3/2/09

Freshen your Kitchen - clean off your Fridge!


Most people say that the best part of entertaining is connection.

I’d give a hearty amen to that!

So why do we stress over things like these?
• Will they like what I am serving?
• Can we keep the conversation going?
• Will they look in my messy bedroom, laundry room or … (gasp!) check out my cluttered refrigerator?


Getting ready for entertaining this past weekend, we invited long-time friends over for dinner. Simple menu planned! Check! Delegation – our guests brought dessert! Check!


Abby caught me up on ironing. Check!


We set a simple table. Check!


Only flowers in bloom in our yard (crocus!) Check!


Clean off your fridge
My house did not get cleaned to perfection, but one thing I did do – because it was driving me crazy since Christmas – was I cleaned off the front and top of my refrigerator.

The piles on top looked like this


With a cluttered after-Christmas look here


Freshen it up
One way to make your kitchen cleaner and fresher is to clear off the front of your refrigerator! And in my case, the top! The top of my fridge is a dumping spot for kids’ papers I want to save.

Much better (fly swatter’s home)


One prized piece of kids’ artwork


My kitchen shined
I was amazed. When the company came, my dinner was prepared, and my kitchen was cleaned up – it did shine and it even seemed bigger!

More than my fridge
Of course what happened around the table that night – conversation and reminiscing (my friend Karen and I were childhood friends!) – was the most memorable part of the evening.


Entertaining is not about impressing at all – and even if the clutter had stayed on my fridge, or the mess had been left on top, the dinner wouldn’t have been any different.

Who cares about the details of my mess!

What simple change do you think would help your kitchen feel roomier?

Visit my friend, The Nester, and see what she says about cleaning up your kitchen!

Winners announced
Winners from Clingythingy Drink Charm Labels Giveaway: Jen, LuLu, and Tidy Mom! Congratulations!

37 comments:

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

I struggle a bit with this one, because I LOVE having lots of photos on my fridge. On the other hand, it does make for a cluttered look! A few weeks ago, I cleaned it off, reduced the number of items that HAD to be on there and put them up in very straight lines. It helped my eyes feel a little bit better. :)

Stacey said...

There have been times that I've felt like a bad mom because I don't like all of that stuff on the fridge. Isn't that crazy! I just never have. It looks junky to me. I have to show off kids things in different places. Clean fridge makes all the difference!

Carrie said...

I have a stainless steel fridge and the front is not magnetized... just the sides, so I suppose it forces us to keep the front clean. But the sides & top are another story - I definitely need to clean those.

Mod Girl said...

The kids get to have the side of the refrig for their masterpieces, the front stays bare. A good compromise in my opinion!

Jennifer said...

You have the very same Black Kenmore Elite fridge that I have. I definitely keep the front clean. Mainly because when I stand in front of it I can see my reflection in the curve in the door and it makes me look super thin!!! I spend a LOT of time in front of the fridge!! Te hee hee!

ellen b. said...

My kitchens in both Washington and at the condo in so. Cal. are totally exposed to our eating area so I like to have all the prep dishes washed and put away. That really helps with the after clean-up too. I like to make sure my dishwasher is empty before the company meal too so the dinner dishes can go right in the d/w ...

Michelle said...

Sandy, is that gorgeous table cloth the one from Williams-Sonoma? I've been lusting after it for months and months.

Sarah Herman said...

I hate clutter, especially in my kitchen! I keep everything except the neccesities,ie. coffee maker, glass sugar and flour jars and of course fresh flowers, off my counters and island. Thanks for teaching people that everything doesn't need to be perfect to entertain. I struggled with this until recently when I just simply don't have the time to perfect everything in my home when having guests. (especially when it's every weekend) I focus on the food and straighten up as much as possible without feeling exhausted when I sit down with friends!

Stacey @ The Blessed Nest said...

I have been a big believer in keeping nothing on the front of your fridge for years! It really does make a huge difference in how big and clean the kitchen feels!

I keep special kids art on a art line with clips in their play room, and I also have framed a couple that I know I'll want to display for years. All of those photos? Put them on a corkboard for display somewhere in your home.

How else I freshen up my kitchen is to keep stuff on the counters to a minimum, put fresh flowers on the table, and keep all like things together in the cabinets.

Darlene - Our Creative Life said...

Thankfully I have never put up much stuff on the fridge. I just hate the cluttery look so never took up that trend. Your crocuses look beautiful!

Sandy Toes said...

Well, I am a Crazy lady with the frig...I have NOTHING on it or above it...it drives me crazy..a little OCD..maybe....oh..that was hard to admit.
My husband always says he gets frustrated b/c he puts a piece of paper down and it's gone before he can blink....I am trying to work on that.
sandy toe

Melanie Dorsey said...

Well...I have a friend coming in for a night and a day midweek. My desk/command central is in the keeping room (part of the kitchen's seating area. Just de-cluttering will help both these rooms look "roomier."
Melanie@Bella~Mella

Culinarywannabe said...

What a difference taking down all those pictures made! I love it when I can totally clean off the counters of all unused appliances - like the toaster or electronic tea kettle. It makes the whole space seem way bigger.

Betsy said...

Oooh...love the before and after shots of the frig! My frig is always completely clear of stuff...but my countertops need a decluttering!

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

oh yes, I go back and forth on this one. I throw so much of the kids art work away (when they aren't looking) that is makes them so proud to say, "I'll go put it on the fridge for you mom, so you can enjoy it." How do I mess with that one.

So, on again, off again, clean fridge.

An Accomplished Woman said...

I used to put the artwork on the side of the fridge. I love your ironing, tablecloth and your blog. You are always an inspiration.

Cynthia

Nadine said...

Your table was set so beautifully. Entertaining doesn't have to be stressful. I have to admit that my mess is usually on the side of the fridge - that's where I keep all the pictures.

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

I am SO anal about the front of my fridge. ONE photo at a time put up with my handmade vintage jewelry magnets. The magnetic clips and grocery list are on the side next to the wall so no one knows they're there. I know, I'm nuts. =)

Sarah said...

so glad i found your blog-- love it!

Sonya said...

Oh Wow. When I saw your fridge front, I thought, What is my fridge doing on your blog? :) I have covered it with photos and all sorts of memorabilia and me-thinks its time to do some straightening. Thanks for the little push! Sonya

Elizabeth G. said...

Oops! I just cleaned out my fridge, but I didn't look up "there"...Ugh. Guess what I'm going to go do right now?

Blessings,
Elizabeth

Our Complete Family said...

Having stuff on the fridge growing up always drove me bonkers for some reason so in our house I have a bulletin board covered in fabric in our bfast room with the calendar and things on it!!!
Your dinner party table looked great! So glad you had a good time!
Monday hugs~ Les

Donnetta said...

I've been meaning to clean off my fridge lately too but just haven't made the time to get around to it.

Thanks for reminding me to add it to my "to do" list. :-)

Kirstin said...

I make sure the counters are tidy and uncluttered. Congratulations to the winners!!

Kim said...

Right now my fridge is covered with doll magnets, for my girls. I've been debating about what to do with them?!

Also, what did you end up doing with the paper pile on top of your fridge? I'm in the process of trying to find a "home" for mine.

Sheila said...

What a great tip to make the kitchen look so much cleaner. We always used to keep the fly satter on the top of the fridge, too. But now I have to use that space for a large tray.

I love the crocus idea; I have never thought of using them as fresh cut flowers!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful table, simple and elegant. You're so right that nobody really cares about the kinds of things that some reluctant entertainers worry about. What matters is getting people together around a table with some food and wine.

We did the same thing last weekend. I don't run around in a frenzy cleaning. I'd much rather plan the meal and put my energy into setting the table.

I really don't understand the blogs where tables are set just for "show". Huh?

Good for you! I'll bet your friends are still feeling good about their visit to your home.

Brenda said...

The microwave (which only plugs in at one location) is moved off the counter and into the garage. Lots more room!

Jen said...

You are so right I need to clean the front of my fridge too...I may just do that today...

Live.Love.Eat said...

I love your outlook. I do love having a very clean kitchen when people come because we usually gather there. Whatever is scattered around will get thrown in the junk drawer at the last minute....

GiBee said...

Cleaning the fridge ALWAYS makes an immediate difference!!! lol!

Jean Stockdale said...

Great Post. I don't think I have ever been on your site before and I love what you are doing. THanks for sharing-reluchtantly or not!

I blog to encourage moms to keep pressing on. Stop by if you ever get a chance! Blessings.

The Real Me! said...

Oh girl the top of my fridge is a mess!!! It's like you were talking right to me! I'm going to do that today!!! Thanks for the encouragement.
Big hugs.
Kim

Anonymous said...

I don't keep anything on my frig. I have a large frame cork board that I put everything. I keep a file folder for things that I need access to, but don't need to clutter my board.

To really freshen my kitchen, we install lighting. Every time we move, my husband installs small puck lighting above and below my counters. It is easy to intall and only takes up one of my outlets. It is nice to display my favorite things above the cabinets.

I only keep 2 pretty bowls tilted on stands, a coffee maker and paper towel holder on my counters. I am willing to spend 60 seconds to pull out a toaster or mixer for the gift of a clean, shiny kitchen.

~Amanda

Jeanneoli said...

Great post....connecting is the best part and I have slowly learned to let a lot of the other stuff go.

cindy said...

I love the pictures on my fridge. Eveyone who comes into the kitchen stops and basically takes a stroll down memory lane which only adds to our conversation.

Barb said...

I just spent over a week giving my kitchen an intense spring cleaning, and it all started with the top of the fridge. That's where I keep the fly swatter too. LOL

Your simple table setting is really nice. And the flowers from your yard are perfection.