Continuing our 6th Annual Clutter Challenge this week we are focusing on the kitchen counter – specifically, that one catch-all spot (that we all have). When kitchen counters are free of clutter, they are much easier to clean.
The kitchen is the nerve center of the home. It’s where we gather to create meals, do homework, pay bills, etc. It might be the room in the house that gets the most use – especially if you have children.
Our kitchens also serve as the dumping ground for all the “things.” Every home has a “junk drawer,” and it’s typically in the kitchen. Nowadays, however, we often see the junk drawer expand to the kitchen counter. Why is this?
We believe it’s because we are so often in a state of “busy” that we just toss something down on the nearest surface and think, “I’ll deal with that later.” Unfortunately, “later” piles up.
In order to address the kitchen counter, we need to talk about your kitchen drawer. What are you using your counter for? Has your junk drawer spilled over to your countertop?
If the drawer is organized, then at the end of each day, the items can be put away properly, and the countertops can be cleared for easy cleaning.
Since we are spending more time at home, reimagining a more functional and organized drawer will positively impact your space and prevent future pile-ups.
Now we can focus on how to fix the space itself.
To clear out clutter you have to do three things:
1. Know how you want to use the space. If you want to use the space as a kitchen desk, that’s very different than wanting to use the space as an electronics hub, or a family organizational center. Knowing how you want to use the space will guide you in how to set it up for maximum benefit.
2. Select your storage containers. We recommend using an assortment of trays, shallow boxes, and jars to maximize your storage space and meet a variety of storage needs. For example, items like pens and scissors take up less room when stored vertically in a jar. Receipts and other paperwork also work well when stored vertically. Whereas smaller items like paperclips, rubber bands, and packs of gum or keys do well in shallow. Electronics are stored best when they are organized together on a tray. You can even consider having an interior outlet placed inside a drawer to keep the electronics and all the charging wires out of sight.
3. Sort and organize in one sitting. It goes without saying that planning is half the battle. Steps 1 and 2 will prepare you to complete step 3. The reason we recommend completing the project in one sitting (once you’ve done steps 1 and 2), is because this is often the most overlooked part of the home, as the kitchen catch-all. As such, it will be far too easy to allow yourself to step away from it and “get back to it later,” because that’s the pattern you’ve already established. Carve out the time, place three bags next to you (one for donations, one for recycling, and one for garbage), and get it done.
All my best,