Useful Above Refrigerator Storage Ideas That Will Make Your Life Easier

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When I was a boy, our cat Pom-Pom’s favorite spot was on the top of the refrigerator in the kitchen. He’d climb up looking down on everyone and making comments as if he was running the whole operation!

When I look back on those days, I think Pom-Pom was the only member of the family who realized the value of that neglected space. If you are a stickler for optimizing the available space at home and are always looking out for new spaces, that space above the refrigerator has great potential!

I have researched various ideas and would like to share with you today some great above-refrigerator storage ideas that can add value and utility to your home.


Why Have Storage Above Your Refrigerator?

Well, why not? You might ask. The space above your refrigerator can look unsightly and even ugly, especially if you have low ceilings. By placing objects like a vase or a bowl of fruit on the top of the fridge, you are not covering much space. 

But if you add a structure on top of it, you can utilize the space up to the ceiling. You can create covered storage space by building a closed cabinet over your refrigerator. Or you can build shelves and add knick-knacks like vases and ornaments.

Ideas for Above-Refrigerator Shelves

You can extend your kitchen shelves with some on top of the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can have standalone shelves. But these shelves should be constructed in a way that the load is not directed at the refrigerator. The walls of a fridge are flimsy and not made to withstand heavy loads.

Idea 1: Kitchen Utensils

Source Bevcooks

You can store baking accessories, cookware, or rarely-used crockery on your above-refrigerator shelves. That way, they will remain out of the way of the cookware that you use regularly.

Idea 2: Decorative Items

Source Pinterest

Arrange decorative items like cooking collectables that you don’t use but look nice on display (like a pewter teapot). Take care to add those that are easy to dust and robust enough to perhaps survive a fall from the shelf.

Idea 3: Display Your Cookbooks

Source Paperforts

Another great idea for above-the-fridge storage is cookbooks. In this era of online cooking videos, we don’t delve into our cookbooks much anymore. (Sigh!) But chances are that you have some great collectors’ items that you’ve accumulated over the years.

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Arrange your best cookbooks on your shelves above the refrigerator. But remember, cookbooks come in all shapes and sizes. So, while getting your shelves made, ensure that they all fit nicely in the available space.

Please be aware that all the storage ideas I’ve given here for shelves above refrigerators are for less-frequently used items. You might wish for a more permanent and sleeker way of storing your stuff like a cabinet above your refrigerator.

Above-refrigerator Cabinets

A cabinet above your refrigerator is the best solution for storing items that you don’t need immediately. A quick inventory of your household items will reveal some stuff you could store in a cabinet above the fridge. Here is a list of some likely items you could store in an above-refrigerator cabinet:

Idea 1: Large Pieces of Crockery

Source Theinteriorsaddict

Take stock of all the crockery you have. Some of the larger and clunky pieces that you don’t use daily could go into the cabinet.

Idea 2: Confiscation Zone

Source Pinterest

Another use of above-refrigerator cabinets is to keep things out of reach of small children. When I was a child, my mother had what we called the “confiscate shelf!” It was a high concrete shelf in the kitchen. 

If we misused a toy, up to the confiscate shelf it would go, and we were at the mercy of my mother to eventually get our toy back. So, a cabinet above the refrigerator would make a good “confiscated shelf” if you have kids that play with anything other than your smartphone or tablets!

Idea 3: Baking Accessories

Source Pinterest

If you don’t bake regularly, you can keep all your baking stuff in the cabinet above the fridge to use on baking days. Installing dividers within the cabinet gives you easier access to your trays and baking pans.

Idea 4: Kitchen Appliances

Source: Anawhite

You likely use most of your kitchen appliances daily. But what about the ice cream machine that you only use during the summer? Or the chocolate double boiler and Christmas pudding steamer that you use only during Thanksgiving and Christmas? Stash them away in your above-refrigerator cabinet so they’ll be out of the way until you need them.

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Idea 5: Fragile Glassware 

Source Houzz

You can store your wine glasses and champagne flutes above the fridge out of the reach of your children. Keep them safe until your next party!

Idea 6: Spare Jars and Empty Plastic Containers

Source: Pinterest

Store all your spare jars and plastic containers in your above-refrigerator cabinet. I have a high cabinet at home where I store such items. I don’t even spare takeaway containers.  Such items are extremely useful if you have to give food to someone but don’t expect the containers back.

Idea 7: Alcohol Storage

Source: Pinterest

If you are an occasional drinker, an above-the-fridge cabinet is a good place to store extra bottles of wine and other forms of alcohol. To begin with, you won’t be tempted to randomly reach for a bottle on a whim. Moreover, it enables you to stash away some of the more expensive items in your collection away from prying eyes to bring out for special occasions.

Idea 8: Secret Stash

Source diyhuntress

You can build up a secret stash of stuff like candy or other indulgent items. It is especially useful if you have small children at home who hound you for the stuff if they know it’s there!

Or, you can stash away some cash for a rainy day. Many months or years hence, it could save you from a minor financial crisis.

How to Access Above-Refrigerator Storage Spaces

Above-refrigerator cabinets and shelves can be awkward to reach. It is why you’d want to store infrequently-used stuff in them. But what about the times when you DO need to get at your stuff? Here are a few ideas to make easier access to your above-refrigerator storage space:

Method 1: Step Ladders

Source Amazon

A light, aluminum step ladder is the best means of getting items stored in the space above the refrigerator. Nowadays, you can even get step ladders that double up as stools, so they can blend nicely into your kitchen furniture.

Method 2: Kitchen Stools

Source Wayfair

If your storage space isn’t too high then a regular stool might serve the purpose. You can choose a stool or have one made that blends in with the rest of the kitchen furniture. Moreover, a stool in the kitchen is a handy thing to have. I’ve had one in my kitchen for almost 30 years!

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Method 3: Pull-out Shelves

Source: Pinterest

Although it won’t help you to reach that height, you can access your stuff more easily with pull-out shelves. It is particularly useful for extra-deep shelves.

Make the Best of Your Above-refrigerator Storage Space Today!

I have given great thought to how to make the best use of the space above a refrigerator for storage. It is an unlikely place to think of storing things. But all things considered, it is a great idea. Surprisingly, I found many above-refrigerator storage ideas out there. With some of these ideas, you can probably do great things to the top of your refrigerator and add value to your kitchen space.


Why do we need storage space above a refrigerator?

The space above your refrigerator is redundant. It can even look ugly. You can utilize this space in a variety of ways, to add to the aesthetic value of your home. It can also be an indispensable space for storing items you rarely use.

How can I store items above my refrigerator?

You can adorn the top of your fridge with decorative items. Although it improves the look, the space between the refrigerator top and ceiling is still largely unutilized. Adding shelves or a cabinet above your fridge creates a handy place to store stuff.

Should there be a space above a refrigerator?

Refrigerators cool themselves internally by removing the heat from the inside. Therefore, a fridge needs an open space of about one inch all around including the top to “breathe.” If you are creating storage space above your fridge, ensure to leave a gap of at least one inch between the top of the fridge and the bottom of the storage space.

Can I put things directly on the top of my refrigerator?

You can put light things like a vase or a bowl of potpourri on top of a refrigerator. But keep in mind that a fridge radiates heat from the sides, back, and top. It is part of the cooling system. So, don’t cover the surface area too much with random items placed directly on the fridge top.

Also, the top of a fridge is made of flimsy sheet metal, plastic, fiberglass, or a polycarbonate compound. It can be brittle and susceptible to getting cracked. So, avoid putting anything heavy on top of a refrigerator.

Written by Paul B

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