Recently I have been watching YouTube videos on the most efficient ways of cleaning your home and keeping it organized. I like to get new ideas to try out and have found some interesting tips. I tend to pass up ideas like making your bed every single morning with a massive number of fancy throw pillows for the only benefit of it looking nice. If I get to making the bed or folding throw blankets then great…but it is not something that makes or breaks me. I like to implement ideas that prove out to be very beneficial and have a higher purpose than “looking nice”. I am sharing my experience of clearing off my kitchen counter since I have found SO many positive impacts.
Prep work = I spent about 3 hours in the kitchen one day to see if I could empty my counter to only the bare essentials that I use daily. Of course it is not as simple as moving items into my cabinets since those were already packed. I cleaned out items from my cabinets that I no longer used/needed to clear off some space. I also relocated items to different locations to free up space. We have a double oven and I rarely use both. So I moved baking sheets for muffins and a mini loaf pan from the cabinet to the bottom oven to store. I have a side buffet with some storage shelves next to the dining room table. After cleaning out some dishes (large bowls, serving trays) from there that I never used, this allocated space for large pots including a crockpot. Also I got out the small step stool and took advantage of top shelves for items that I do not use often but still wanted to keep. This allowed items like the blender, toaster, food processor, mini panini press and crockpot to be out of sight. These took up SO much counter space! Plus they must have been areas that I did not clean around often since I found crumbs behind these small appliances that I did not use daily. There are definitely tons more I can clear out. I tend to go through phases of cooking…I got a juicer and did tons of fruit/veggie blends, I used to make protein smoothies every morning, I used a rice cooker often, etc. If I have been out of a certain cooking phase for 6 months to a year, I get rid of the appliance by donating it. This frees up a ton of useful space.
What areas are cleared off now?
- There are two main areas of the counter that are completely clear now. Meaning I could draw a large rectangle in each space (left to right, front to back) and nothing would be inside.
- One is directly next to the stove top and I use that for food prep for dishes that are cooked on the stove. Mainly this includes chopping veggies and stirring dishes so my knife set and spoons are right there. Also in the drawer directly under the counter I store my cutting boards. I might move the spoons to the drawer with the cutting boards and keep my knives in the drawer as well to completely clear off that area. I have found that the initial decluttering/clearing off of an area is just the first step. You have to live with it for awhile and then find out that you can get rid of more or move items around in a better way.
- The second food prep area is a larger part that is between the kitchen and dining room. This is a great section to set up dinner with all of the toppings like a buffet. This is also where I prep my crockpot meals or chop up large salads.
What is left on my counter now?
- Container of spoons and knife set near the stove top. I am still debating moving these inside of a drawer.
- Coffee maker – no explanation needed here, coffee is a daily essential for me to exist with other humans.
- Himalayan salt lamp – I have one in every room and I just love them. http://www.naturallivingideas.com/himalayan-pink-salt-lamp-benefits/
- Orchid – Will remain on the counter until my ungreen thumb kills it.
- Scallions (green onions) – I can move them to the fridge to store as well. This along with the salt lamp and orchid live on a corner between my two newly cleared off counter spaces so they are very much out of the way. This is my “personality section” where I will change it out with my mood or the season so the space feels warm and inviting.
- The kitchen just looks more inviting and welcoming now. This is also why I left the salt lamp and orchid on the counter. I like clear/clean areas but I enjoy a nice balance of inserting some of my style and personality into the space as well.
- The blank areas for food prep make me look forward to cooking.
- More sanitary since the counters get disinfected more often. I do not have to relocate a bunch of small appliances and decorations before I spray and wipe down the counters. This is especially important when cooking with eggs/meat.
- Great way to impress family/friends. If someone stops over, we normally end up around the kitchen area. Having a nicely organized space in the heart of your home is super impressive! They will assume the rest of your home is equally as nice. (Just steer them away from opening your closet doors)