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The Organizette!, Issue #72 -- Kitchen Counter Clutter
October 08, 2014
Welcome to the Plan-and-Organize-Life.com Newsletter. I hope you enjoy getting the newsletter and that it helps to keep you on track with your organizing goals. Remember, you can get a lot done in only 10 minutes of decluttering and organizing!
Table of Contents
Once again, October is here. And once again, I can’t believe how fast the year has gone. I also know that the last three months of the year are going to fly by quickly too. It’s always so full of school activities, holidays and fun activities, it can zip by.
This is an important time to keep ourselves organized. Our routines will help us to get through these times without the house and our lives getting too out of control.
Click the logo above to learn more!
Did you know…
80% of what we keep we never use.
The Monthly Mission – Bathrooms
Let’s focus on tidying up our bathrooms, clearing out the clutter and making it more functional for everyone. This is perfect timing here for my kids’ bathroom especially. They are at the point where they each need some storage space that’s just theirs. To read more about the monthly mission for October, Click here.
I Can't Wait!
If you’re in a hurry to put some order back into your home, perhaps Mimi Tanner's unique method will give you that jumpstart. Check out her method at Declutter Fast: How To Get Your Home In Order Almost Immediately.
Check Out These Pages!
Here are some pertinent pages on the website you may have missed along with any new pages.
Keeping Kitchen Counters Clear
We all have some areas that are big challenges in our dream of living organized. For me, my kitchen counters drive me nuts! They are a giant magnet for stuff! Even after I clean them all off, within a couple days, they’re a mess again.
I only have four small sections of counter to use, and it’s hard to prepare a meal when I can only get to a portion of one. Two sections seem to be covered most of the time. It’s now time to investigate further what is going on and what I can do to reclaim my counters.
Let’s go through the stuff on our counters, see what’s there, and look at our habits to see how this stuff got there. This in turn will help us figure out what we need to change in order to reclaim our counters.
Here is a sampling of things on my kitchen counters: coupons, business cards, a laser pointer, brochures to places we’ve been, packaging to new light bulbs to keep for warranty purposes, a mini flashlight, hand sanitizer, a broken watch I don’t know what to do with, a broken calculator, fruit and vegetables lying on the counter, snack items that didn’t get put back into the cabinet, dishes to be hand washed, cans and bottles that need to go into the recycle bins in the garage about 8 feet away, etc.
Embarrassingly, some of these things have been there for a while. I just didn’t know what to do with them so I ignored them. Is the watch worth repairing? Is the calculator worth another battery? Those papers, they just need to be filed somewhere or tossed. And, some things aren’t mine.
So, I gathered some ideas on how to deal with these things so they don’t continue to live on my counters.
Entryway Drop Zone - Do you enter the home near your kitchen? Do you have a drop zone? You need a drawer or container to put your keys, purse, wallet, etc. In my case, we do have a drop zone for the keys and my husband’s wallet. Other things tend to get placed on the counter to be dealt with later.
Papers – Do you plop your mail down on the counter to deal with later? Get a basket or file folder and put the mail in there for later. Or, open your mail right away and process it. Anything that needs to be dealt with can go into a file folder for later. (See Sorting Mail) I have a file folder with a place for bills to pay, receipts, things to file, and school memos. If you have small papers you want to keep in sight, perhaps hang a small cork board so you can pin them up.
Small things you use daily – For myself, this would be the mini flash light, vitamins, note pads, pens. Rather than have them scattered across the counter, find a nearby drawer or cabinet. If that doesn’t work, having these items corralled together in an attractive basket or container keeps them tidy and accessible. I have recently put my weekly vitamin container and some other items in a small basket on a shelf near my seat at the dinner table. I can grab them when I need and they’re not covering the table anymore.
Things that need to go to another room – we seem to collect a small pile of things that need to go back into the garage, or into another room. A small basket would help to hold these items until that task is completed. Instead of having the items spread all over, they can be contained so the counter space is still usable. As for walking the recycling into the garage, it’s just a matter of making it a daily habit to getting it out there! And similarly, if someone takes something out of a cabinet, they are perfectly capable of putting it back into the cabinet when they are done, instead of just onto the counter.
Small appliances – only keep what you use every day on your kitchen counters. Anything else should find a home in a nearby cabinet. Yes, you might need to do some shuffling, and maybe something you never use will need to be given away in order to make space in that cabinet. Items you use a couple times a week might be best in an easily accessible cabinet.
Yesterday I went to the HomeGoods store and bought a couple baskets and organizing items to help corral the items on my kitchen counters. Now I need to go sort through items, purge what needs to go, and organize the rest. I will report back next month on how it’s going. I hope this gives you some ideas on how to tackle your counters as well. Although, a little bit of daily tidying and better habits is still going to be necessary in keeping my kitchen counters clear.
Until next time, happy organizing!
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