What's on your refrigerator?
January 18, 2006 7:30 AM   Subscribe

What sort of useful stuff do you have on your refrigerator? I'm looking for cool things like notepads, calendars, utility magnets, etc. We're trying to spruce ours up and are looking for ideas.
posted by frenetic to Home & Garden (34 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Right now at Target they're selling small (3" diameter x 2" deep) metal tins with magnets on the bottom. You can stick them to your fridge and keep all sorts of tiny things handy. I've seen people use them for a spice rack of sorts too. They're only $1 each! Check out the $1 bin at the Target entrances before they run out.
posted by SheIsMighty at 7:35 AM on January 18, 2006

I have a wipeable magnetic monthly calendar from the dollar store that my husband and I update re classes, planned meals, social events, etc. I keep a magnetized paper pad shopping list (also from the dollar store) on the side of the fridge. Finally, we have a bunch of magnetic Good Grips clips that hold a few important things such as the guide to our blue boxes and green bins.

What's important is what doesn't go on the fridge any more. We keep most coupons, recipes, takeout flyers and other detritus in a binder next to the microwave, inside plastic page protectors. Only the stuff we expect to use that week is put on a Good Grips clip on the fridge. Much less clutter on the fridge, much fewer expired coupons that way.
posted by maudlin at 7:39 AM on January 18, 2006

Lots of photos of friends/family/movie stars.
posted by dead_ at 7:51 AM on January 18, 2006

Monkey Benders rule.
posted by alms at 7:53 AM on January 18, 2006

Front and center is a big refillable magentic calendar we got from Staples (it takes some kind of standard refills). We found that a dry erase calendar was too likely to get accidentally brushed off.

It's an apartment, so the fridge is on the same wall as the stove. I got a short Grundtal rack from Ikea and used a hot glue gun to stick strong magnets to the back of it, and stuck it on the top of the fridge along the side edge. The hooks that go with it hang over the edge and give me a place to hang tools that are frequently used with the stove.

Second the magnetic spice containers and good grips clips. We have tons of those (the clips are also great for the back of the front door).
posted by Caviar at 7:58 AM on January 18, 2006

Magnetic clothes pins.
posted by Rothko at 8:01 AM on January 18, 2006

The most useful thing I've seen on a fridge was a bottle opener with a large flat magnetic back so it could stick to the fridge with enough surface area to provide leverage.

Google for "magnetic bottle opener" and you'll find them.

Also, put a cup underneath (a band-aid tin works well) for catching the caps.

Other than that, a white board, note paper, and enough pens so that they can walk away and you'll still have some left.
posted by bondcliff at 8:01 AM on January 18, 2006

I have my salt and pepper grinders on my fridge. I think you can get the magnetic ones at any kitchen store.
posted by elquien at 8:29 AM on January 18, 2006

This is not an item that you can buy, but the most helpful recent addition to our fridge was a shopping map. It is pretty geektastic, but I went to our local supermarket and mapped it out by aisle. Then I made an Excel sheet that had the aisles laid out with the products we typically buy in each aisle. For things like produce or canned veggies, I left a little bit of space for elaboration. Then there's space at the bottom for special requests, notes, etc.

Each week, I print out a new map that becomes that week's shopping list. Since we've had the map, our shopping experience is way better. I know what aisles I need to visit and where my stuff is. And I am much better at actually writing down what we need to shop for because I just find it on the map and circle it.
posted by AgentRocket at 8:31 AM on January 18, 2006

A small magnetic conversion chart (cups, ounces, quarts, etc.).
posted by cribcage at 8:34 AM on January 18, 2006

Agentrocket, geektastic isn't the word ;)

I have magnetic photo frames full of family and friends, a series of Peanuts characters parading around, a magnet that reads "if you want breakfast in bed, sleep in the kitchen" and a magnetic gripper-thing full of expired things that falls on the floor every time I open the fridge door.
posted by Makebusy7 at 8:47 AM on January 18, 2006

This is a great "all out of..." shopping list that has a magnet attached to the back. Very useful to keep track of what you need at the grocery store, by category, with blank spaces so you can add your own notes.

I usually make a menu for the week on the backside, and make sure I have all the ingredients to be bought checked off on the front.
posted by mdiskin at 8:49 AM on January 18, 2006

Picture of a fat guy who kind of looks like me.
posted by LarryC at 8:51 AM on January 18, 2006

AgentRocket, you are awesome. That is a great idea.
posted by lyam at 8:51 AM on January 18, 2006

They also have a "What's for Dinner" magnetic pad, but the organization of the info seems odd to me -- or perhaps just doesnt' fit how I need to think of dinner and cooking it....
posted by mdiskin at 8:51 AM on January 18, 2006

Last time I moved my crazy roommate took all the alphabet magnets except those that I had used to spell "the clap." So I have the clap on my fridge.
Incidentally, those same letters can also spell "Lap Tech" or "Cat Help," neither of which is as funny as having "The Clap."
posted by Coffeemate at 8:58 AM on January 18, 2006

I have lots of cool magnets holding different stuff up there. But my favorite is the Slappit magnetic bandage, made by my friend Alex.
posted by smich at 9:24 AM on January 18, 2006

I loooooove my tall cylindrical neobendyniumitewhatever magnets. Those suckers damn near staple paper to the fridge. Very secure.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:05 AM on January 18, 2006

I have a set of measuring spoons, shaped like little pots, with magnets on the back. I'm on a diet, and portion control and measuring are important. Having measuring spoons right there in front of me makes it a lot easier for me to remember that I'm supposed to be eating a tablespoon of jam, not however much jam fits on a soup spoon.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:09 AM on January 18, 2006

Useful? Well, there's a notepad, and photos, and kid's artwork, magnetic poetry. I mean, I think it's useful. The magnetic poetry can distract the kids while preparing meals...
posted by raster at 10:39 AM on January 18, 2006

Why clutter something that doesn't have to be cluttered?
posted by zadcat at 11:03 AM on January 18, 2006

Our fridge's front is non-magnetic. (I know, it's ridiculous.) But the sides are covered with photos, mainly. Including (yes, really) a photo of my wife's (bare) breasts.
posted by booth at 11:19 AM on January 18, 2006

I have roomies, so we have a notepad for communicating with whoever's working a shift different from yours (sometimes, we play note-tag for weeks before we're both awake at the same time.)

We also have a reversible sign (Clean/Dirty) for the dishwasher, which stops that "one dirty knife in a clean dishwasher." problem.

There's a bunch of those magnetic clips and fill them with "household" receipts (like TP or cheese slices) so we can split up costs at the end of the month.

Basically, Our fridge is the communications nexus for the house.
posted by Crosius at 11:58 AM on January 18, 2006

Isn't the dirty/clean problem relatively easy to solve without a separate sign? After you run it, just don't open the door until you're ready to put the dishes away. If the door's locked, the dishes are clean. Otherwise, they're dirty. This has to be at least as reliable as remembering to change the sign.
posted by Caviar at 12:23 PM on January 18, 2006

You make the assumption that people put their dishes away as a general rule. I don't take the clean dishes out of my dishwasher until I have a load worth of dirty ones to put back in. It's a crappy system, but a common one.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:38 PM on January 18, 2006

We have this little magnetic-backed plastic thing with a retractable knife in it - use it ALL the time.
posted by gottabefunky at 12:59 PM on January 18, 2006

I like to go to gallery openings. I save the postcards, glue those free business card magnets on the back, and have covered the side of the fridge with them. Useful/nice looking, an 'arty' calendar that came in a cd case, magnets glued on case, stuck to fridge.
posted by theora55 at 1:50 PM on January 18, 2006

Why clutter something that doesn't have to be cluttered?

Right. That's why we have nothing. Not a thing. We just enjoy its monolithic stainless-steel-osity.
posted by fixedgear at 2:57 PM on January 18, 2006

A one-way ticket to Australia. Goodbye Vancouver, hello Melbourne!
posted by GoatCactus at 5:15 PM on January 18, 2006

I turned the whole top half of my fridge into a white board. The handle is made to fit on either side of the door, so there are threaded holes opposite the handle, just with plastic plugs covering them. I pulled off the handle and removed the plastic plugs. Then I bought 2 more screws the same as the handle. I got a white board at a yardsale and cut the board to the exact size of my freezer door, and used the four screws to attach it, with the handle now on top of the whiteboard. I glued some magnets to some dry erase markers to keep them handy. Its very nice to have a large whiteboard to write on when on the phone, and its also nice for making lists.
posted by 445supermag at 6:01 PM on January 18, 2006

David, he has quite the wardrobe.
posted by deborah at 8:58 PM on January 18, 2006

Fridge Phonics is one of the greatest children's toys I've ever seen.
posted by frogan at 9:23 PM on January 18, 2006

I have:

a "mia-do" list (which never gets completed. ever.)
some large "pebbles" I made (clear stones with photos showing through from the back)
one of those mood meter things
a pair of scissors (secured by a magnet)
a test tube with a flower that gets changed out (secured by a magnet)
a webcam (great for spur-of-the-moment shots)
framed artwork from my 4 yr old nephew
white board

I have the entire front for decoration, but I use the side (which faces the front of the kitchen as well as the front door) for the white board, the mia-do list, the coupons and the scissors. All of the "decoration" is either made by myself or a family member. It really helps to make my place look lived in. Even if I wanted to go with the sparse look, new white appliances don't give the same impression. So I just cover up as much as I can.

I use those alphabet letters all the time. My nephew's just learned how to spell. Unfortunately, the first word he made on my fridge was "shit". Lovely. So now the magnets are higher up.

And my apartment's pretty "open concept" - so you can see all of the kitchen from the rest of the house - so the artwork and magnets are all color-coordinated.

Because I'm anal about that stuff.
posted by damnjezebel at 11:30 PM on January 18, 2006

I guess I keep it simple. There are some decorative magnets there, but the only useful thing is the magnetic grocery list. I get a pretty one to encourage use. I've thought several times about those magnetic tins, and I think I may have to try that.

Our solution to the dishwasher dilemma: when we unload the clean dishes and put in any dirty ones, we also load the soap. So if the soap dispenser is closed, the dishes are dirty.
posted by frykitty at 3:50 PM on January 19, 2006

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