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Sorry, but you need to stop putting magnets on your fridge

Free the fridge—take them all down

Credit: Getty Images / pick-uppath

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Admit it—if you’re a parent, your refrigerator is also your home’s art gallery, school calendar, notice board, and shopping list holder. In short, it’s the epicenter of clutter.

You might find it cute, but here’s the sad truth: You can wipe the table, load every dirty dish into the dishwasher, and stack the pots and pans in the cabinets, but if you’ve got a fridge covered with magnets and papers, your kitchen is a mess. It's the kind of mess you can get used to, but it's the first thing people notice when they walk into your home.

Kill the clutter—ditch those fridge magnets.

I hate clutter, and I know you do, too. When you go online to admire all those beautiful images on home design sites, the kitchens are always pristine. Maybe there’s a bowl of lemons on the island, or a linen dish towel draped over the edge of the farmhouse sink. But refrigerator magnets? Never.

When stainless steel refrigerators became de rigueur, you might have jumped on the trend and celebrated! No longer would you be expected to stick every coupon, art project, or permission slip on the fridge. In fact, you couldn’t—it wasn’t magnetic. Now, newer stainless steel finishes—like black stainless—actually are magnetic again. But don't even think of cluttering up that beautiful new fridge with magnets. Here's what you should do instead.

Get a cleaner kitchen without actually cleaning

Once you get all that crap off the refrigerator, your kitchen will look neater. Take the next step.
1. Create a chalkboard wall.

A chalkboard wall in the dining room
Credit: Getty Images / KatarzynaBialesiewicz

If you're the least bit crafty, it's not that hard. Paint a rectangle on the wall, anywhere the family will see it. Chalkboard paint is now high style, even in more formal living rooms. For the less talented, there are chalkboard decals. Once you've got a chalkboard, kids can draw on it, and you can use it track events, compose your shopping list, and write reminders to your spouse.
Buy a Chalkboard Paint Kit for $14.97
Buy a YXTO chalkboard decal and chalk for $9.89

2. Post a magnetic board.

Hang stuff up on a magnetic board
Credit: Amazon

Want a magnetic surface? This one will work. Put it up on a wall, just not in the kitchen. Stick on magnets and all those papers that used to be on the refrigerator. Done and done.
Buy the Umbra Bulletboard Magnet Bulletin Board for $42.84

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3. Hang up a cork board.

Leave notes on a bulletin board, not the fridge
Credit: Getty Images / a_Taiga

Yes, it's old school, but that’s no big deal. The challenge is remembering to take things down. On a friend's board, I noticed an invitation to a graduation that took place three years ago, and a wedding announcement from a couple who have by now welcomed their first child. At least it wasn’t on the fridge.
Buy a Veranda Printed Cork Board for $19.09

Achieve zen

Once you move the papers, photos, notices, and magnets off your fridge, your kitchen will immediately look better organized. Someday, you might organize it. But, for now, the clutter is in a better place. And so are you.

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