November 27, 2012

Maintaining an Organized Fridge #MaytagMoms

Another big holiday has come and gone, and though we didn't host it this year, it was still a pretty busy week in my kitchen.  Between quite a few bags of cranberries and grapes (I made the cranberry sauce) and storing a lot of leftovers (my mom made way too much for 10 people), our Maytag Ice20 Refrigerator has been working hard.
We've been using this refrigerator for nearly two months , and still really like it.  I've read that some other owners, both bloggers like myself and reviewers on e-commerce sites, find that the fridge is a hard to organize, but for my family's needs, it's been perfect.

Based on unofficial research (ie. checking our other people's fridges) I'd say we're pretty atypical in terms of what we keep in our refrigerator.  I don't buy packaged drinks, like juice boxes, soda or iced tea, just milk, OJ and occasionally apple cider.  As a result, we seem to have a lot more space in our fridge compared to others.  99% of our meals are vegetarian, so we don't have a need for a lot of meat storage, specifically deli meats and cheeses. Hence, our fridge can sometimes look quite spacious.
While it may look exceptionally empty at the moment (usually there's a big container of soup in that big empty spot on the bottom shelf, but for now we're still working through Thanksgiving leftovers), the Ice20 has made it easier to access our food and keep items visible and not forgotten (=spoiled).  It's helpful to be able to see into the Easy Access drawer from inside the main compartment of the fridge.

Speaking of the Easy Access drawer, that's been the most unique feature of the Ice20 for our family (along with the door-mounted water and ice dispenser).
I keep healthy snacks for the boys in here, which has been very convenient (in true Pavlovian fashion, every time the drawer opens, Jude squeals "cheese!" and clamors for a cheese stick).  I store many of my vegetables and salad in here and have found this to be a great place to corral veggies, since the main compartment lacks the typical produce bins.
The snack drawer gives my older son a degree of independence due to the ability to get his own snacks.  It also circumvents the frosty stare into the fridge by all of us, wondering what we want to get and trying to locate it.  I always know veggies and snacks are in the drawer and we don't need to search the main compartment.  And the best choices for snacking are located in that drawer anyway.

The refrigerator doors are deep, allowing a variety of items to fit inside. While it seems like our last fridge had more space, or at least a layout that allowed for a long line of jars and bottles (it wasn't a French door fridge), I think I'm more organized with the Ice20 because I need to be selective about what is stored on the doors.
I'm more likely to purge expired or unnecessary items (do I really need 3 bottles of barbeque sauce and 5 kinds of vinegar?), which keeps me more organized.

The freezer has been exceptionally easy to keep organized, due to the compartmentalized drawers.
Indulging in a bit of empty calories there with those seasonal Peppermint Ice Cream sandwiches
Our last fridge also had a bottom freezer, but the door swung open and a large basket had to be forcefully pulled out.  It was heavy due to all the frozen food, and hard to get in and out of the freezer compartment.  The freezer drawer on the Ice20 is so easy to access.  The drawer slides out with ease, though it's not so easy that my toddler can open it (yay for not having to baby proof one more thing).

The freezer storage is two-tiered with dividers within each space.  This is really helpful in keeping things from sliding around, which was a problem with my last freezer.  Items would inevitably find themselves wedged in the back or bottom, freezer-burnt and forgotten (remember I said how hard it was to pull that old drawer out?).  With this freezer, I can stack things and keep like items with like items, helping contain wayward bags and cartons of frozen food.  My son likes to grab the waffles or pancakes out in the morning, which helps expedite his breakfast.  I'm half joking when I say I'm sorry the Ice20 doesn't have a toaster attachment. :)

To add even more storage space to the freezer, there are NO ice cube trays to fill and take up room thanks to the filtered water dispenser and ice maker built into the refrigerator door.  It was a little hard losing that upper space inside the main fridge compartment, but it's well worth it.
This feature has been abundantly welcomed in our home, not just because we now have cold water and ice at our fingertips, but also because I don't need to walk all the way across the kitchen to fill the tea kettle or to add some water to a dish I'm cooking. It's right next to the stove.

Now that probably has no value for anyone but me, so I'll expound upon some of the other cool features like the Measured Fill option, where I can take any cup and have the machine fill it to 8 oz. like it is a measuring cup.
It's convenient when I'm at the stove and need to add a certain amount of water to a dish but don't want to dig out the measuring cup.  I've used it when making homemade hot cocoa and just added the water directly to the pot.

The water and ice dispenser has also been a big feature for my older son, who definitely drinks more water now as a result.  The ice cubes are smaller than your typical cube, making them easy to slip into water bottles.

As for keeping the fridge clean, the slide-out adjustable Spill-Catcher shelves (with sealed edges that help contain spills) have been easy to clean, though I haven't entirely tested them out yet, having only had the fridge for 2 months.  Somehow we haven't had any major spills and any minor ones have been wiped up quickly and easily (I'm a neatnik, particularly about new items).

The Affresh cleaning products (samples came with the fridge) tested out well, though I tend to use green cleaners so I won't be using them continually.  The stainless steel is a pain to keep clean, (unless you like the charm of little toddler fingerprints all over it) however I've found wiping with the grain using a clean, dampened cloth diaper and then buffing with a dry one works well. Sometimes I need a bit of elbow grease, but it's an eco-friendly way to keep the exterior clean.

I am confident the Ice20 will continue keeping us organized, especially as we enter the busiest time of year for a fridge--baking season.  I expect pounds of butter, dozens of eggs, and logs of cookie dough to take up residence in there very soon.  I'm eager to see how the Ice20 holds up!

You can get more information from Maytag via their Facebook page, @MaytagBrand on Twitter and by checking out the other Maytag Moms (including the laundry moms) by following us under the hashtag #MaytagMoms.

Disclosure: I wrote this post participating in an Maytag Moms Dependable Kitchen Ambassador program by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Maytag. I was provided with a Maytag kitchen appliances set, including a refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher, and range to facilitate my post.

2 comments:

  1. The easy access drawer for snacks is brilliant! I get so annoyed when the kids stand in front of the fridge, staring blankly. I've also always coveted an ice/water dispenser.

    Weird question: why do you keep chocolate chips in the refrigerator?

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