12 things you should never store above the fridge
Many of us store items above the refrigerator because it is a large space that is both easy to see and convenient to access. Frankly, it seems a shame to waste such a convenient place, which is why you see boxes, books, small storage containers and more stacked on the fridge so often.
However, using this space for storage involves certain risks. Items placed on the refrigerator can block the ventilation of the appliance, causing it to work harder to keep its contents cool, which can be dangerous. Try to minimize or eliminate the clutter above the refrigerator, especially if you are using the space to store any of the items on this list.
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Small kitchen appliances
A standard refrigerator can support over 40 pounds more. In homes where space is at a premium, storing other kitchen appliances up there, like a toaster oven or microwave, seems like a great, space-saving solution. But these little devices are both heavy and breakable, risking injury and damage if they fall. Keeping them there is also more likely to be plugged into the same outlet as the refrigerator, which can overload the circuit.
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Not everyone has storage space to store cereal boxes, but that doesn’t mean they have to line the top of the fridge. Not only can cereal boxes block the ventilation of the device, but when they are in the open air, they are also much more accessible to pests. Additionally, mice often feed on grain, and these fragile cereal boxes are extremely easy for a mouse to penetrate. To protect your grain, invest in airtight grain containers that mice can’t chew on, like this set from Chef’s Path.
Medicines come in many forms, including tablets, liquids, and inhalers. All medications should be stored according to the directions on the label to ensure that the medication continues to work properly. When drugs are stored above the refrigerator, trapped heat can affect their potency and certain temperatures can change the molecular shape of their active ingredients or cause the drug to break down. Instead, keep medications in a cabinet away from a heat source.
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Breakable kitchen items
Even if you don’t use your ceramic serving trays or kettle often, don’t relegate them to the top of the fridge. Whether made of glass, porcelain, ceramic, or any other breakable material, keeping these rarely used parts above the refrigerator is a huge danger. Any time the refrigerator opens and closes, it may cause items on top to move. Over time, with enough movement and a little help from gravity, these service parts can crash, resulting in damage, bodily injury, or both.
Paper in its many forms
Cookbooks, old magazines, piles of recipe cards, paper towels and other types of paper have nothing to do with the refrigerator. Storing many paper items, especially heavier ones like books, limits the airflow that the refrigerator needs to operate efficiently. Less airflow causes the refrigerator to use more energy to keep your food fresh and increases your electricity bill. In addition, light, loose sheets of paper tend to fall out of the refrigerator and get lost behind.
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While not all houseplants, many types will be unhappy with conditions above the refrigerator. They may not like heat, may not get enough light, or dry out. In addition, plants placed on the refrigerator are a problem to water. They’re hard to reach, and it’s hard to avoid splashes and spills, which means you’ll likely end up moving the plant to the sink to water it. Having to take this extra step means you’ll be watering these plants less frequently and they’ll be (and look) less healthy as a result. Shelves or window sills are better choices for kitchen plants.
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Treats for children
Above the fridge may seem like the perfect place to keep cookies, crisps, and other snacks out of the reach of impatient little hands. However, children will inevitably find out where you hide good snacks and make dangerous efforts to get what they want, for example, standing on a box balanced on a stepladder. Find a different place to hide the treats and keep your little ones safer in the kitchen.
Wine or liquor
Keep liquids out of the fridge, period. Wine and liquor usually come in ruthless glass bottles, and when they do break, the broken glass and liquid present dangers in the kitchen. Liquid from broken or leaking bottles can collect behind the refrigerator or spill into electrical components. Spoil yourself and minimize the risk by storing these bottles in a different location.
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Potatoes, onions and other products
Where you store your products has an impact on their shelf life. Potatoes should be stored in a cool, dark place, which is not what you find above the refrigerator at all. And other foods, such as onions and garlic, should be kept in a well-ventilated place, such as in an open basket on the counter. Avoid spoilage and extend the shelf life of your products by properly storing your fresh food.
Keeping household cleaners high and away from toddlers is a safe practice in any home. The top of the refrigerator, however, is not suitable for storing cleaning chemicals. Corrosive products, such as oven cleaners or pipe cleaners, present significant hazards and should be stored in well ventilated, dry areas inaccessible to children.
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Bread and other baked goods
Who doesn’t love the taste of fresh bread? The only downside to bread is its short shelf life. To keep your bread fresh for longer, avoid storing it above the refrigerator. The heat from the refrigerator ventilation system creates an ideal environment for mold to grow on bagged bread. Instead, keep your bread in a cool, dry place, like a countertop bread box.
Small items to keep
We all want a safe place to store glasses, spare keys, and other little knick-knacks, and the top of the fridge provides an easy-to-hold and out-of-the-way place to store things you’d rather not lose. But even up there, these items can still find a way to disappear or even fall behind the refrigerator. Store small, important items in larger storage containers.