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Organization

Here’s how you can gracefully organize that space over your fridge

The secret is great storage

A brightly lit kitchen with a bright red fridge with plants on top. Credit: Getty Images / asbe

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Kitchen storage can be an ongoing struggle. Your cabinets are overflowing with spices, snacks, and plastic containers. Your counters are cluttered with small appliances from air fryers to coffee makers. If you’re desperate for extra storage space, it’s time to look up–literally!

The space above your refrigerator may be sitting empty waiting for you to utilize it—or, if it’s a wasteland of extra soda bottles and family-sized chips bags—begging you to utilize it better. If your refrigerator isn’t built into cabinets and has even just a foot of open space above it, it’s time to get organized.

Before you get started though, get familiar with your refrigerator. While most refrigerators are “back breathers” meaning they ventilate from the back side, there are some that ventilate from the top of the refrigerator. If this is the case you want to keep this space free and clear.

Once you’ve verified that, it’s time to consider your storage options. Don’t fear if your stature is on the shorter side. A step stool will help you reach everyday objects and get organizing. We’ve got some tips for where to start.

Install shelving

On the left, a white countertop shelf with items on top and below it. On the right, a metal shelf designed to fit soda cans.
Credit: Ideaglass / mDesign

If you are blessed with high ceilings then you have the height to add shelving.

To make the most of the space above your fridge, give it even more height. If you are blessed with high ceilings then you have the height to add shelving.

By installing shelving, you can have two rows of storage instead of just one. We recommend putting things you reach for less on the top shelf and keep frequently used items under or in front of the shelf.

A specialized shelf for beverages can also come in handy. Stack up a shelf built for cans so that you can have back-up within reach of the fridge whenever your favorite ice cold beverages need a restock.

Cozy up your pans

On the left, a metal dish rack with cutting boards in it. On the right, the same dish rack with plates in it.
Credit: Spectrum

Place one of these racks on top of the fridge and add in your most used pans and oddly-sized dishes.

Pots and pans are clunky and can be awkward to store in your cabinets. However, the space above your fridge can help you straighten things up. This is a great utilization of your space since it also can protect your cookware.

When storing your pans, especially non-stick, you want to avoid sitting the pans directly inside one another; you don’t want to scratch the non-stick coating. Instead, use a dish organizer, a rack that has dishes that stand on their side and keep them separated.

Place one of these racks on top of the fridge and add in your most used pans and oddly-sized dishes: your favorite cutting board, non-stick pan, and baking sheet. This keeps frequently used dishes orderly and within reach.

Get the Spectrum Euro Kitchen Organizer at Amazon for $13.98

Use attractive baskets

On the left, wicker baskets on a counter top with items in them. On the right, a white metal basket with boxes of food in them.
Credit: StorageWorks / mDesign

Baskets add both storage and some stylish flair to your kitchen.

To add a bit of flair, baskets are a fabulous addition. You can go for an industrial look and grab some metal wire designs or go rustic and swing for some wicker baskets.

For metal baskets, you can find options that allow you to label the contents so you know where things go. It can also help you remember what’s inside, since you likely can’t see the contents of the basket from where you stand.

Or, go for wicker baskets that come in a magazine file-style design. These allow you to see more easily into the baskets and works well for storing cookbooks or those stacks of food magazines you always have splayed around the home.

Keep things in view with clear containers

On the left, a series of clear storage bins  in various sizes. On the right, a clear bin with a fold down lid.
Credit: OXO / mDesign

Go for clear reusable containers with an air-lock seal that will protect your food from dust and debris.

The top of your fridge is just an extension of the pantry and cupboard so feel free to store your non-perishable items there as well.

So that you can keep tabs on exactly what’s up there and use before its expiration date, clear containers keep things in view.

Your containers should all have lids on them to keep your food protected. Many reusable containers now have air-sealing technology built in so they can seal out dust and debris floating through the air.

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