Monday, January 28, 2013

Setting up la frig

If you're in a wheelchair like I am, planning how to set things up is important. It's also important if you want to conserve energy or be efficient - so although the way you set things up may vary, all of us could benefit from thinking about this.

I have a side by side refrigerator - the picture shows the refrigerator side.  On the top shelf which I can't reach we put water bottles and soda.  On the second shelf which I can reach with a quad reacher, we put prepared meals/sandwiches that are covered with foil (which I can remove myself). The foil gets tucked under tightly so that if my reacher wobbles the food stays mostly on the plate.

The third shelf down is saved for food prep items I might need to reach, such as meat, tuna fish, smoothie ingredients, cut up meal prep items, etc.  Cut up snacks (i.e. fruit, dips) are also kept on the bottom shelf where we also put yogurt, which we peel open so I can easily get at it.  The bin at the bottom holds fruits and veggies that aren't cut up yet. 

On the side door we keep water bottles with the caps loosened for me, condiments in plastic squeeze bottles and other items that are heavy and difficult for me to get out with a reacher. 

To work for me, this system requires that the refrigerator be arranged where items aren't 'buried' - in other words, I don't want things stacked on top of each other.  That makes it hard to pull it out. 

I'll explain more later about how some of these ingredients are used frequently by me - and variations on what I keep in my frig depending on the food I'm making! 


  1. Hi, I'm a quadriplegic. Some tricks for the fridge: put things that are hard to handle or reach in plastic shopping bags in the fridge so you just have to hook the handles with your hand or reacher.

    Things dropped on the floor in their containers are more easily picked up by the reacher if you scoot them into an open paper gift bag with the reacher, then grab the bag handles to pick it up.

    A good reacher can be found at, custom made and only require wrist extension to grip solid.


    1. Hi Jeff,
      Great pointers, thanks. I mentioned the knife from quadtools in another post - really recommend their products too!



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