For this week’s clutter hotspot, I decided to tackle my kitchen counters. Counters obviously are a hard-working area that collect clutter constantly.
Since the kitchen is the heart of our home, it makes sense for me to have a strategy in place to clear off the clutter.
Before decluttering and cleanup.
Here’s what my counters looked like before I cleaned them up on Wednesday morning. It doesn’t look too bad because breakfast dishes and lunch fixings were mostly put away by the kids after they used them. But still…
My counters never get awful, well at least not awful for very long. But – it seems like if I don’t keep on top of it, there is just stuff everywhere. Library books are waiting to be taken the the car, water bottles, dishes dirty and clean, and other miscellaneous things need to be put away. Plenty of crumbs, too.
After – cue the angels!
I really enjoy the look of a completely clear counter top. It’s very satisfying for me.
Tidying up the kitchen is a combination of on-going decluttering and simple cleaning up. Plus, we use this simple tip to save tons of time cleaning!
2 Simple Goals for Kitchen Cleanup
My kitchen cleaning efforts boil down to 2 simple goals: clean sink, clean counters. Get there and I’m done! It’s also an easy standard to remind the kids – “clean sink, clean counters.”
The hardest part is getting started.
Doing a thorough clean-up only took 10 minutes 50 seconds. I timed it for you just to see how long it would take. A quicker clean-up really takes only 5 minutes.
Unfortunately, unlike decluttering my keys, this job needs to be done every day. But at least it’s pretty quick.
Isn’t it amazing what a difference 5 or 10 minutes can make?
Of course you don’t want to be cleaning all day long! I aim to do this 1 or 2 times a day maximum. Plus, my kitchen is organized this way so it’s easy to clean up anyway.
Tips to make decluttering the counters easier:
- Run the dishwasher in the afternoon. One of my kids’ afterschool jobs is to empty their lunchboxes (one of Katie Kimball’s brilliant suggestions in The Healthy Lunchbox). Once they’ve done that, the dishwasher is started, whether or not it’s full (it usually is). Then someone can empty it while we’re setting the table for dinner. This, in turn, allows us to have plenty of room for dinner dishes and breakfast dishes.
- No paperwork on the counter! All paperwork is either tossed in short-term storage or dealt with immediately. Leaving it out doesn’t help me remember any better. Here’s the easy way I manage paperwork.
- Counters are not storage places. Counters are workspaces. As much as possible, I try to get the stuff off the counter and put away out of sight. I’m even contemplating buying a smaller toaster to replace my ginormous toaster oven. Would that be taking things too far?
Do you have any tricks to keep your kitchen counters decluttered?
Want to send me a before and after picture of your counters? If you have pictures to share, I’ll post them here.