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Stuck on giving clutter the cold shoulder


This ’n’ That by Nicky De Lange

Here it is, the Question of the Day: how much stuff do you have on – yes, on, not in – your refrigerator? No peeking now. No dashing to look at your fridge to inventory all the stuff you have attached to it.
How many of each of the following categories can you recall? Magnets, both large and small. Photos of family, friends, pets and no telling what else. Notices, invitations and other reminders
of coming events.
I must admit that my own fridge was almost invisible under all of these items when I checked it just the other day.
When it came to magnets, I stopped counting at 30, and that was just on the door. Never mind the ice box’s two sides. There were advertising magnets, humorous magnets, animal magnets, travel-destination magnets – the list is both overwhelming and
a clutter attack. But how else could I attach all my photos, reminders and so on to my ice box – as it was called decades ago – without those marvelous magnets?
There are photos of our son and his wife, our grandkids, friends, pets, trips we’ve made, events we’ve attended, people we’ve met and so much more.
Did I mention I’m still inventorying the collection on the fridge door?
I also have an extensive collection of gambling magnets, critter magnets and a whole bunch more that fall into the miscellaneous category.
And let’s not forget all those great cartoons and other humorous sayings
we all have to admit we can’t live without. Even if we don’t collect them ourselves, our family and friends will present them to us, expecting us to proudly display them prominently on the fridge.
At just what point do these doodads turn our kitchen appliance into a hoarder’s paradise?
OK, by now you’ve had ample time to dash into your kitchen and confirm that you, too, have enough items on your refrigerator to qualify for a star-guest appearance on “Hoarders”.
Now, be warned – acknowledging you have a “fridge-stuff” problem is not the same thing as dealing with it.
How do we sort through and deal with all this stuff we simply must display, not to mention adding to it? Take down the grandbabies’ photos? Seriously? Remove the photos of our best buddies, then? Unthinkable!
So what’s the solution?
First, remove everything that is clinging desperately to your fridge. Yes, everything. It won’t be easy but it’s necessary. Then group everything by category – funny or cute magnets, photos, info on coming attractions and so on, labeling whatever you’ve managed to accumulate.
Lay out the pictures on a table or counter top and create an imaginative collage of the most important ones. This is a good time to crop some of them down to the critical parts, cutting off unimportant details. Then overlap them in an attractive layout, using some of the nicer magnets to secure them to your fridge’s door and sides.
Next take any magnets that have a common theme – hobbies, places you’ve traveled, or whatever – and fasten them to a different part of your refrigerator.
Finally, group together your really important business magnets – only the ones like the veterinarian, plumber, family doctor or dentist – on one of the side panels. The rest can be thrown into a junk drawer or trash can.
If you must, write the pertinent info from the discarded magnets on the cover of your telephone book before their disposal.
If you’ve follow these directions, you should now have discovered the door and sides of your fridge that you probably haven’t seen in decades. That thrill should help keep you from adding clutter back on them.
Or you’ll just have to buy a bigger refrigerator. Whatever works best for you.

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