Don’t Let the Penguins Out – Fix your Fridge Frustrations

When I was younger my dad would regularly yell at us kids to not let the penguins out of the fridge because we would just stand there with the doors open looking around only yo walk away empty handed. This was in part for two reasons: 1) we were young and bored so we immediately assumed we were hungry, but had no idea what we wanted. 2) there was so much stuff in the fridge it was difficult to tell what was in there.

The kitchen is a very high activity area, and the fridge probably takes a good brunt of the traffic. Here are a few tips and tricks to help keep the Penguins nice and cold and still in the fridge — well at least to help with problem #2 anyways. And a bonus thought at the end for problem #1.

  1. Know your family’s eating habits
    1. Who takes meals to work or school, Who needs quick grab and go snacks, Is anyone particular about their beverages
    2. When you know these things about your family you can designate different parts of the fridge for either each person or for day parts, or types of food (snacks, meals, etc)
  2. Color coordinate and Label
    1. This can be by person, meal type, food types, etc. 
    2. Whether you use stickers, special food containers, markers, consider putting a Key on the fridge door so everyone can figure out what they need before ever even opening the fridge door.
    3. Perhaps consider creating a basket for smaller items you know will be expiring soon or things you want eaten first. 
    4. Masking tape and a marker always work in a pinch for keeping things labeled with 
  3. Increase storage space and make the back of the fridge accessible
    1. Baskets: Keep like items together in an easy to remove basket. Instead of having to pull out five items to get to the stuff in back, just pull out the basket and get what you need. Don’t forget to get some for the freezer too!
    2. Lazy susans are also awesome on the fridge shelves to keep you from having to pull things in and out of the fridge.
    3. Magazine Holders are great for adding extra space in the freezer. 
    4. Utilize old containers (crytsal light ones are great) for snacks like cut veggies, mason jars for salads, etc
    5. 6 pack holders are great for organizing condiments on the door.
    6. Special containers for eggs, bacon, butter etc may take up a little extra room, but work great for keeping food longer 
  4. Keep a running list on the fridge
    1. A wish list, a we need this list, I just emptied this, meal suggestions, 
    2. You can take it one step further and have a list of stuff you just bought, shelf life, how long you have till it expires, etc.
    3. If paper is too annoying just use a dry erase marker right on the freezer/fridge door
    4. Consider taking a picture of your fridge before you go shopping so you do not buy things you already have.
Posted in Tips and Tricks.