What are your thoughts on my doing a Clutter Bust post every now and then? A specific area in the home with ideas and tips toward reducing clutter and organizing it. Would that be helpful? Thoughts? I would appreciate your feedback.
The Kitchen Counters
The kitchen is often referred to as the heart of the home. It doesn’t matter how tiny a space you have; the kitchen is a magnet for people. When we are in the kitchen cooking dinner, there are bound to be people at our side. Whether they are there to taste-test or talk about their day, it just happens.
That is the kitchen. But what are the counters for? Kitchen counters are intended to be a work space, not a storage space. Are your counters lined up with things? You know that back part of the counter? I love having my kids help me roll out pie crusts or cookie dough, help cut vegetables, or watch whatever else I happen to be doing. It is much easier to clean up if I can just wipe down the counter, rather than have to move bottles, appliances, or whatever else might be stored on the back part of the counter top.
I have two things on my counter: a microwave (we don’t have a built in one) and my Kitchen Aid. That’s it. I don’t even have a coffee maker on it. Since I use my French Press on a daily basis, I store my coffee maker in the cupboard and just get it out when I need it.
Along with cooking, the kitchen counter may be where you go through homework papers, go through the mail, or any number of other things. Does your kitchen reflect an area where you have place to work, where kids can pull up a chair and help without having to move a bunch of things out of the way, or even where a child can just sit up on the counter with you to watch? Is it a work space that warmly invites others to come participate in the action, or is it a storage place for keeping a bunch of stuff?
Take a few minutes today to just stand in your kitchen and evaluate. Is it what you want it to be? I’m not talking about structural things. I am just talking about the things you can quite easily change. Move things around so that it is pleasing and relaxing to look at, as well as easy to work in.
A few thoughts:
- Avoid uni-taskers. These are the things that only accomplish one thing in the kitchen. These are the items you see on TV commercials all the time! You will probably have a few that you use frequently, but as a general rule, you want to avoid them as much as possible.
- Store small appliances in cabinets instead of on counters.
- Your kitchen and its gadgets should reflect you. Just because your friend told you she uses a certain thing all the time does not mean you should have it in your kitchen. Let me explain. I have a Kitchen Aid, and though it takes space on my counter, I love it there because I use it regularly. I cook from scratch. If you rarely cook, or primarily cook from boxes, a Kitchen Aid becomes clutter in your kitchen. If you have a candy thermometer and have never once made candy, it is clutter. For your friend that makes pounds of candy each Christmas and gives it as gifts, it is not clutter. Each person is unique. Each person cooks differently. Your kitchen needs to reflect you, not someone else and their thoughts on what constitutes a well-equipped kitchen. Your status as a homemaker is not achieved by the appliances or gadgets in your kitchen.
- Avoid stacks of papers. If you check your mail or go through homework in the kitchen, it is easy for stacks of paper to pile up. Remember your counter is a work space for right then, but then the paper goes somewhere else. Don’t just pile it.
- Relish wide open space on your counter. You will enjoy cooking and baking so much more when you have space.
One thing I have learned is that when baking with children, flour will get everywhere. Not having anything on my counters makes clean-up a breeze, because I don’t have to move things around and wipe things down that are covered with flour.
Also, it is much more satisfying to walk into a kitchen with open space, than a kitchen with a multitude of little things cluttering up the counter or stacks of paper consuming precious work space.
Today’s challenge: Clear Your Counter!
I’m curious. What do you keep on your counters?