When it comes to my kitchen, I have to be strategic about organization. Living in a compact urban apartment means storage in every space is at a premium – but nowhere more so than in my refrigerator.
I admit that I was happy to sacrifice a larger fridge for more cabinet space, but this did come with its challenges. Or, at least, it did until I discovered this vertical storage trick. Before experimenting with this hack, organizing a refrigerator in a small kitchen had felt like quite a chore. However, this trick is as satisfying as it is practical because, of course, who wouldn't feel self-congratulatory after maximizing storage at a minimum cost?
Here's what my new favorite kitchen storage idea involves – and how you can make it work in your fridge whatever its size.
How I use the vertical container hack in my fridge
When in the process of re-organizing a kitchen, I shared my small fridge problem with a friend who suggested I store things vertically. But her strategy was cleverer than that.
Instead of simply piling containers vertically, she suggested investing in some magnetic sheets (I chose these from Amazon, but any will work) then sticking the sheets to the bottom of my food containers. This allowed me to attach my containers to the vertical wall at the back of my fridge – and left me with lots of shelf space for produce that is better left out of a container.
The contents of my containers change often, but I've found berries, rocket leaves, and cheese are the best things to store in these magnetic containers. And while I admit that I was initially cautious of a spillage, I am yet to face any kind of mess from this trick. I just ensure the lid is attached firmly before attaching it to the wall, and it works every time.
These magnetic sheets have an adhesive back and can be cut to size. To use, simply peel of the protective backing and stick these onto your food containers.
It's useful to label your food and these magnetic mini whiteboards are an easy, reusable way of doing that. Stick them on to your boxes and use a whiteboard marker to label the contents and best before date.
This small space storage idea has changed how I store food in my apartment, but you don't need to have a compact fridge to enjoy its benefits. If you're sourcing family kitchen ideas, it's likely that you are also looking for space-maximizing tricks to keep your household’s food well organized.
And I am not alone in my admiration for this tactic. Judi Kutner, a home expert from Apartment Notes agrees this storage idea is perfect for a small kitchen, but adds that its benefits extend beyond storage. She says that attaching magnetic paper to containers is a good idea because it allows you to easily track how much food you have left without having to delve into the packing.
For example, you'll be able to see your berries quickly through the clear container, and therefore pick up some new fruit before you run out.
Plus, Judi explains that keeping food in sealed containers or cans (whether magnetic or not) is an efficient way to protect food from pests, bacteria, moisture, and other contaminants that may be lurking in the refrigerator or kitchen.
Be sure to keep up with labeling, though. When decanting foods into magnetic containers, Judi says it's essential to ensure food is correctly marked with the expiration date so you know when it's best to eat. I tend to write the 'best before' date by hand on a little slip of paper and place it in each container.
After discussing the trick with Marc Bromhall, the founder of StorageBuddy, he urged me not to stop at containers. He also recommends attaching magnetic sheets to lightweight shelves (a suggestion that will take this small kitchen idea to new heights).
'This not only enables one to store more stuff but also gives one the option to seamlessly interchange containers as [you] please,' he says.
Will you give this hack a try? It's transformed how I organize my fridge – and I suspect you will feel the same way, too.
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Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.
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