Top and Outside of the Refrigerator Clutter Challenge

One of the most difficult parts of decluttering is just getting started. That is why I decided to create some mini-challenges to help you start the process and gain momentum. You can even help hold yourself accountable by joining in on the conversation in the comment section and letting us know when you complete each task. I’ll be here to help if you run into any problems and to cheer on your successes! Let’s get started!


This Week’s Challenge

Top and Outside of the Refrigerator

Approximate length of time to complete: 10-20 minutes

Step 1: Getting ready

Clear everything off of the top and outside of your refrigerator. Using a little soap and warm water, wash the top, front, and sides of your refrigerator. Be sure to clean the handles as well as the water dispenser tray if you have one.  Step back and enjoy how clean and uncluttered your refrigerator looks!

Step 2: Evaluate the items that you removed

  • Recycle obsolete coupons, schedules, and lists.
  • Throw out broken magnets.
  • Consider donating some magnets if you have a bunch.
  • Put old photos or art projects into albums or scan them to save digitally if you want to keep them.
  • If there are things on your refrigerator that you didn’t know were there, dispose of them or find a new home for them where they will be relevant. 
  • Avoid buying bulk items or oversized boxes if they don’t fit in your pantry.

Step 3: Return the items

As you return the items to the top or outside of your refrigerator, be intentional about where you put things so they don’t get overlooked. Remember to keep only a few things on your refrigerator. Most items would be better suited to keep in a different spot because the more overcrowded your refrigerator, the more likely that things will get lost in the chaos. 

Step 4: Make a plan

After you are finished with your project, take a minute to think about when you can revisit this area. The refrigerator tends to be a magnet for various types of paperwork and it will only be a matter of time for it to return to its cluttered state if you don’t maintain it. I keep a monthly whiteboard calendar on my refrigerator, so for me, it makes sense to do a quick refrigerator tidy-up at the end of each month when I update my calendar. For you, it may make more sense to maintain it a different way. The important part is having a plan. 

Congratulations! You did it!


If you completed this clutter challenge and you would like to share your thoughts, questions, or tips you have discovered, leave a comment.


Published by Suzanne- Happily Decluttered

Hi!! My name is Suzanne and I live in central PA with my husband and three girls. I love camping, gardening, spending time with my family, and decluttering!

10 thoughts on “Top and Outside of the Refrigerator Clutter Challenge

  1. Michelle (Boomer Eco Crusader) – Canada – Hi there! I’m Michelle and I live in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. I am married with two young adult daughters. I’m a big fan of reducing waste, using less plastic, decluttering and simplifying life as much as possible.
    Michelle (Boomer Eco Crusader) says:

    I decluttered the inside of my fridge a few months ago but the outside still has a ton of magnets. Most of them make me smile but I’m sure there are a few I could let go.

    1. It’s funny how magnets seem to multiply and linger forever. If you take them out of their element and lay them on a flat surface, like a table, you can take a fresh look at them and find the ones that are broken or no longer fit your style more easily.

      1. Michelle (Boomer Eco Crusader) – Canada – Hi there! I’m Michelle and I live in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. I am married with two young adult daughters. I’m a big fan of reducing waste, using less plastic, decluttering and simplifying life as much as possible.
        Michelle (Boomer Eco Crusader) says:

        Good idea. I’ll have to give that a try.

  2. Such an insightful post! While the outside of our fridge is pretty sorted it is the inside that needs a MASSIVE declutter. I have so many half eaten jars of expired sauces that need to be tossed and our vegetable rack can do with some organization. Definitely going to sort that out sometime soon.

    1. That can be a huge undertaking. Whenever I feel like my refrigerator is gaining too many random half-used foods, I like to challenge myself to find recipes to use everything up. Of course, if it’s already gone bad, it has to be tossed, but I strive to avoid that. Good luck!

  3. Stuart Danker – Malaysia – A Malaysian-based writer who's been in the no-niche niche for at least a decade. His debut novel, Tinhead City KL was published in April 2021. www.stuartdanker.com
    Stuart Danker says:

    I love tackling measurable things like this, especially when broken down to small steps. Eating the elephant one bite at a time, so to speak. My refrigerator’s not that cluttered, but my writing desk is. I might get started on that this week. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. I’m glad my post inspired you to tidy up your writing desk. I always feel much better and much more productive after a good decluttering session. Hopefully, you have similar results. Good luck!

    1. Thanks, Lisa! I’d like to do something more, I just haven’t quite put my finger on what exactly that is.🙂 I’ve considered hosting workshops or starting a small business. The idea of writing a book sounds appealing. ☀️I never really considered that before, but now that I’ve started the blog, it seems more doable.

      Thanks for your continued support and encouragement!

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