There’s something especially satisfying about opening the door of the refrigerator to find tidy, organized shelves stocked with food and every item sitting in its rightful place—fresh veggies nestled in the crisper, condiments lined up in the side of the door with colorful labels peeking over the guard rail, and delicious leftovers packaged neatly into reusable containers resting on the shelves.
This, however, is the ideal—not the norm. Busy weeknights and hectic weekends mean overcrowded refrigerators stuffed with casserole dishes and takeout boxes. Entering the summer season, there’s sure to be a shortage of valuable real estate in the fridge due to dips, sides, or chilled desserts you’re bringing to the neighbor’s cookout or holiday barbecue. And who has enough time to dig through the pantry to pair reusable plastic containers with their matching lids? Large bowls and glass baking dishes take up valuable space, and most don’t have accompanying lids, which throws out the possibility of stacking them on top of each other. Their awkward shapes and sizes can make fitting them in the fridge quite a puzzle.
Luckily, there’s an easy solution to eliminating the chaos. As first reported by The Kitchn, a recently discovered Reddit thread points to a simple pair of chopsticks as the answer to messy refrigerator shelves. Cover a bowl with aluminum foil or plastic wrap as you normally would, and lay two chopsticks across the mouth. Then just stack another bowl on top. Repeat the process as space allows. For larger casserole dishes, you’ll need to lay four or more chopsticks across the width for a sturdier base. This simple solution can transform the shelves’ haphazard collection of dishes into a neat, organized area.
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Next time you order Chinese takeout, ask for a few extra pairs of chopsticks. Or you can order them online. They won’t break the bank—a 25-pack of disposable chopsticks on Amazon will cost you about $5.