Thursday, November 21, 2013

The evolution of fridge organization

When we first bought this boat, one of the things I knew I had to get under control was storage of food in the fridge. When you have a top-loading fridge the size of ours, you have to have some sort of organization so that you can find things without emptying every single thing out one by one to find the item you need.

My first effort was some stacking baskets. I was pretty happy to find them because they fit exactly in the space, they allowed air to move around things so that they stayed fresh, and they had handles to lift things out with. The problem with the baskets was that they took up a lot of space themselves, limiting what we could fit in the fridge. Some items were so big that you could only put one per basket, not an efficient way to go. The baskets got moved to other places that they fit better, like on the shelf behind our companionway steps to hold winches, clothespins, etc.

The second attempt was large Ziploc bags, the blue ones with the handles, the ones intended for storing sweaters, etc. The large size are exactly the height of my fridge from the grate to the lid. I sorted everything so that there was a bag for cheese, a bag for butter and sour cream and cream cheese, a bag for lunchmeat and other cooked meats, and a bag for raw meat. The other side of the fridge had a bag for salad veggies and a bag for larger veggies like onions and potatoes.

This arrangement works really well. It is easy to see what is in the bags, and easy to lift them out by the handles. You can lift one out that you need and close the lid so you're not leaking cold out and letting frost-making humidity in. I've been doing this for awhile now, but I'm finding one problem with the arrangement. The bags sweat from the humidity and start to smell so you have to either wash them frequently or replace them with new. Washing really large plastic bags is difficult in a boat sink, so I started looking for another option.

I found these Chico mesh bags on and decided to give them a try. They make different ones for different vegetables, depending on how much moisture they need to stay fresh. I ordered some Flip and Tumble ones to use for butter, cheese, etc. The only thing that I've kept in the plastic bags is the raw meat, to protect everything else in the event that some meat should leak. The mesh bags take up almost no space themselves, they have a drawstring to lift the bags out with, and they pop in the washer with our clothes when they get dirty. So far they seem to be doing the trick and I'm pretty happy with them.  Stay tuned for the long-term review though.  All fridge organization is evolving!


  1. I hate that the beer is about 5 feet deep in our fridge. Deb said it's good I have to work for it.

  2. So what the latest on your fridge org? Stoll using the mesh bags?

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  4. So whats the latest on your fridge org? Still using the mesh bags?