ask the strategist

What Are the Best Over-the-Fridge Organizing Options?

Photo: ABC

In our advice column, Ask the Strategist, we take your most burning shopping questions and survey friends, call up experts, and draw on our own personal experience to answer them. As always, please email any online-shopping-related queries to strategist@nymag.com with the subject Ask the Strategist — we’re here to help.

What can you recommend for freestanding, over-the-fridge storage options? I’m tired of staring at a collection of random things (growler, larger-sized food-storage containers, rice cooker, etc.) Bonus for a nonplastic product that is easy to clean.

Are you my neighbor? Can you see into my kitchen? Because I’ve been dealing with this exact same problem since I moved into my tiny studio apartment nearly four years ago. When you live in a small place, with an even smaller kitchen, the top of the fridge is valuable real estate — as I’ve been forced to learn. I’ve found some excellent solutions along the way and can tell you that with some clever organization and a little bit of shopping, you can turn the top of your fridge into a much-needed kitchen cabinet. Here’s what I recommend.

Wicker baskets

Photo: retailer

A few years ago, I was leaving the New York Magazine offices when I noticed a wicker basket on the free table. I took it home, and now it sits on top of my fridge filled with bags of quinoa and pasta, disposable plates, napkins, and other pantry goods that I’d rather not have on display. I love it because it helps “hide” all those things — making it look visually uncluttered — but also acts as a catch-all for odds and ends. Since you aren’t likely to nab anything from your workplace anytime soon (like I did), here are some nice-looking, budget-friendly options.