You can fit more in there than you think.
There’s one thing I do need to admit before you read this post. If you choose not to continue reading because you think my advice doesn’t count, I completely understand.
I do own a second refrigerator.
That’s mostly where I keep the “chicken and the cow.” I do buy 15 dozen eggs at the beginning of every month and 6 bottles of milk (3 red and 3 blue) at the beginning of each week. Most of the time, that’s all that’s in there, except when I’m preparing for a cooking show or photoshoot and I need to separate my professional food needs from my family’s food needs. The other refrigerator is far away from my kitchen, in the laundry room, so I do not want or need to access it frequently.
I still need and want my main refrigerator to fit both my family’s ongoing needs and any work-related ingredients I need readily available. Here’s how I make it work.
1) Use only one type of storage container for neat stacking. Get rid of all your random-sized containers that are jammed in random places (and while you’re at it, get rid of those containers without lids and lids without containers). Stick to one or two types/brands of containers. See this post for the containers I use, in red and blue for meat and dairy, respectively. I also love the twist cap Ziplocs for smaller items.
2) Consider removing a shelf. You think this will cause you to lose space, but if you do keep a lot of items in storage containers, you can stack so many more!
3) Do plastic fridge bins save space or use up space? I think too many bins use up too much space. I use plastic bins for two items: eggs and yogurt. I use this one for eggs. I like it because I can stack things on top without worrying about the weight of the items. It also fits 14 instead of 12. If you don’t have a second fridge (i.e. let’s go to the chicken coop to refill the eggs), I’d stack two of these. I also like using two stackable bins for yogurt, like these so I can stack two layers of yogurts. Otherwise, I find that small yogurt containers take up too much space. Some people keep their yogurt in the dairy drawer. My dairy drawer is already full of other dairy items and my family eats too much yogurt for the 10+ containers I need to buy weekly to fit there.
4) Jars! The top shelf of my fridge is the height of a quart-sized mason jar. I keep items I want to store longer-term (homemade tomato sauce, salad dressings, pickles…not yesterday’s leftovers or those roasted veggies I want to use up this week) in jars. What’s great about jars is that they come in so many sizes, so there’s no waste of space. Simply use the right-sized jar and stack. And they look really good too!
Have a question about how or where to store particular items? Ask away.