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Seasonal Fridge Overload Solutions

A moderately-sized refrigerator may be sufficient for your family most of the time, but when holidays, special events or summer rolls around, there's never enough space for all the food and beverages that must be kept cool. Upgrading to a much larger refrigerator may be your best solution, but if you're looking for something more compact, there are other options to consider.

1. Upgrade Your Refrigerator to Better Meet Ongoing Needs

Maybe your family has grown and you just need more food storage capacity than your current refrigerator can supply on a regular basis. Whatever the reason, if the need is there, this may be a good time to upgrade your refrigerator. Refrigerators are much more energy efficient than those that are 10 to 15 years old, so by trading up, you can also reap energy savings.

When looking for a new fridge, consider all the various convenience items now available such as separate drawers and compartments, the size and placement of the freezer space, adjustable shelving and bin storage. There is much more emphasis now on organizing features, which is a tremendous help when it comes to searching for something in a large refrigerator. Also carefully measure your space to ensure a good installation. Read my tips on buying a refrigerator to know what to look for.

2. Buy a Second Fridge for the Overload

If your current refrigerator usually meets your needs and it's just the occasional event, seasonal use or the holidays that tend to max out your cold food storage capacity, a second fridge would be the best solution, as long as you have the space for it.

Maybe you already have a 'beer' fridge in the basement or garage that usually handles the overload. If it's old, it is more cost efficient to replace an energy guzzler, with an energy efficient model. There are lots of fridges in the 15 - 18 cu. ft. range that would make great secondary refrigerators to store extra food, bulk purchases, holiday baking, as well as beverages. A second refrigerator with a freezer compartment can also help with frozen foods.

3. A Designated Beverage Cooler

Beverages, whether bottles or cans tend to clutter and hog refrigerator space, leaving fresh food piled mile high. Reclaim your refrigerator and get a beverage cooler just for those drinks. During hot weather, you'll need more cold storage space for beverages and water bottles.

There are various models and sizes available. Consider carefully to meet your seasonal needs as well as where you will place this compact cooler. Some racking/shelving might be adjustable for bottles and cans - review the convenience features. There are freestanding models as well as under-counter; it depends on your particular space.

4. Compact Refrigerator for the Family Room

Having a compact refrigerator in a home office, theater or family room can be very convenient on a regular basis, especially if the room is on another level. But when you need just a little space for that salad that won't fit in your main refrigerator, a small fridge can save the day. There's a good variety when it comes to compact refrigerators with capacities ranging from 1.5 to 6 cu. ft. with or without a tiny freezer. Always consider the shelving arrangement to ensure it meets your needs.

5. Give Wine a Place of its Own

Unless your refrigerator is equipped with a wine racking system, these odd size bottles are extremely difficult to keep in the refrigerator. You might find room for one bottle, but if you like a small assortment of cooled wine handy, consider buying a wine cooler. They come in various capacities, some with adjustable shelving to accommodate different sizes. There's also features for maintaining proper wine temperatures. Models come in under-counter or freestanding styles. Find one that meets your needs and keep the refrigerator for food storage.

6. A Kegerator is Ideal for the Brew

A keg of beer can take quite a chunk out of the family refrigerator. The best solution if you brew your own or enjoy the occasional draft beer, is to have a separate cooler - a kegerator. This type of cooler makes it convenient to store kegs and some have neat dispensing features. This is truly a must for the home brewer. There are also models that can with storage space for other beverages too.

7. A 12V AC Portable Koolatron Cooler

While capacity is limited, we have found that our 12V Portable Koolatron Cooler can be very handy for the overload of beverages when we have company. Some of the Koolatron coolers have 12Volt for in the vehicle or RV plus a plug-in adapter for indoor use. They are very convenient coolers for travel purposes or to supplement as needed.

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