Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Facing the kitchen clutter

A number of weeks ago, I faced my kitchen clutter head-on.  My kitchen is small, so I have always felt like I've had an excuse for why the counters get so cluttered.  If I had a larger kitchen, I reasoned, then I would have a much easier time keeping them clear.  This is faulty logic.  Clutter is clutter, and it will follow me all the days of my life!  I create clutter.  My dear husband creates clutter.  And, heaven knows that my children create clutter.

Here is the view of my nearly unusable kitchen.  You'll notice that there are clean dishes in the drainer, but the drainer is mammoth.  There are two coffee makers on the counter.  I guess my addiction is now known to all!  Other things are piled there and, truth be told, everything is clean.  But, it is impossible to work with NO counter space.

So, I got to work.  There is no secret to dealing with the clutter.  One must simply face it.  My single biggest help is to get rid of things.  As the FlyLady says, you can't organize clutter.  You can only get rid of it.  Give it away and let it bless someone else who truly needs it.

I began my work by putting everything away if it already had a home.  If it didn't have a home, I tried to think about whether I really needed it.  For example, I don't need two coffee pots.  I am the only one who drinks coffee, and the Keurig works fine for me.  I put my big coffee pot (which will be useful for holidays and parties) in storage in the basement.  I moved my Keurig to a new "coffee center" under the window.

I analyzed my need for my beautiful, large KitchenAid drainer.  Yes, I do wash a lot of dishes by hand, but the drainer takes up about 25% of my total kitchen counterspace.  I decided that I could live without the drainer.  Though it broke my heart to do so, I gave it to our local resale store, The Depot.  I already had a very nice Dish Drying Mat and I decided to use that instead of my big drainer.  When I am not using it, I can fold it in half and tuck it under the sink.

As many things as I could put into the cabinets, I did so.  There are a few things that I felt I needed to leave out.  In my main cooking area, I left out my stand mixer and knife block.  I use these nearly every day, and the stand mixer is a heavy bugger so it is difficult to put in and out of cabinets.

<-- This is my main cooking area.  So, if I behave myself properly, these will be the only two things on this counter when I am not actually in the process of working in the kitchen!  You can see that my work space is quite small.  If I clutter it up with things, I'll always be frustrated about the space.

Here is a different view of the same --> area.  (I have since turned the bag of apples into applesauce!)  I put the toaster on the little slice of counter top space to keep the space from being a little "drop zone" for the family!  So far, it has worked like a charm.

The counter that was completely covered has now become a usable workspace in my kitchen.  Although I still am struggling with keeping the counters clear, at least now I have a plan and a vision of what it can be like to function in a kitchen with more usable counter-top space.  For the not-so-organized, this is a gift.  It is tremendous fun to cook and work in a tidy space.

I hope you find some inspiration for your kitchen.  Enjoy your holiday festivities, and celebrate the heart of the home -- your kitchen and your love for your family.  Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. It's amazing how decluttering makes your kitchen look like it had been redecorated. Your kitchen is so pretty!

    I have a Kitchen Aid mixer that stays out all the time too; I agree storing it is not going to happen!!

  2. Wow, what an amazing difference! Well done. :)