Open Up Your Kitchen: How to De-Clutter Your Counters
Conquer the chaos of cluttered kitchen counters and get cooking faster with our no-nonsense tips to stay organized in the kitchen. After all, when you’re not focused on getting clutter out of the way so you can cook, you’ll spend more time enjoying the space and your meal.
To make a difference in a cluttered kitchen, you might need to make some hard choices. Start by imagining the kind of kitchen you want to achieve and how it will make you feel to cook in it. Make a list of all the reasons having a more organized kitchen will improve your life. If faced with a tough decision during the organization process, consult your list and remind yourself what you’re working towards.
You don’t have to get organized in one single day, but your mind should still be set on the goal of creating a fully functional, convenient kitchen where everything you need is already within reach.
Instead of plopping your papers, to-do lists, receipts and messages on the counter, designate an area on the wall to house all of these clutter-creating items. The key to keeping your kitchen looking airy and open is to choose a wall system that works well for the way you live – bonus points for finding one that also can be adapted for new uses over time.
Why on the walls? Wall organizing systems provide a variety of ways to keep your counters clear using space that otherwise might be completely unused. Most options are available in a variety of finishes, with framed dry-erase boards and pinboards that make it easy to jot quick notes, display cards and keep track of appointments. Wall-files create an ideal spot to stash magazines, newspapers and craft supplies. They also work well as an inbox and outbox for mail.
Put It Away
To make your kitchen functional, you need to have your cooking utensils arranged near your work area. Stylish crocks, make attractive vessels for storing your gear, but hanging them on the wall with hooks clears the counter without sacrificing convenience. You can also install spring rods vertically between pantry shelves or cabinet shelves to keep cutting boards and pot lids upright and organized.
Rethink Your Shelving
Using a mix of closed cabinets and open shelving offers a fresh, modern look to the kitchen while giving you more space to stash things. If you’re short on cabinet space, but have floor and wall space to spare you can create the look and feel of cabinets by combining a buffet or sideboard for closed storage space and floating shelves hung directly above. You can use them to store cups, bowls, plates and small kitchen appliances, or to display plants, artwork, cookbooks – whatever items you’d like to keep within reach but off of your counters.
Take It Easy
Depending on how much you have stashed all over your counters, decluttering the kitchen can feel like a big job. Break it down into smaller steps to make it more manageable and to increase the odds that your new kitchen organization makes sense from a functional standpoint. Once you’ve finished your decluttering project, the last step is an ongoing one. Go through the kitchen every night before bed and clear off your decluttered counters to put everything in its rightful spot.