It’s 7pm, I just got done working and I head to the fridge to determine what I’m going to make for dinner. The fridge is full, full of stuff and I can’t quite make out the options, unless I rummage through everything.
Last Thursday’s vegetable share was still there and it seemed ever growing with the addition of this week’s. I was overwhelmed! As I stood with my arm propping the fridge door open, all I could see was bags and more bags, masking the beauty of the fresh vegetables.
I find myself uninspired on days where I have to cook just for me and I’m challenged by the prospect of not finding the right ingredients. Are there so few options that inspire or am I not inspired by what I can’t see? It’s a problem I face too often and it’s a problem many of us face at home.
I started thinking of what I could do to change my perception of the contents of my fridge and in turn, inspire me to create great, healthy dishes. My first thought was of the way I shop when I go to the store. While I complain weekly of the prices at #Wholefoods, I remind myself of the experience and therefore the cost to shop at this store. There is an ease to shopping and being inspired when the products are presented in an environment that is conducive to seeing and appreciating what’s on the shelves.
If brands work to have their products packaged and presented in a way that is most appealing to the consumer, why are we not more cognizant of the way we present our food to ourselves? Does the items in your fridge or cabinets have appetizing appeal? Do your products show best in allowing you to be inspired to cook with them?
I am not sure if it’s the same for all of us but I can only convey what I’ve learned from my own experience of having too much and not knowing what to do with all of it. In pursuit of not feeling without, we’ve managed to foster a way of thinking that clutters our fridges and pantries, clutters our minds and diminishes our connection to the food we consume – A cluttered fridge is like a cluttered mind; things get lost in the chaos.
Coming from a design perspective, I soon realized that the solution was the same approach to reinventing a space – I needed to organize and style my fridge. I need to keep just the right amount of food that is uncluttered and visually appealing that allows me to be empowered in being creative with my dishes.
Rule to Follow: Think about how you like things to be presented to you when you’re making a purchase and work on translating that sensibility into how you serve yourself. You have to work hard at selling and pleasing your toughest customer, you!
Take Inventory: When I was able to take inventory of the fridge’s contents by dividing the items into those I would keep and those that had expired, I could repackage the items in clear ziplocks, to better display them. I then color coordinated everything and grouped by category – greens together, fresh fruit together, beverages together, colored vegetables together and condiments together.
Clean Surfaces: I wiped the shelves off and cleaned every surface of the fridge and this set the backdrop for the items to be displayed. Everything looks better in a clean space and your fridge is no exception.
Organizing and Styling: The condiments and juices were organized into the door, with labels facing forward. On the widest bottom shelf, I displayed the greens to one side and bottles of water and cartons of almond milk to the other. In the produce bins I placed the colored vegetables and additional greens. On the second shelf, I layered the trays of eggs to the left and displayed bottles of beer to the back with fresh tomatoes in a glass bowl to the front. The top shelf was used for packaged mushrooms, beets and hummus.
The finished fridge-scape was one that allowed for the products and produce to be showcased in an accessible, appetizing way. The colors paired together, created contrast, giving depth to the produce in the fridge, making them appear that much more appetizing. The organized products could be deciphered, allowing me to know exactly what I had to work with. There were just the right amount of goods, allowing me not to feel overwhelmed by the quantity. I could see my food, appreciate my food and be inspired to create for myself.
Find your voice, within a life designed, one fridge at a time!