When Scottish physician, chemist and agriculturalist Willilam Cullen first demonstrated artificial refrigeration at the University of Glasgow in 1748, one has to wonder if his young son had already pasted his drawings to the door of the new device.
Two hundred and sixty-five years later, home refrigerators let us preserve food and collect lots and lots of clutter. Many refrigerator doors put the junk drawer to shame. I’m certainly guilty, and I need help.
At any give time, my refrigerator door holds any combination of the following:
- Elementary school art
- A calendar
- Commemorative magnets
- Supermarket flyers
- School photos
- Phone numbers
What started as a toddler art gallery has morphed, Kafka-style, into a horrific creature. To-do lists, permission slips and class photos fade into a single, unworkable mass. How did this happen?
Alternatives to the vertical stack
I’m looking to you, Unclutterer readers. I’ve tried several solutions, but none seem to work. My first was technological. I own an iPad, and I have dreams of it becoming the ultimate kitchen tool. I bought a great refrigerator iPad mount from Belkin with the best intentions. It holds the iPad in place brilliantly. It’s right at eye level and offers my calendar, email, Facebook, project software and even Netflix for when I want to watch junky TV while cooking.
Yet, all I do is end up pushing the paper aside to reach the Belkin holder.
Next, I bought several magnetic baskets from the local craft store. For a while, this worked well. One was for pens, one for scissors and a few others – neatly labeled – for school papers and the like. That is, until the magnets started to fail and they slowly slid down along the door. Down, down, down.
A behavioral change
I realize that no piece of equipment will help me if the core behavior remains intact. There’s a part of me that still believes if these items are in my face, every day, I’ll know where they are and act on them in an appropirate and timely manner. However, the fact is this: the larger and more unruly the refrigerator door becomes, the more I resist going near it. So here are my questions to you:
- Do you hang stuff on the refrigerator?
- Do you you actively avoid putting stuff on the refrigerator door?
- If you don’t use the door as a secretary, how do you keep track of those little items (like permission slips) that need action, in short order?
I’d love to hear about your experiences, good and not so good. To quote Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan: “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.”