Refrigerator Organization

AlanO

Junior Member
My wife and I just bought a 1988 38 - 200 and one of our challenges will be to figure out how and where to store stuff. One of our friends who recently sold their Hunter 38 mentioned she wasn't going to miss digging through the refrigerator to pull out items that always seem to be at the bottom. This got me thinking that folks have probably figured out various tricks to organizing their refrigerator for accessibility. Anybody got some hints? Are there bins/racks that can help organizing the refrigerator?

We have the standard top-loading refrigerator that comes with this model of Ericson.

Thanks.

Alan

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toddster

Curator of Broken Parts
Blogs Author
Mine is a converted ice box (is that?) but the boat came to me with two wood grilles that rest on the little ledge that's half way up. (or down...)
I installed the refrigeration components under the top, where they are out of the way. May not be possible for all shapes.

One obvious plan is to put less-frequently needed items "below the grille" and more frequently used things "on top of the grille." But this requires one to clear-off and remove one of the grilles to get into the bottom. So in practice, I usually have them stacked on one side, leaving a clear reach to the bottom

To prevent things from tipping and rolling, and to make lifting things off the grille easier, I got some plastic bins from Ikea that help to organize the space. They tended to fill up with condensate (or spills) so I drilled drain holes in them. Maybe some kind of small basket, like a miniature milk-crate would work better? A quick search on Amazon reveals several possibilities that are stackable, which might provide interesting options. But some of them only seem to come in packs of 12 or 18, which isn't very convenient.

Headed to the fridge with a measuring tape... :rolleyes:

I expect that I'll refine my techniques this summer as it appears (gulp) that I'll really be living on board full-time.
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Ericson put thick plastic shelves in our refrigerator, which work pretty well. They slide sideways a few inches to permit access to below.

I made bags of Sunbrella for Diet Coke and water, which are easily retrieved from the depths. That solves groping around deep inside looking for those two common choices.

refrig upper shelf.JPG...refrig lowest shelves, two .JPG...refrig shelves, four.JPG...refrig Dometic view.JPG

As photo at far right shows, the shelves were planned for in the manufacture.
 

toddster

Curator of Broken Parts
Blogs Author
Hmm. I suppose that with a bit of bypass-door track, one might be able to rig it so that one shelf could slide under the other, to make a “door” to the lower half.
 

peaman

Member III
One obvious plan is to put less-frequently needed items "below the grille" and more frequently used things "on top of the grille."
Depending on the refrigeration arrangement and geometry of the box, there will be more or less stratification of the cold air. With a light load of goods, I can freeze water at the bottom, not too cold at the top (perfect for fruits and salads), and regular refrigerator conditions in between.

Ericson put thick plastic shelves in our refrigerator, which work pretty well.
On of my shelves was a transparent dark color and inappropriately modified by a previous owner. I was able to fabricate a new clear shelf, with ventilation/drainage holes, from 1/4" stock from a hardware store.
 

toddster

Curator of Broken Parts
Blogs Author
I have not detected any stratification so far. My evaporator is at the very top, so air is forced to circulate somewhat. Of course, putting stuff in (including above-mentioned solid-sided bins) interferes with circulation.
 

toddster

Curator of Broken Parts
Blogs Author
Silly me trying to reinvent the wheel... of course Amazon has an entire category of clever bin systems under "refrigerator organizers." They don't seem to be too concerned about air circulation or drainage though... most all of them are solid-wall.
This might be the most extreme one, and yet I find its space-filling properties intriguing:
811gIUIE8lS._AC_SL1500_.jpg

I don't think these would quite fit in my ice box but they might inspire something...
 

AlanO

Junior Member
Thanks for all the responses. I've got an idea for making a rack and sliding shelf to mimic what Christian has. I'll post my solution once I get it implemented.
 

driftless

Member III
Blogs Author
Still working out my system as I just installed the holding plate this spring. So far this combo with basket and Ericson shelf seems to be working well.

PXL_20220529_193704762.jpg
 

AlanO

Junior Member
I came up with a pretty simple solution. I built a shelf support structure using pvc pipe. The "shelf" is a plastic cutting board that serendipitously was the exact width of the refrigerator and can be slid to port or starboard, or removed completely to access items below. Bins of various sorts to be used on the shelf. I did not glue the legs so it can be easily removed for cleaning.


Fridge1.jpgFridge3.jpg
 
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