This challenge came at a perfect time. I had some gift cards that I had been saving, and now could get a new appliance with them.
It was time to get rid of the 12-year old refrigerator that no longer had the bins for fruits and vegetables, the shelf propped up with a knife, and the shelves on the door held on with duct tape. Although it was still working, it was not an energy-efficient appliance.
The challenge with finding a new refrigerator is that I have 28" of space available. The door leading to the kitchen is only 29" wide and the space in the kitchen for the refrigerator is 28" wide. There are not many refrigerator/freezers out there that are so narrow. It is quite limiting. In fact, there was only one model that fit into the space.
The morning that the refrigerator/freezer was being delivered, I took one last look at the one I used for over 12 years:
Very crowded and disorganized refrigerator.
Notice the missing bins, shelf being held up with a knife,
and the shelves being held with duct tape.
It's time for a new refrigerator!
The freezer with absolutely no
The freezer shelves in the
I transferred all items from the freezer to the large freezer in the mudroom. All the magnets, artwork, and photographs came off the sides of the refrigerator. Some of the business magnets or ones that had seen better days immediately went into the trash.
When the delivery men arrived, I unloaded all the items from the refrigerator. They set up the refrigerator/freezer and took the old one away.
As I began putting items into the new refrigerator, I checked all expiration dates to make sure items were still okay to use. Anything that hadn't been used in awhile (on the door shelves), I threw away the contents and soaked the bottles to get the labels off. (I reuse the glass bottles to hold homemade dressings and food I buy in bulk at the co-op. I'm trying to get away from using plastic, but it's a slow process making that transition.)
I picked some items from the big freezer to put into the new freezer - like juices; butter (dairy free and regular); a variety of frozen vegetables; frozen fruit that the girls and I picked during the summer and froze; a couple packages of meat; and a few containers that have food that can be re-heated (e.g., stuffed peppers).
Here's what the refrigerator and freezer look like now:
The new refrigerator/freezer with
only the items that I'm going to use.
It is so much easier to find things now, and only the items that I'm going to use are in the refrigerator and freezer. It's been a few days now since I did this, and it has been wonderful to have a fully-functional and working refrigerator/freezer.
When I'm making 21 meals a week (breakfast, lunch, and dinner since the girls are homeschooled and we eat all our meals at home...unless we are helping my parents and they want to take us out for lunch), having an appliance that works and is in good order is nice. It makes meal preparation so much more enjoyable! Truly, it is simple things like this that make me happy.