I've learned a lot of smart hacks from watching Alton Brown over the years. He's taught me to put the ice in my sangria pitcher last (to weigh the fruit down). He's taught me to use a waffle iron to make bacon (ingenious!). And perhaps most importantly, he's taught me how to restore order to a refrigerator door loaded with half-empty condiment bottles.
It turns out, the solution has been right in front of me — literally.
His hack? Repurposing the bottom half of an empty egg carton. See, an egg carton is narrow enough to fit on most refrigerator shelves — mine included. And by cutting the top half off, the bottom half is exposed and able to hold condiments. Simply put one upside-down bottle in each cavity (where the eggs usually go) and the carton will help each bottle stand up.
Watch: Alton Brown's Mustard Caddy on YouTube
This way, when you reach for, say, the mustard or your favorite salad dressing, the good stuff is toward the mouth of the bottle and ready to come right out. No desperate shaking or squeezing. Plus, the carton keeps everything from falling over into one big jumbled mess of condiments.
It's crazy how simple this little hack is. Before it came into my life, my fridge door was always a hot mess. I'd prop up almost-empty condiments between more full ones and, without fail, every time I'd open the door, 80 percent of them would come crashing down. Out of frustration, I'd just leave them however they fell — eventually undoing any progress I'd made getting the last few drops toward the top of the bottle.
Now, with the egg carton in place, everything really does stay put when I open the door. Thanks, Alton!