Reclaim the Top of Your Refrigerator!

I asked my on-line community for blog topics, and "What to do with all that [stuff] that has accumulated on the top of my refrigerator?” was the first. So here is the answer, hope it helps!

I was having a writer’s block last week and asked my Facebook Fans and Friends to suggest blog topics.  They really came through for me, so thanks to all for the inspiration!    

One of the first to responses was “What to do with all that [stuff] that has accumulated on the top of my refrigerator” (see photos, front and side views).  I love this question because we have all probably been there, wondering the same question.  And I also love it because spending half an hour on this one little project is going to make you feel great about your kitchen.

So, here’s what you do, if your fridge looks like this one….  Tackle the project using Julie Morgenstern’s SPACE.  Sort, Purge, Assign a Home, Containerize and Equalize.

1.  Grab a step-stool, a clean counter, and perhaps a young helper and Clear It All Off and wash it down.

2.  SORT Your stuff.  In these photos, I would say Cook books, Lunch boxes, Mail and Papers, playing cards, school supplies, vitamins?  Group your items into different categories that make sense to you.

3.  PURGE your stuff.

  • You choose what stays and goes. 
  • Some things DO belong up there, and some things DO NOT.
  • Trash old, outdated or mysterious food products, broken items (like the green bowl), and old mail.
  • What goes somewhere else in the kitchen or home?
  • What’s in that Target bag?
  • What can stay? Things that only the parents / tall people use; seldom used items; big single items that don’t look too cluttered.

4.  Steps 3 and 4 ASSIGN A HOME AND CONTAINERIZE are the really important steps in this project.

5.  ASSIGN A HOME  There are challenges with tall spaces like the Fridge top. 

  • Small things get lost.
  • It is great storage space, but lacks structure and physical boundaries.
  • One rough open or close of the door can send stuff flying.  I look at that bundle of mail, and imagine the whole thing hitting the floor and flying everywhere. 
  • Gravity.  Ever have a box of cereal dump on your head?  If we store big clunky items up there, we risk pulling things down on our heads.

6.  Containerize:

  • We need to get creative when it comes to containerizing on the Fridge top.
  • Use the space well but strive for a streamlined visual presentation.
  • Our fridge is tucked under our cabinets.  I need easily moved storage solutions if I want to access those hard to reach cabinets.
  • I suggest Book Ends, Baskets and Boxes, well labeled, for fridge-top storage.
  • Use bookends for cookbooks, or for boxes of cereal or crackers.
  • Baskets offer a nice visual while covering up their contents. 
  • These two baskets are on top of my fridge (see photo).  The left one holds our lunch bags, and the right one holds recycling items like batteries, medications, etc., until drop-off day.
  • Boxes, like lidded photo boxes, can corral small or seldom used items like recipes, holiday cookie cutters, etc.  They can be purchased inexpensively at a craft store and can match your kitchen colors, or just choose white to make them blend in to the landscape.
  • The Fridge top is great for items that are not too big and bulky like large serving dishes or serving baskets.  I have large serving trays at the back of my fridge-top, covered with a cloth.

7.  The last step of the organizing process is to Equalize, or maintain.  Tidy up the top of your fridge when clean your kitchen, or make a date to do it once or twice a year. So, the next time you have 30 or 60 minutes, you can complete a project just like this and improve a room and your life.  Who knew?  Friend-who-sent-me-the-pictures, I would love to see an after-picture!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Patty October 29, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Love the baskets. Where do you recycle batteries and old Meds?
Colleen Klimczak, CPO October 31, 2012 at 11:34 AM
Hello there! Thanks for commenting. Since you are reading the Evergreen Park Patch, I am assuming you live here in EP. For the Meds, you can drop off dry meds (pills and powders, no liquids) at the Evergreen Park Police Department during normal business hours. As for the household batteries, I drop those off to the nice people at the EP Walgreens, 3545 W. 95th Street.


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