Before Big Daddy and I roll out for a little high school friday night lights I thought I’d share with you how I conquered one nasty beast in my home.

The refrigerator.

I particularly hate unloading groceries into a fridge that is in complete and utter chaos. Yeah, I’m a hater.

I have some control issues. My control or out of control issues actually begin at the checkout line. Big Daddy knows by now that I HAVE to organize the food when I put my groceries onto the conveyor belt in the checkout line. There CANNOT be any haphazard tossing of items onto the belt. This will derive a dirty look from my otherwise saintly countenance.

And although Big Daddy has learned to live with this evil side of me I suspect he still would rather just put the stuff on the belt.

But that won’t happen. Ever.

And if it sounds insane then I’ll accept that you are in the Big Daddy camp but I’d like a chance to explain before you abandon me.

While in school, I bagged groceries and I was a cashier. I’d say I have some talent in this area. I also enjoy bagging here and there to help out the employees while at the same time feeding the control monster that lives inside of me.

As a bagger when the items come down the slope after the cashier scans them they begin to pile up. Have you ever seen a cashier push the pile down further to make room for more scanning? Sometimes market managers don’t put enough thought into the true partnership that is the cashier and bagger duo. If this duo’s timing is out of sync you’ll begin to notice that the bagger has no choice but to randomly put things in bags.

A can of baked beans in with frozen peas and a bottle of shampoo will push me over the edge.

Man, I’m really sounding crazy but trust me when I say a well packed bag makes it so much quicker when unloading the bag at home.

So, at the belt I put up groups. Frozen, refrigerated items, dry items, canned items, toiletry, milk (heavy stuff), and then the bread.

I just think that the odds of me finding all of my frozen veggies in one bag is a lot higher when I group items on the belt.

Anyone feeling me?

Anyways, my fridge is a disaster and I had to fix it.


I’m about to show you some nasty pictures of the inside of my refrigerator so I must advise my more sensitive viewers to look away.

This is actually paper from a package that obviously met something sticky. I can’t even tell you how long it’s been there.

Here’s what’s been going on in my fridge. A whole lot of nonsense. Can I just say that I hate having so many bottles of condiments. I blame Big Daddy. He loves to have 5 different kinds of mustard on hand. Anyone else forget what’s in your fridge and discover it after it has changed colors?

And here she is with some purging, cleaning, and organizing.


Thanks to someone else’s awesome idea the Fridge Coaster was hacked. There are benefits of going to the company and ordering the right size, and cute colors but they were too expensive for little ol’ me. So I found heavy duty plastic place mats from Target for $1.99 each and set them on my shelves. I used 2 place mats on each shelf. At $2 a piece and 6 placemats, I spent a fraction of what I could have spent with Fridge Coaster.

I think they’re pretty cute. But the best thing about this idea is that you won’t need to pull out the whole drawer or shelf when you need to clean them. I don’t know about you but my kitchen sink isn’t big enough to clean these shelves but the place mat will be easy to manage!

And thanks to the genius of the owner of goodbye, house. Hello, Home! I was able to find these plastic containers from Walmart. These are called Mainstays and they can be found in the aisle where you get those plastic silverware trays. I underestimated the number I’d use so I still need to get a large bin for “dinner”. As you can see I like to just go right for it so I’ve kept it simple. Lunch meat and cheese that we use daily for lunch is in one bin. The soon to be second bin will hold the chicken, beef, pork or whatever we’ve pulled from the feezer to defrost for dinner. And finally the snack bin. It’s a must.


So, what do you think of my fridge coasters?

Question: Anyone else group groceries on the belt? I need to know I’m not alone!

About The Author

36 Responses

    • ccleahy

      Aren’t they so cute? I have the blue ones too and I’m debating whether or not to cut them to fit the shelves in the door…
      Thanks for dropping by!

  1. Pam

    I am like you in regards to putting like items together. What a great idea for the fridge. Will have to give it a try.

    • ccleahy

      Thank goodness! Whew! I’m glad I’m not alone 🙂 Let me know how your fridge turns out!

      • CassCarm

        OMG! my long lost twin! From the put-it-on-the-belt-in-order OCD to the “helping the bagger out”…Really.Scarey. I assumed I was the only one on the planet to do this. And just this weekend (i’m year late),I tried out some $1.99 Target placemats in the fridge. Great fit, but not great pattern. I’m scouring the web for something a little more eye-appealing.
        I’m living in Sunny Florida now, but I lived in Woodstock, Kennesaw, Marietta before moving. Just seeing “Delk Road” and “Cobb Parkway” makes me sooo homesick!
        Love the fridge!

  2. Jessi @ Practically Functional

    Haha! I group groceries too, probably not as skillfully as you, but I figure if I put all of the cans first, then the boxed things together and all of the produce last, hopefully the produce won’t get smushed. 🙂 Great idea about the fridge coasters btw! Stopping by from Not Just A Housewife!

    – Jessi

    • ccleahy

      Thanks so much for stopping by and joining my “support group” lol!
      I’m finding so much relief from reading everyone’s comments…I’m so glad I’m not alone!

  3. Gloria

    I love your post especially your comments about the conveyor belt. I am the exact same way even when just loading my grocery cart. I carefully place my items on the belt and I hate, hate, hate when the cashier keeps that belt running and my produce gets smashed between the belt and the front end of the register. Why do they keep doing that? Well, I totally agree with you. I think we are long lost sisters of the grocery shopping world. I totally love your fridge redo. I think I am inspired.

    • ccleahy

      Thanks Gloria! Next time your grouping on the belt know that I’m cheering you on!!! 🙂

  4. Karri Reiser

    Great post. I’m so happy to read I am not the only person who groups her groceries on the belt at the store. I was a bagger and checker also in college so I appreciate the need to group. The baskets are perfect for my freezer. I’ve been searching for the right container for weeks. I have a blog party each week and would love to have you join and share this post.
    Have a great week.

    • ccleahy

      Thanks so much for sharing! I think I’ve discovered how normal I am by grouping on the belt. I can’t wait to show Big Daddy all of your comments…now he’ll know I’m not insane!!! Thanks for dropping by!

  5. Rachel Bentley Ramey

    I definitely group my stuff on the belt. As another former cashier, I also do weird things like lay soda bottles DOWN so they don’t fall over when they get to the end and get all shaken up. (They actually BAG better lying down, too.)

    The placemats are an amazing idea! Our fridge is still so old it has those stupid wire shelves, and stuff like milk is always tipping over because the edge of the container falls down into the cracks. This would help level it out!

    • ccleahy

      HA! I totally lay the bottles down too!!!! I forgot all about that trick. As a cashier I always hated seeing those 2liters at the end of the belt swaying until they fell over before getting to me.

      If you have wire shelves then you should definitely try something like this! I can only imagine the frustration of things spilling!

      Thanks for sharing Rachel I really appreciate hearing from you guys!

    • ccleahy

      You’re so right! I always place the magazine on top of something or I just hand it to them. I love my magazines too much to have them ripped before I get to read them. 🙂

  6. Megan

    Ok, my fridge looks much like your before shots I must admit. I have seen the fridge coasters and thought they were a good idea – maybe if it’s pretty and organized I might actually keep it that way?? Such a great idea with the plastic place mats! Thanks for sharing!!

  7. Crafty WI Mama

    Oh my goodness! Your fridge is so beautiful I could cry. FOR REAL! Guess what’s going on my to-do list for the weekend? FRIDGE. Thank you so much for the inspiration (altho the boyfriend will not be thankful at all, lol). I love those bins the most.

    I was also a cashier & occasional bagger at a grocery store, and have had a time or two where I was about to cuss out the 15 year old boy who had no clue what he was doing… thankfully, I smiled, bit my tounge and cussed about it at home 🙂

    • ccleahy

      Hey Crafty!
      You’re too funny!!! Can you believe Big Daddy was down on the whole thing? Crazy right? His main beef was about the lunch bin. He swore up and down that it was crazy to take the lunch meat out of the little drawer. I’m thinking it’s not airtight storage so what’s the difference?! Anyways, he gave it a try for a few days and he’s digging it. And when he leaves stuff out on the counter (which isn’t often) but like today he made us lunch and forgot to put the bin back. It was SOOO easy to put away one thing versus 6 or more things.

      I’ll be working on some cute labels for each bin so stay tuned!

  8. Crystelle Boutique

    LOL! your comments are so funny….
    but seriously… I am IMPRESSED! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fridge look this pretty before! enjoy using it!

    hugs ~ Crystelle

  9. printabelle

    I’ve never seen frig coasters, but they look great! And I love how easy they would be to clean. It’s so hard to pull out the whole shelf/drawer. Thanks so much for the idea.

  10. Stacey-Lee

    Love the coasters in the fridge idea, going to see if I can do something equally as cute in my fridge, much simpler to clean!

  11. Nicole Estes

    Great idea! I’m also a complete freak over a clean fridge. Thanks for linking up at Doodles & Stitches.

  12. Charlene@APinchofJoy

    I’m a grocery grouper too! I want like with like and have been known to grab a bag and start bagging when the groceries start to pile up at the end. And an organized fridge makes life so much easier! Thanks for linking on Busy Monday!

  13. becolorful

    I so hear your frig fetish. 😀 So I had to feature you post tonight on this week’s Motivated Monday at BeColorful. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Stacey

    Looks awesome! I never would have thought to cover the bottom shelves with anything!

    Thanks for linking up this week – hope to see you again this week!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  15. Dina

    Gee I am so bad about how my groceries are bagged that I always do self-checkout. I’ve also been using the plastic handle bins for a couple of years now. I like them to hold items up on the top cabinet shelves. Now i can just pull a bin out and find what I want without having to dig around for what’s been pushed to the back. Going to try the placemat idea now. Thanks!

  16. Phia Crenshaw

    Thanks so much for your sense of humor and Great ideas. I, too, am in Atlanta area. Just a question regarding the baskets with the handles. Are those the large size that you used? 13.5″ in width or the small size, which I can not locate on Walmart’s page that Goodbye House, Hello Home used in her pictures on the middle shelve of her frig… Thanks for any info you can provide if you found the smaller ones in the Atl area. My store in Cobb does not carry them .. 🙁

    • ccleahy

      Hey Phia! I’m sorry you’re having a hard time finding them…I remember having a hard time as well. I think I ended up going to 2 stores to get them. I measured mine and they are about 13″ (back to front (handle) ) and about 7 3/4″ across. Really rough measurements 🙂 I was living in Marietta at the time and I think I might have gone to the one on Cobb Pkwy and Delk Rd. area. I found that they are in stock at this location:

      1785 Cobb Pkwy S
      Marietta, GA 30060

      And here’s the link

      Hope this helps! Let me know if you find them!

      • Phia

        I did find them. Thank you for your help and your great ideas.

  17. NormaJean

    I thought I was the only “control freak” out there that grouped her groceries on the conveyor belt! It’s nice to know that I am not alone. It bugs me when after purposely grouping my purchases, the bagger just starts throwing them into sacks randomly. Grrrr! I have finally gotten the courage to ask that the frozen foods and fresh veggies/fruits be bagged separately


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