1 October 2008

WFMW - Kitchen organisation



This week's Works-for-me Wednedsay over at Rocks in my Dryer is about kitchen organisation so I'm reposting my fridge interior. Because it still makes me happy.

Ever since I organised it properly it just works so much better, stays neat, I know where to find everything and can access it easily and it doesn't pile up with cruddy old leftovers. I should mention that it only works because I shop about once a week or every 10 days or so. Our fridge just isn't big enough to handle more than that but it suits me because I'd rather have fresh produce than veges and stuff that's been languishing in the fridge for weeks.

Here's how it looks inside:



And here's the system:



1) Bread and rolls. Lunch today took care of the pile-up you see in the picture and now the half loaf of wholewheat and half loaf of white sit neatly together in the basket.

2) This is where the spare bottles of milk sit as well as extra odds like jugs of juice (which we usually only make for company; the jug you see here is my first attempt at home-made ginger ale,) cream or bits of leftovers. The two containers or cream will be made into butter.

3) Fruit goes into this basket.

4) Little jars such as jam, mint sauce, pesto, etc - whatever won't fit into the door.

5) Meat, sausages, chicken. Anything that is being thawed for dinner or will be used in a day or two. All other meat / chicken goes into the freezer.

6) All of our yoghurts. When the kids ask for a yoghurt I can just offer them the basket and they choose their own.



7) Butter, margarine.

8) Cheese. In this basket I have cheddar (all opened cheese goes into a little ziplock bag,) a can of Italian sprinkling cheese, Laughing Cow triangles (loose,) soft cheese, etc.



9) Tomatoes and cucumbers. I unwrap everything and wash it before it goes into the fridge - cucumbers get cut in half. Underneath the tomatoes here you can sort of see the cherry tomatoes still in their plastic punnet.



10) Lettuce (in a big ziplock bag,) other veges that don't fit into the drawers.

11) Left hand drawer holds root vegetables and onions.



12) Right hand drawer holds all other vegetables.



The door:





13) Tubes of tomato paste and garlic paste. Boiled eggs if we have any extra.

14) Eggs.

15) Condiments - mustard, chutney, salad dressings, mayonnaise.

16) Ketchup and milk - whole for the boys, skim for Grant and I, and almost always organic. It's the one product I will splurge on and buy organic. No fake hormones for me, thanks, I have far too many of my own already.

I am actually a bit of a basket case and by that I mean I love baskets and containers for categorising and organising things. Here are some more in my kitchen:

Okay these aren't actually baskets, they are Flaj tubs from Ikea (that have sadly been discontinued, boo hoo!) and I love them so much I'd kiss them with tongue if I could. They are cheap and they seem to be just the right size to hold a bunch but not too much, fit perfectly on almost any shelf and can even stack. I have a couple in the bottom cupboard in my kitchen and just pull them out like drawers when I need something and voila, everything is immediately visible and accessible. Nothing lurks in the back of my cupboards!

This one holds pasta, rice, noodles:



And this one holds snacks - crisps, crackers, rice cakes, breadsticks, cereal bars, biscuits (cookies,) etc. The kids love to rummage and choose when it's snack time.



I also use baskets in the top cupboards - this one holds all of the little odds I make bread with - yeast, milk powder, bread flour, etc. I use another to hold all packet mixes - soup powders, seasoning mixes, etc.



This is my baking box - it is actually two containers, one of the Flaj ones and another that sits neatly in it, hovering over the bottom layer. The top one contains all of my frequently used baking stuff - vanilla essence, measuring cups, brown sugar, etc - and the bottom one holds less frequently needed stuff like cookie cutters, balloons, birthday candles, etc.



My trusty hand mixer. I can only dream of a stand mixer right now.



My hand blender and the beaker it came with. Basket on the right holds 6-cup muffin tins and loaf pans.



Edit: I've since filmed videos showing how I organise my kitchen. You can see them on my YouTube channel here and here.

Edit 2: I've had a few comments here, via email and on my videos about storing milk and eggs in the door of the fridge. We use milk way too fast for it to spoil so I've not had a problem with that. As for eggs, in South Africa and the UK where I've lived, and now New Zealand where I currently live, the eggs are sold off the shelf in the stores (not refrigerated) and I currently keep my eggs in the pantry. We've never had a problem. It seems to be a US thing to refrigerate eggs.


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36 comments:

  1. Looks Great!! When can you come over and help me?? Judy :)
    http://judy-judysfabricaddiction.blogspot.com/

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  2. Jen,

    Does refrigerating your potatoes and onions keep them from going bad? i.e. potatoes turning green and growing eyes, onions getting mushy? I always have this problem and have yet to find a good solution.

    Your fridge looks great by the way :-)

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  3. Thanks Judy! Send me the ticket and I'll be right there ;o)

    Re potatoes and onions: I find my potatoes do last longer in the fridge, although I've now taken to storing them in the cellar as well.

    The onions make you cry less if they are refrigerated! A cut onion will go into a ziplock bag into the fridge anyway; this way all my onions are together. I will confess to buying pre-chopped frozen onions which is even easier and no crying!

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  4. wow! I don't know if I've ever seen a fridge so well organized! You've inspired me to try doing that to mine. Great idea!

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  5. Your fridge is amazing! I'm so going to copy. Where did you get the baskets in the fridge?

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  6. Thanks!
    The baskets were either from Glynwebb or a pound store (like your dollar stores) - not sure if that helps, since I'm in England! Try your dollar stores or similar.

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  7. Gasp!! I think you're my long lost sister!! I LOVE this!

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  8. Wow! Amazing! I tried organizing my kitchen the other day and it seemed overwhelming. I do not have much cabinet space, but your solutions might just work for me too! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  9. Now THIS is something I can wrap my OCD mind around! That' s it, you won WFMW this week in my book! Blessings, Whitney

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  10. the kissing with tongue comment got me! i was on the floor.

    great job by the way!

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  11. I lvoe an organizd fridge and I'm so stealing some ideas from you! :) Mine's seem to be less organized lately. Love the idea of the $1 baskets!

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  12. Wow...I'm going to have to get some baskets....thanks for the great ideas!

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  13. I LOVE the basket idea! Thanks!

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  14. WOW! I'm going to have to let this idea simmer on brain for a few days and think about how I can tweak it for my fridge. We recently moved and my new fridge is so much different than the one I was used to, so I'm having trouble figuring out how to make it work. Thanks so much for posting this and giving me some great ideas!!

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  15. I loved this post the first time round :) I still haven't got my fridge as organised as yours, but it's on my to-do list, lol!

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  16. How neat! (Both in the "wow!" and the "organized" sense. lol)I organize my cabinets and drawers that way but never considered applying it to my fridge. I'll definitely do that next.

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  17. Wow! Great ideas! My fridge could certainly use some help. I love all the baskets.
    Thank you for posting!

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  18. I love how organized you are. You have really inspired me the last couple of weeks. I'm already planning how many baskets I need and what sorts.
    I'm totally doing my fridge and pantry this week! I have the hardest time keeping everything neat and where I can get to it easily.

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  19. What a gorgeous fridge! Love the baskets idea. I need to try this, as my fridge always has problems with stuff getting "lost" at the back.

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  20. Just a note: tomatoes aren't supposed to be in the fridge, and many other fruit too. Many fuits and veggies loose their flavour if refridgerated !


    I love the baskets idea, I will implement it too !!!

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  21. Linked to you at http://zerotoorganized.blogspot.com/2012/02/weekly-roundup-to-do-list-week-of-feb_13.html

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the link-up!

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  22. OMG! This is totally amazing. I am an organizing freak! I love containers, baskets, etc. I however, have never thought of putting them in my fridge! I have just always tried to organize it in the drawers and shelves that came with the fridge. Why have I never "thought outside of the box" before? I am so going to do this. Thank you!!!!

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  23. It makes me excited to see you so excited :)

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  24. Gotta hit the $$ store to get $1 baskets. I've had a few baskets in fridge before but will get enough to do the whole fridge. Great ideas. Thanks.

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  25. Nice idea but you don't want thawing meats over dairy. Put the meats on the bottom and everything else can go on top.

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  26. Just a tip- milk and eggs shouldn't be stored on the door. Rather they should be stored in the main part of the fridge, as the door doesn't keep the same cold temperature that it does internally. Milk and eggs will generally sour or go bad as the door loses temperature faster (due to the constant opening and closing)- just something to keep in mind- especially with little ones!

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  27. What a great system. But raw meat should be stored in the bottom shelf. Something I learned in the catering biz.

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  28. I love the basket idea and so will be using it since our new fridge is smaller. Thanks for sharing! Here is a tip that I picked up browsing pintrest: wrap your cheese in aluminum foil instead of putting it into ziplocks. It will last almost forever and will not grow mold.

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  29. Wow this is a great idea and very well documented here, thanks! I realise you wrote if a while ago, but do you still remember where you bought the bridge baskets? I really like the fact they are clear and have holes on the sides to keep air flow but can't seem to find them like that (I'm in Cambridge, UK). I'd love it if you could let me know! THANKS!
    Roberta

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your kind words. I believe they were from Woolworths, which doesn't really help, does it?

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  30. Wow, great idea, and very well explained here! I know It's quite a while since you posted but you don't happen to remember where you bought those baskets? I really like the shape of them and can't seem to find any here...(I live in Cambridge UK). THANKS!!!

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  31. Just found this posting via Pintrest and love it. We are moving into a new home with a side by side fridge and I was concerned about how it would all fit. Do you have something similar for your freezer side?
    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Good luck with your move! Don't forget to check out my moving tips:
      http://www.jenthousandwords.com/search/label/moving%20home%20without%20descending%20into%20chaos

      As for the freezer, I'm sorry but I don't have a post on it. I've never quite finalised a system as the things I freeze seem to change all the time.

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