Home and Garden

Clean Off the Fridge: Make your Kitchen Feel Larger!


I have a special guest for you today!!ย ย  Sandy is my sweet friend and the fabulous lady behind the Reluctant Entertainer.ย  We were able to meet for the first time last year in Napa and have plans to see each other at EVO ’11 in July!

Thank you, Sandy, for all of the awesome advice, support and inspiration you give by reminding us to move past our fears and open our homes to others.


Thank you, Tidy Mom, for inviting me to be your guest here today! Don’t you just love Cheryl? I do! She’s excellent with food, recipes, home tips, being a good mom and friend, and keeping the house nice and tidy, too!

Today, as I share about my clean fridge, I think we should consider having a “I’m Lovin’ Cheryl Day,” don’t you? ๐Ÿ™‚ Cheryl’s definitely one of those “Balcony Girls” in my life and I appreciate her a lot.

Picture clutter on fridge

Last week I was looking around my kitchen to see what I could do to make it sparkle a bit more, knowing we had another dinner party coming up. I had already put a lot of miscellaneous stuff away, canning jars that needed to go out into the garage, white platters that belonged in their own spaces, and then my eyes met the messy fridge.

I knew I had to clean it off!

So all the Christmas pictures came down.

Refrigerator clutter

I used Windex to make the front shine!


And then I realized having a clean fridge front ย actually made my kitchen feel larger.

Clean refrigerator

I always put pictures on my fridge after Christmas. And we enjoy our friends for a few months. But then they start to feel cluttered (sorry, friends!) and it’s time to put them away.

When’s the last time you’ve cleaned off the front of your fridge? Do you like the fresher feel?

And would you share with Cheryl and me what you do with all the wonderful Christmas picture/cards that you get in the mail every year?

Sandy Coughlin Reluctant EntertainerSandy Coughlin is the author of Reluctant Entertainer (blog) and her new book, The Reluctant Entertainer.ย  She’s a wife, mom of 3 teens, and a lover of food and dinner parties!

more by Cheryl »

Cheryl Sousan

A self-proclaimed neat freak, Cheryl chronicles her journey through homemaking on her blog, TidyMom.net, where she shares recipes, tutorials, crafting and her ever-growing love for photography. This St. Louis mom juggles her passion for life, her daughters and her tiger-loving husband, all while her obsession with tidiness cleans up the trail blazed behind her. Google+


  1. I agree! A clean refrigerator front makes the kitchen seem bigger – and tidier!!! I take all my Christmas pictures off & save them for the scrapbook. I do one layout for all the pictures by using a large square punch to punch out a portion of the picture. I zero in on faces only — sometimes cutting them out individually – or as a group, depending how they fit into my square punch. Then I place them all together in some kind of pattern that is pleasing to the eye. Occasionally, I have to cut my own (bigger) square in order to use a picture effectively. The layout sums up our photo Christmas cards in a small space.

  2. I scan all of my Christmas pictures that I receive every year so that I still have the picture but not the clutter.

    • I do this too and then I set that folder as my screensaver so I have all our friends and their kiddos looking at us all year round!

  3. Great idea, Sandy! I’m looking at my fridge right now….it is covered in notes and a giant calendar and all sorts of things I could put elsewhere. Thank you! Doing this TODAY!

  4. I did this a few years ago and it made a huge difference. As much as I loved having the pictures to look at, the clutter was killing me!

  5. Hi Sandy and Cheryl,

    This was a huge revelation to me when we got our home ready to sell. I cleaned everything off my fridge and ta-da, my kitchen looked bigger and so much cleaner. In my new home, there is nothing on the fridge!

    I save all of my Christmas pix in a file folder. I hang them with thin ribbon on a fun, old decorative ladder each Christmas, so they are future decorations. I pick 2 or 3 of my favorites from each family. It’s amazing to see the changes as families grow and change. My grands love it!

    Thanks for a fabulous post!

  6. i just cleaned off my fridge too-not everything but even taking off some of the kids art work made a big difference. i save all my photos from christmas too-i usually hang them on a cork board in the playroom so the kids can see them-they love looking at them.

  7. I have a Stainless Steel fridge and magnets won’t cling so I can’t use the front of the fridge for handing photos or anything. But since it is visible from the living room that is a good thing, I can’t clutter it up even if I wanted to. ๐Ÿ™‚
    The same rule applies to countertops, I have butcher block and I sand down re-oil them every three months, it forces me to clear out the clutter and my kitchen looks much larger again.

  8. Love this tip!! I recently cleaned off my fridge too (on the advice of Kristen from Dine and Dish) and she was right!! Huge difference. Not only did my kitchen seen larger, but much CLEANER!!

  9. It’s true! A clean fridge can change the whole vibe of your kitchen. I’ve never been a fan of putting anything on the fridge, but the hubs loves it. So I let him clutter up one half of one side and the rest stays bare ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Every year after Christmas, I take all the photo cards and put them in my photo album along with our Christmas photos. Thanks for the great site! Cristin

  11. I am giggling because I just did this task yesterday. It was a little epiphany type of moment in my world. *8D As for the pics, I scrapbook them in an album that I just add the year to and the pics. We love going back to look at how all our friends and family change throughout the years!

  12. Good point Sandy… I hang everything from art projects to pictures to magazine articles on my fridge… at the moment it’s such a disaster, there could be a small child lost in the mess and I wouldn’t be able to tell:) going to de-clutter now… thanks for the tip!

  13. Great idea, and so simple!

  14. I juat did this this morning!!!! Great minds……LOL! I love the uncluttered look of it too and Spring Fever has hit me BAD!!!!!!!!!!!!:):) XO, Pinky

  15. Last year we started to hang our cards and pictures on the back of our front door. it makes the front entry so festive and we see it all the time. When New Year’s rolls around I place all items in one of the console table drawers where we can look at them anytime we like.

    I keep my fridge surface cleared of stuff, minus a shopping list. But I have a magnet board for all the other stuff.

  16. I recently did the same. I couldn’t part with all the photos, so they found their way to the side of my fridge. I have a tiny kitchen, so I’ll take all the de clutter help I can get!
    Thanks! And so fun to see Sandy over here at your Table!

  17. I hole punch them and put them on a binder ring. Then store them with the Christmas boxes and the family has fun looking at them next when the boxes come back out. I also do this for birthday cards/notes we want to keep. Each family member has their own ring in a common box that they can add to throughout the year.

  18. Such great advice! I never really thought about it before, but my fridge can definitely stand to be de-cluttered. Thanks for the tip!

  19. I agree. It definitely makes it feel bigger. My fridge isn’t magnetic at the front so I can’t put anything on it. I wasn’t happy about it at first but now I love it.

  20. I have THOUGHT of cleaning off the front of my fridge for a long time, but now that I see the difference, I’m going to do it tonight! It looks so much less cluttered and streamline in the kitchen with a cleared off refrigerator. Thanks for the inspiration! P.S. A “I’m Lovin’ Cheryl Day” sounds good to me:)

  21. I agree a clean fridge front makes a huge difference in the feel of your kitchen, that’s why I have “nothing goes on the fridge” rule in my house! IF it’s something sentimental it gets put away for safe keeping other than that it’s in the trash.

  22. I just cleaned the front of my fridge a few weeks ago. It is amazing how different your kitchen looks without all the pictures on it. Though I do love looking at people I love. One year while visiting a flea market in Indiana we bought some magnetic picture frames that were meant to go on the fridge. They were very pretty and made the pictures look organized and less cluttered.

    I often save my christmas pictures for several months or a year so that I can think of and/or pray for those who sent them to me. I know people who save them in scrapbooks over the years. It’s amazing to see how families change over the course of time.

  23. Thanks for having me here today, Cheryl. Love the ideas of what to do with Christmas cards! Yay! ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Our new refrigerator is stainless, and our old one had wood panels so we’ve never put things on our refrigerator. I have a bulletin board on the side wall next to it though that I post school lunch calendars, etc.

    Our Christmas cards are kept in a basket through the holidays. Then they are cut into collage pages in my scrapbook. It is fun to see how every family changes and grows through the years.

  25. Magnets and picture decluttering is one of my favorite quick fix clean up tricks. Great post!

  26. I clean off my fridge weekly. I take pictures and hang them on the inside doors of my cabinets, so that I can still enjoy them when I open random cupboards.

    The kids special artwork goes into files, and we take pictures of other ones. We either put them on the computer or the SD frame on the wall. ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. =) My fridge was a JUNKYARD until I got one that magnets wont stick to. Now everything goes on the side, LOL. Guess I better do a cleansweep tommorrow =)

  28. Here is what I do with all our Christmas pictures and cards:


  29. We put them into a small photo album and keep it within reach of the table. That way we can grab it and pray for one family each night after dinner. It helps the kids get to recognize the faces of all the loved ones we only get to see once in a while.

  30. We put our Christmas pictures in a shoe box and put it in a cabinet in our dining room. Every morning, we look at whatever picture’s on top and pray for that family.

  31. I don’t put anything on the front of our fridge, as our kitchen is small and I know all the stuff makes it feel even smaller. I do put up some of the kids’ art and a few pictures on the side that faces away from the interior of the kitchen. And I just decluttered that last week! As for what I do with the Christmas cards…I used to feel guilty not keeping them, but my husband has since convinced me that we just can’t keep everything. I hold onto a few photos of special family and friends. The rest hit the trash.

  32. That certainly was a lot of photos you had on your fridge. I used to keep pictures there too until I felt trapped by the clutter. Now the only thing I keep on the front is my daily calendar. Looks a little better, but not great ๐Ÿ™‚
    BTW, wondering if you ever use the magnet I painted for your with your Tidy Mom logo?

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