Do you ever open your fridge and wonder if the condiments had babies during the night? It’s almost disconcerting how quickly a fridge can fill up with clutter, making it harder to find what you’re looking for and increasing your chances of opening something that has gone so bad that it could knock out a bear. And we haven’t even started on trying to find a space for the leftovers that will be tomorrow’s lunch. With some clever organization, you’ll never have to play fridge Tetris again. You can even triple the space in your fridge with these smart tips, tricks and products.
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Use Stackable, Clear Containers
Stackable containers are one of our favourite storage solutions for just about every room in your house. They come in very handy in the fridge too. Look for stackable containers that are clear so you can immediately see what’s in each bin. Also choose ones that are easy to clean and that have handles so that you can simply slide out the one you want without having to remove the containers stacked on top of it.
The Best Fridge Storage Solutions for Fruits and Vegetables
One way to reduce food waste is to reuse food scraps. Before you get to that point, though, why not make produce last longer in the first place? One of the best storage solutions for fruit and vegetables is produce-saving containers like this set from Rubbermaid. These containers use vents and air filters to regulate the flow of oxygen and carbon dioxide while an elevated base keeps the produce from sitting in a pool of moisture. They’re clear and stackable too.
Rubbermaid Food Storage Set, Amazon Canada, $57.
Save Your Herbs in Pods
The best way to always have fresh herbs is to grow your own. The second best way is to store them in water in the fridge to keep them from wilting. However, this can take up a lot of space, and there’s always the risk of your herbs getting crushed by other items or the containers falling over and spilling herbal water everywhere.
The solution? Herb-saving pods. They fit into the fridge door, protect your herbs and are clear so that you can see what’s inside each pod. They have a filler cap at the bottom for the water to keep your herbs hydrated.
Oh, and you can also use them for storing fresh asparagus.
Herb Saver, Amazon Canada, $23.
Use a Lazy Susan for More Space in Your Fridge
A lazy Susan isn’t just for dinner tables and organized kitchen pantries. This InterDesign Linus Lazy Susan is a great way to store those jars of jam, pickles and condiments. All you need to do is turn to the one you want to use.
You might want to add an additional lazy Susan for items that go off quickly, like dairy products so that you can use up the oldest ones first.
InterDesign Lazy Susan, Amazon Canada, $25.
Hang Up Your Bags
Whether it’s your wild berry harvest, diced veggies or the sandwiches you’ve pre-prepared for tomorrow, you probably know the convenience of storing them in resealable bags. A great way to save space is to hang these bags up, so you can use the shelves for other things. To do this, you can invest in a hanging storage rack that fits onto the top shelf and that you can suspend the bags from. Alternatively, use regular old binder clips on your wire racks.
Use Magnetic Power
You don’t have to stick only to the shelves in your fridge for storage space; you can also utilize the ceiling and sides. For example, you can fix strong magnets to the ceiling and hang bottles by their metal caps.
This is actually a cooler part of the fridge than the door so you’ll keep your drinks nicely chilled. Then add magnets to the sides of the fridge and to the bottoms of jars that you can store horizontally.
Save Space With Fridge Storage Can Organizers
If you tend to reach for a can of something fizzy when thirst strikes, you’re probably familiar with stacking six-packs on top of one another and then trying to get a can out of the bottom one. A can organizer will eliminate that problem and the problem of having various half six-packs vying for space on the shelf.
Opt for one like this SimpleHouseware can dispense refrigerator organizer. It’s clear, so you can see what’s in it. Plus, it’s as wide as a standard can is tall, and even little hands can easily take out the can that they want.
Simple Houseware Can Dispense Refrigerator Organizer, Amazon Canada, $15.
Use a Beverage Dispenser for More Space in Your Fridge
Before you start looking for things you can clean with lemons, you might want to make some fresh lemonade. The problem with homemade drinks is that the pitchers you keep them in can be bulky and oddly shaped. Even worse, you risk knocking over everything else when trying to take that unwieldy pitcher out of the fridge.
A beverage dispenser with a spigot solves this since it takes up less space and you don’t need to move it to pour a drink. It’s even better when you choose one that has a slimline design.
Use Divided Bins or Racks in the Freezer Compartment
One of the most frustrating parts of taking something out of the freezer compartment is when several other items are frozen stuck to the one you want.
Make the most of the space in your freezer compartment by using divided bins or racks where you can stack items on their sides and keep them just far enough apart that they won’t stick to one another.
How to Clean Your Fridge Without Chemicals
Part of fridge cleaning 101 is to clean your fridge every three to four months, using products free of harsh chemicals that can contaminate your food. A solution of water and vinegar is one of the best ways to clean your fridge without chemicals. You can also use store-bought natural cleaners or lemons.
In between deep cleans, take some time every week or two to go through the contents of your fridge and toss whatever needs to be tossed. This will help reduce odours. Try these Moso Natural air purifying bags with bamboo charcoal for extra odour absorption. Each bag has a grommet in the corner that you can fit the accompanying suction cup through to stick it to the side of your fridge. Alternatively, you can loop a piece of string through the grommet and hang the bag from the wire rack.
Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag, Amazon Canada, $12.