Between make-ahead size dishes and frozen pie crusts, refrigerator and freezer space can become tight during the holidays. Here are a few ways to maximize the real estate and minimize storage chaos while entertaining.
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Clean it up.
First of all, start with a clean slate. All of the old jars of jam and neglected bottles of vinegar taking up space in your refrigerator door should go. For the most thorough approach, take everything out to assess whether it’s essential; then you can wipe down the shelves while the refrigerator is empty.
Load up your cooler.
Portable coolers aren’t just for tailgating. Use those to store or thaw your turkey or casseroles and other side dishes. Just fill it with ice and keep it in your garage, or somewhere away from sunlight, and the food should stay fresh for up to 24 hours. To be cautious, make sure the temperature of the cooler stays below 40 degrees.
Think outside the (ice)box.
If you live in a cool climate, your garage or a secure porch or balcony can serve as a makeshift refrigerator. Store fresh, dry produce out there in a sealed container, and it should be fine for a few days. No outdoor space? Try the trunk of your car.