When you walk into your kitchen, it is the state of your countertops that determine how you feel about your kitchen. If they are stacked with papers, junk mail, tons of appliances and dirty dishes- you feel it is a disaster and you just want to run right out! But if you have decluttered and organized your kitchen countertops, you feel as if you can make a meal, relax, work with kids on their homework at the table…. you feel in control, not in chaos. (And that's even if your cabinets and drawers are a mess! Outta sight- outta mind!) So here's how to declutter and how to organize your kitchen countertops:
Decluttering Countertops Means Relocating Items
For the most part, we are talking about finding new places to store some of the items that you currently house on the kitchen counters. This might mean some drawer and cabinet decluttering too- in order to make room for the new items you'd like to store. Here are some tips on kitchen decluttering. Of course, if your counters are covered in papers, junk mail, and dirty dishes- it's time to sort and clean!
Re-examine the Appliances You Store on the Countertops
Appliances that belong on your countertops are ones that you use every single day (or at least several times a week) and appliances that are heavy and bulky (like a stand mixer). See if you can find a better storage location for appliances that are used less often. I only use my food processor once or twice a month, so I moved it to a lower cabinet to free up some room.
Upper Cabinets May Compromise Countertop Workspace
We have a galley-style kitchen with long countertops that run along either side. But on the one side we have a row of overhead cabinets that create a height limitation for anything stored on that countertop, and also makes it more challenging to use that area for preparing lunches,etc. So we find that it is better to store appliances on this counter, under the overhang of the upper cabinets, and use the counters on with side of the sink for food prep and baking.
Can Utensils Live in Drawers?
We realized that storing our wooden spoons and spatulas on the counter was actually causing us two problems. For one, these items sometimes became dirty when there were splatters from sauces that were cooking on the stove. That made clean-up a pain. And secondly- the jar they were being stored in had to be cleaned all of the time- because like any other object stored visibly in your home- it became dusty. So we eliminated the jar of utensils on our counter- and chose to store them in a drawer.
Create a Kitchen Command Center
Corral bills, mail, school papers in one area of the kitchen so the clutter doesn't spread out into your cooking and food prep zones. See why I say that every Mom needs a kitchen command center here!
Set Up Your Countertops into WorkZones
It makes sense to group together items into work zones based on what we need to do with them. We use our long counter with the upper cabinets to prepare breakfasts in the morning, so we grouped our toaster/toaster oven/coffee maker/blender into two work zones located next to the outlets on the back wall. Having them grouped together like this vs. spread out evenly on the counter gives us space in between to put items (such as a load of bread, bagels, milk, juice) while we are preparing breakfast.
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What is the state of your kitchen countertops right now? Calm or chaotic? Do you think these tips will help you get them under control?