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5 Things to look for when buying a refrigerator

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Here are some things you need to consider before you buy a new fridge

I've made so many mistakes when buying a major appliance, including purchasing a refrigerator that didn't fit the area I was placing it in. Use this handy dandy guide to ensure you don't make the same mistakes I did.

1: Measure your area

Here are some things you need to consider before you buy a new fridge

Image: Getty Images

This may seem like a no-brainer, but I once purchased a refrigerator on sale and was so excited about it until the delivery guys came and installed it and I had a nice two-inch gap between the side of the refrigerator and my countertop. Do you know what happened? That gap was the perfect size for magnets, my kid's artwork, random crumbs and cat toys to fall into. Which means I spent a lot of time moving my fridge, scratching up my floor and cleaning that area. Pretty not fun. So your first step is not to be like me and carefully measure the area where your new refrigerator will live.

More: How to organize your refrigerator

2: Decide what color you want

Here are some things you need to consider before you buy a new fridge

Image: Getty Images

Black, white, shell or the best pick of all in my opinion, smudge-proof stainless steel, which will match no matter what color your other appliances are and will instantly make your kitchen look more modern.

3. Think about your family

Here are some things you need to consider before you buy a new fridge

Image: Getty Images

Who lives in your house? If you are single or your kids are grown, having a refrigerator with the freezer on the bottom may not seem like a priority, but when you have a household of kids who do nothing but open the freezer constantly to retrieve ice pops during the summer you will save yourself from having to open a freezer on the top all day if you choose one with a bottom freezer. Bottom freezer models are also more energy efficient. Do people in your drink a lot of water? You will probably appreciate in-door water and ice. The people at Maytag offered to send me a refrigerator to try out and compared to my old refrigerator? This one has totally changed the way I think about refrigerators. My refrigerator, the Maytag Four-Door French Door Refrigerator with steel shelves, has a feature called Powercold that brings down the temperature of the refrigerator to optimum cooling temperatures, which is awesome considering the average household opens their refrigerator 40-60 times a day. Because my refrigerator has steel shelves, this means they get colder faster and stay colder longer no matter how many times a day my kids stand there with the door open.

4. Consider how you eat and how you live

Here are some things you need to consider before you buy a new fridge

Image: Maytag

I hate going to the store. I hate it. I tend to do one big shopping trip a week and because I have a big family and have guests over frequently, I need a lot of room to store those vegetable trays and the three gallons of milk my family drinks each week. I also need a lot of storage in my fridge, so mine contains all sorts of storage compartments in its 26 cubic feet, and even a pizza pocket in the freezer to store frozen pizzas in. Because we all know you basically have to have a bunch of those around when you have kids.

5. Look for a model that makes your life easier

Here are some things you need to consider before you buy a new fridge

Image: Maytag

Growing up, the worst times of the year was when my parents would make us help clean out the refrigerator and soak all the drawers and shelves. They were impossible to pull out and plastic parts would end up breaking off and you would put the drawers back in after cleaning them and they would always look all wonky. These days most modern refrigerators are (thankfully) much easier to clean, and my model even has easy-glide drawers that slide in and out just like my kitchen cabinets. Gone are the days of wrestling with plastic shelves when someone spills juice in the fridge. Plus having steel shelves makes for super-easy cleanup.

More: How to keep your refrigerator clean

Buying a major appliance can be a daunting task, but one you should only have to do every 10 to 15 years. Plus, if you pick one with a lot of super-cool features, your kids will be more likely to help you put away the groceries.

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