Friday, March 04, 2011

Kitchen Counter Clutter

Our kitchen has a spot that like to collect all kinds of crap. It's right inside the door. Mail. Receipts. Random pieces of stuff. Random pieces of garbage. Random pieces of recycling.

It drives me nuts. But it's one of those places that needs to stay where it is. For now anyway. One day, I might move the phone with the answering machine into the bedroom and move a portable phone to the kitchen, but right now there's no space in the bedroom for the bigger phone. That's another problem that I'll deal with eventually!

It used to look like this:

a long time ago
I love that there's a tennis ball on my kitchen counter. Yeah. Not really. This picture is from last summer before I did some work on this area.

This is what it looked like before I started it this time...Equally as cluttered and ugly to look at. You can see the basket I added in the summer to try to control some of the stuff, but it just got piled up really fast.

kitchen counter before
Notice the salt and pepper shakers from the 1970s set of Corelle dishes. I inherited a full (and still almost complete) set of dishes from my grandpa in the late 90s. My sister then used them and then they came back to me. Alex and I finally got rid of the set after we got married. They left our house over three years ago. Why we still have the salt and pepper shakers is beyond me. Especially since we moved TWICE between getting rid of the dishes and now. They're in the donations box unless someone really wants them!

I sorted through the crap. I got rid of some of it - the shredder and recycling box were both happy (see the toilet paper tube there?). Some of the stuff just need to be returned to its appropriate house (see the package of napkins? Maybe not, it's hard to see if you don't know what you're looking for. Napkins have their own drawer in our house)

kitchen counter after
I'm happy with how it turned out. In the basket is tape - masking for marking things for the freezer and for daycare plus two kinds of regular tape - the expensive kind for grown ups (for presents and stuff) and cheap stuff left over from the previous owners for two and half year olds who like to tape things together (it's art!), the letter opener (it's shaped like a book...I love it!), two kid cups from some restaurant for phone chargers and kid craft stuff (scissors, special writing implements, glue stick), the stapler, and the camera charger. My cell phones and the camera hang out in the basket when I'm at home. They fit and I don't tend to lose them if I put them in one place. Yes, I said them. I have a personal phone and a work phone. I am over-connected.

I've had the porcupine pen holder since I was 8. I would like to get something more grown up, but it works and I don't feel like actually looking and then spending money on the perfect thing, but if I see the perfect something I'll probably bring it home and get rid of the porcupine. Except I really like the tray underneath it that holds staples and paper clips and other little stuff.

There are two binders there. One is the kitchen book. The other is the recipes binder. I have a cupboard full of cookbooks too (that will soon move to a more accessible shelf, but first I need to go buy it and install it) but I find that recipes tucked into page protectors work really well. Especially for menu planning. More on that some other day .

So there it is. All put back together. It's pretty much like that now too. I've been trying to go through everything and put it where it belongs before I go to bed. It doesn't really take too long. Bills and receipts all have a home in the kitchen book. I try to scan the flyers quickly and note anything that we regularly buy that is on sale and then add them to the recycling pile. The biggest challenge for me has been remembering to wrap the charger cable back up and put them back in the little cups.


  1. This area looks so nice. Good job!

  2. I have an area like that too. Yours looks good. I usually go through the stuff once a week and TRY not to dump thing there, hahaha. Easier said than done.

  3. Looks great. it's so easy to have stuff pile up on the kitchen counters, isn't it!

  4. Ugh, I have that same crap-magnet area in my kitchen too. So hard to keep it tidy. You did a great job!

  5. Thanks for your comments! It's definitely a hard area to keep clear, but we're getting better and trying not to dump stuff there...sorting through it every night helps...and, it's hard to believe, but if I just remember to wrap the charger cords up and put them back, the basket doesn't seem to attract so much clutter!