupies for over six years now. Our youngest daughter, Kayla, has found her passion as a member of the Color Guard. This passion started as a high school freshman and continues to be nurtured in college.

Recently, we witnessed yet again a final season performance in Allentown, PA. I never tire of watching their performance evolve and improve every single week. How the talented and patient instructors get 250+ young adults to move around the football field in a precise formation never ceases to amaze me. Everyone on the field knows their part and where they are supposed to be at every beat of the drum.

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It’s truly a thing of talent and beauty.

This got me thinking about how I organize my refrigerator. Yes, only a professional organizer could make that connection, but I fairly recently had a revelation while getting used to my new refrigerator.

Much like the clarinets, flutes, and trumpets on the field that work best together because they are uniform in shape and stature, I have discovered that utilizing containers of uniform shape helps keep my refrigerator well ordered.

I have always been a huge Tupperware fan. Ever since the early days of my very first apartment, I have invested in Tupperware containers of various shapes and sizes, and still have many of them today. They are basically indestructible and have served me well.

rounds4WebMy collection is made up primarily of round bowls with leakproof lids, that nest nicely in my cabinet when not in use.

But when it’s time to store leftovers in the fridge, the round shapes aren’t always ideal. There always seems to be an issue with fitting them neatly onto the shelves, without leaving large gaps of unusable space in between.

Recently I have started investing in new containers that are all rectangular in shape. They come in various widths and depths, but I can fit more of them on a shelf, because they are uniform in shape. I stack them just like I stack my Tupperware bowls, but there is much less wasted space on each shelf.

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And most importantly – they are all see through! When I first started collecting Tupperware, they were solid colors, which I have grown to dislike over the years. I prefer to glance into the refrigerator and see what is there, rather then guess what is in a container I can’t see thru.

At this time of year before the holidays, consider preparing your refrigerator for all the holiday goodies headed your way. Consider these steps to utilize your refrigerator to its fullest and to keep it fresh for the holidays:

  • Take an inventory of the containers you use to store leftovers. Are most of them uniform in shape so they will fit into your fridge with precision? Does each container have its own lid that fits? If not, it’s time to toss the container.
  • Check all contents for expiration dates. If something has expired or hasn’t been used since you made that complicated recipe over a year ago, toss it.
  • Sort, purge, and clean. Take advantage of the opportunity to pull out the selves and drawers for a thorough cleaning. You will be glad you did when you open your refrigerator during your holiday parties. And if you really hate to wash down your shelves, cover them with plastic wrap or plastic place mats for easier cleaning next time.

Just like those hardworking and talented marching band members, your refrigerator is one of the hardest working appliances in your home. Cleaning out the fridge and storing foods with precision helps to keep everything at their freshest. This translates into better tasting recipes and savings to your food budget. That’s something we can all be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

p.s. If you want to see the entire University of New Haven Marching Band Program – click here and enjoy!

Ta-Da Tip of the Month

In the past I have suggested setting up zones in your kitchen and even in your attic, now I’m suggesting you do the same thing inside your refrigerator. Storing like items together saves time when searching for what you need. Here are a few ideas:

  • Place all your condiments on the shelves on the door. It’s the warmest section of the refrigerator so they will do just fine. Consider groupings such as salad dressings and sauces on one shelf, and the condiments you would use at your next cookout on another.
  • If you have two drawers, use one for vegetables and the other one for meats. The humidity setting for drawers can typically be adjusted to keep these items at their freshest.
  • Milk and juices should be stored for easy access. Sometimes refrigerators offer a big shelf on the door for this. But unless you go through a gallon of milk on a regular basis, it probably makes more sense to store it on an upper shelf where the temperature is more consistent and colder.
  • Decide what goes on each shelf. For example, place ready-to-eat items, such a yogurt, eggs, and cheese on upper shelves, and ingredients that need to be thawed or you plan to use near term, on lower shelves.
  • The best place for leftovers is in the upper or middle sections of the fridge, close to eye level so they aren’t forgotten. And preferably stored only in clear, see through containers.

Don’t crowd the shelves. Allowing air circulation throughout the fridge is more energy efficient and helps to keep the refrigerator at a more consistent temperature. Ta-Da!

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