Top Mount Fridge - HELP!!

roorezziJune 22, 2008

Help with organization of my Top mount Fridge. Eventually we will need a new fridge but with the layout of the kitchen - we don't have much room to put anything wider. Eventually we will renovate the kitchen completely. But til then I have to deal with this awful fridge.

I couldn't get my digital camera to work so I scoured the internet for a picture similar to my fridge.

It is a Top Mount - but there is only one half shelf in the freezer - I added one of those shelves that you use int he cabinets - so now I have almost a full shelf going across. I have things that fall out every time I open the freezer. I know one day I am going to pay and it will hit my foot or my dog.

This is a simialr fridge -

Freezer: one half shelf

Fridge: 3 shelves (incl top of crispers) and the crispers - not even a place to put cold cuts or cheese. the door on mine is a little different but there is the butter area and the rest is shelves.

What tops or advice could you give me to keep this organized. Things just get lost and then I find it a year later in the freezer or in the fridge - it gets lost and pushed to the back.

As for the freezer - I buy some in bulk and tend to freeze my food in the freezer bags. so Its not easy to stack the stuff - and thats why it falls out,



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I have the same problem. It's a terrible fridge for knowing what you have. I'll be watching for the responses.

I'm not sure what you buy in bulk and freeze in freezer bags but it helps to shape the item by placing something flat (like a cookie sheet) on top and bottom of what your freezing (then you can remove the cookie sheet after it's frozen).

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 12:56AM
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That's what kind of frig I have. Someday when I get to it (it's on my "to do" list), my plan is to put a dishpan in there to take care of things like bacon, Jimmy Dean Sausage, hot dogs and small stuff. Maybe two and stack them. Possibly a medium sized clear tote. Maybe both a tote and dishpans! That way I can sort of planogram it and have better organization.

That little worthless shelf in there is a joke. I've caught my share of stuff falling out of there...

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 7:59AM
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I had a fridge like that and hated it for the better part of ten years -- the darn thing refused to die! I now have one with a bottom drawer-style freezer that I love, but I also have a small chest freezer in my basement.

Maybe you'd have room for a small additional freezer somewhere else in the house? I use mine to hold bread, ice cream, chicken and ground beef (I buy in bulk when those items are on sale). The kitchen freezer holds the items I'm going to actually use on a daily basis, like waffles, leftovers, open ice cream, and freezer packs for kids' lunches. I really like Cynic's idea of using a dishpan or clear tote for the odd sized things.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 9:06AM
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I hate my fridge that's similar bcs it is too deep.

But I think I'd like yours--you have an entire shelf that's tall enough to hold sodas!

One suggestion: turn one of the crisper drawers into meats&cheese.
(Label it w/ a P-touch labeler if you can)

On the freezer idea--I've seen these frozen pouches of fruit puree, which were obvously made very, very flat before being frozen. Can you do something like that w/ the freezer pouches? Smush them around to be as flat and rectangular as possible before they freeze?

Other options: baskets, either intended for the freezer or simply adapted (some plastics get way brittle in the freezer, so this might not be *as* easy.

I once bought freezer shelves, but discovered that they were really annoying.

I used a wimpy, cheap plastic basket from the dollar store to stash stuff in the refrig section.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 2:16PM
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As usual, T-Sue is all over it with good ideas...when I had that fridge (or one like it), I learned to make what my DH called "ice tiles"...when I froze tomato sauce, stock, completed soups, anything either liquid or fine enough to spread thin, I put them in zip-lock bags with all the air forced out in measured amounts, which I wrote with the date on the label...usually two or four cups of things...Then I put a baking sheet in the freezer, laid the bags down flat overnight, and they froze into flat "tiles", which I then stood up like library books so I could get to them without digging about. Now I have a bottom-drawer freezer, which I thought I would like, but it has its drawbacks I still make tiles, and I freeze things in single layers (chops, steaks, chicken breasts) so they can all stand up on their edges.
Inside the fridge, divide the space into zones, and keep things in the same place all the time. (How trainable is your family..?) I would invest in two or three long skinny plastic bins, and run them front to back, to hold things in for jars or containers of for mustard, mayo, ketchup, relish, and sandwich for jams, jellies and for exotic/specialty things like chutney, Hoisin sauce, Tandoori sauce, cocktail sauce...whatever you use. If you do it in categories, you can avoid buying things you already have just by pulling out the bin to check your inventory.
Finally, on the night before trash pick-up day, make it a habit to spend fifteen minutes cleaning out and re-ordering the whole thing. You'll be surprised at how fast you can do this after the first purge if you stick to it.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 5:07PM
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(dope slapping myself...) I just noticed you asked for advice on the frig too! I thought it was just the freezer! I tell ya, this gettin' old ain't all it's cracked up to be.

Here's what I did with the frig portion:

Bottom drawers: 1 is dedicated to storing batteries. You go through so many and I buy them on sale and keep a bunch in there and they last for decades being refrigerated. Some won't do this so it'll give another drawer to use. The other drawer gets used for holding things like tube biscuits, butter and sometimes overflow, perhaps hot dogs or the like.

Shelf on top of the drawers: Pop on the bottom, can also have a bottle of wine or something there or something that comes from the store that needs work, like a bulk pack of meat. A tote there too for keeping things like sausage or whatever. (I don't have it POG'd out yet but it's working much better.

Next one up can be anything that goes in there right now, have ideas for how to organize it better but this is a work in progress. There's two totes and room in between and beside it. Right now I have a bottle of wine to the right, a couple bottles of water and bag salad in between the totes and there's room in front to set a couple things that I need to keep out front so I remember to use them soon. For instance, the tube rolls there are close to expiration so this reminds me to use them.

The top shelf I put a large vented basket and initially intended to use for produce and such but I'm finding the door is better for produce (an idea that was partially used before and partially stolen from another thread). This is sturdy and I can set lasagna/meatloaf pans on top of it and it works great and utilizes even more room in there. This leaves about 1/2+ of the top shelf open for things like milk, tall jars, bottles, and of course a case of beer so it's handy. It's also room if I buy a turkey breast or something large and need to thaw in the frig. It's also good for setting things that need to be refrigerated but are in a bag. For instance I got a deal on eggs so I just popped them in without removing the bag since I was in a hurry.

One other thing. I dislike those wire shelves sooooooo much but got around it by placing a plastic flexible cutting board on the side where the cans/bottles and stuff go so it's more of a normal shelf.

The totes in the bottom shelves aren't ventilated, that's true, but someday I'll cut some holes in them or find vented baskets and replace them. I do have a rough planogram for how to lay it out and what baskets to use for what, but I'll get to it when I get to it. Baby steps... one baby step at a time. It's still a big improvement over what I had before.

This really as allowed me to use essentially all of the refrigerator I paid for and am paying for electricity to power. I think back to a year or two ago and how hard it was to store stuff in there. I'm quite proud of myself for doing this. nearly breaking my arm patting myself on the back!

Any idea where I could get some freezer baskets locally? I'd like to try one out first and see what I need for sizes. I also thought about using those wire "letter" baskets to see how they'd work but figured I'd try out dishpans first. They can easily be replaced with wire when/if needed.
This has been a DRAMATIC improvement! And like I said, the freezer is my next challenge.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 6:49PM
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Wow - Thanks so much for everyones advice.

At one point - I used to have a small basket in there for the cheese and hotdogs and such. It ended up being too small and I needed it elsewhere. I also used to store it in the produce section and I would forget it was in there.

I am going to go to Walmart and look at some of their containers.

As for the freezer...

Most of the bulk stuff would be chix, steak, pork. Usually when they have a sale. I like the idea of the extra shelf in there - but its not usable still.

I did see the baskets at the Container store- they are backordered - maybe walmart, LNT or target has something similar.

I am working on that this weekend. I'll take before and afters..

Also - I like the idea about making sure things are thinner for packing - so I will attempt that as well.

One more question - What is the best things to store in the door of the freezer?


    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 7:38PM
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I use the door for the small things that don't fit well in the main compartment. Pork sausage rolls, chicken cordon bleu singles, butter, sausage links, hot dogs, juice cans, ice cube trays, etc.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 8:28PM
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