How To Use A Cooling Rack To Create More Storage In Your Fridge

If opening the fridge door when you get home from the grocery store fills you with dread, you're not alone. FinanceBuzz found in a recent survey of 1,000 Americans that cleaning out the fridge is in the top 10 most dreadful household chores. Between leftovers, produce you absolutely already meant to have used, and keeping raw meat away from the kids' snacks, unloading groceries and putting them away in the fridge can feel like an Olympic event. And even worse is having plenty of vertical space, but only being able to stack your veggies and lunch meat precariously on top of one another. 

And while Pinterest may be full of beautiful images of fridges loaded with a rainbow of fresh produce, individually labeled leftover containers, and a total absence of browning avocado halves, it's important to remember that isn't reality. And splashing out for expensive food storage won't necessarily transform your fridge in the long term either. So before you lose your paycheck on fridge organizers, or try to replace your fridge altogether, consider giving your baking cooling rack a shot at the task.

Check out your baking cupboard

Cooling racks are typically used for baked goods that have come fresh out of the oven. They have grids so confections can air out in both directions, and stay slightly elevated off of the countertop, which would make them retain heat. But there's no reason they can't become a part of your fridge's storage. Giving yourself a few extra inches of storage to put things like packaged cheese, meats, and other slim-profile groceries can make a world of difference when it comes to the Tetris game of organizing your fridge.

On top of the rack, you can put ill-fitting items like loose produce because the rack provides an extra level of stable fridge storage. Perhaps the best part of all, though, is that this can be a temporary solution you can add or remove in a flash. Even if you don't have a designated cooling rack, consider the spare racks in your oven. It'll work just as well (as Facebook group Kmart Hacks & Decor once shared, via Metro UK), and it's a rare occasion that all of your oven grills need to be used at the same time.

No-cost tips for maximizing fridge storage

While we love the cooling rack hack, it's also not necessarily enough to keep your fridge in total working order. Another way to make sure you're able to fit everything from the grocery trip in is to better utilize your freezer. Many of your weekly grocery run items can be stored safely in the freezer, such as cheese, butter, and bread, says HubBub. It's also a great place to store meat — just take it out of the freezer one day before you need it and let it thaw in the fridge. Ground meats like beef, turkey, and pork can actually be cooked frozen, so you won't need any thaw time. 

And lastly, while it's not a fun solution, one of the best ways to maximize storage space in your fridge is simply cleaning it out regularly. But the good news is that the more often you tackle the fridge, the less intimidating it is. Try to fit it onto the weekly chore wheel, and take note of what's spoiling regularly — maybe skip it on the next trip to the market. These no-cost tips will help you to maximize your fridge storage.