You’re finally starting to feel settled in. The unpacking’s well underway, if not already finished, and you’re getting acquainted with the neighborhood and what you hope could become your “forever home.”
The kitchen, however, is another matter. Maybe you’ve downsized. Or perhaps you’ve moved from a place with a full-sized kitchen to one with a galley layout. Whatever the case, your new kitchen feels cramped and the counters are straining to accommodate a mixed group of utensils, appliances and other items you may or may not actually need out all the time. Or, in fact, need at all.
Counter space will always be at a premium, especially if it’s being used as a catch-all. The key is figuring out what you want close at hand, what you can store somewhere else and what you should just get rid of. Not sure how to start? Here are a few tips and tricks to guide you through the decluttering process.
Survey the Whole Situation
It’s probably safe to say that a lack of usable counterspace is often one aspect of a bigger picture: How well you’re using other work and storage areas, such as the pantry, the cabinets and even adjacent rooms.
Start by removing everything (yes, everything!) from its current storage location. Group similar items together and determine what’s essential or just nice-to-have. Think about the traffic flow and layout of your kitchen and how you can make using it more efficient.
Stay focused on the goal: Freeing up counterspace. If you’ve recently moved in, the curation process can still be relatively simple. You can even break it up into a series of smaller steps so it feels less overwhelming. How ever you choose to proceed, remember it’s the best way to get rid of counter clutter once and for all.
Downsize the Single-use Appliances
Since you’re likely to use them at least once or twice a day, your microwave and coffee maker probably deserve a spot on your countertop. However, small, single-use appliances like panini-makers, waffle irons, rice cookers and even toasters take up valuable space that can be more effectively used for meal prep. Think carefully about how often you’re likely to need them at hand. If the answer is less than once or so a week, they’re probably best stored in the pantry, in a cabinet or even in your hall closet or laundry room.
Also, think about ways one appliance can be used for multiple tasks. For example, is there a blender or food processor cluttering up the counter when a small immersive blender stored neatly in a drawer can tackle the same types of jobs?
Put Other Essentials in Their Place
Even items you use every day don’t have to clutter your counter. Try a wall-mounted paper towel holder to get yet another thing out of the way ― and move your dish drainer to the inside of the sink. Pick out an attractive container to house your most-used kitchen utensils like wooden spoons and spatulas and put the rest in a drawer. And instead of a bulky knife block, swap it out for a magnetic, wall-mounted version that keeps knives handy and out of the way.
Utilize Cabinets Walls and Doors
If you’re looking for still more ways to declutter your counter, look at what’s just above them! There are a variety of storage solutions available online or in kitchen specialty stores like Williams-Sonoma that use the inside of cabinet doors for storing items such as cutting boards, measuring cups, potholders and dishtowels. Looking for a small DIY project? Adding floating shelves to the sides of cabinets not only frees up your counter but adds some visual interest. It’s an ideal solution for items like cookbooks, indoor plants, your favorite spices or even a decorative platter.
A Word About Canisters
Somehow, those old-school flour, sugar, tea and coffee canisters are still cluttering up countertops everywhere. You need to carefully think about whether they’re useful or simply unnecessary décor. If you’re not baking every day and already storing your coffee in the fridge, they’ll be much more at home in the pantry. Even better, get rid of them entirely for more compact – and airtight – alternatives that fit neatly on a shelf. That said, if you have small kids, you can keep the cookie jar.
One More Thing: Wipe Your Counters Every Night
Though this might sound a bit simple — and even obvious — the best way to stop countertop clutter in its tracks is to never let stuff accumulate there in the first place. Always tidy up and wipe down your countertops before turning in for the night and wake up to a kitchen that’s a pleasure to cook in!
Looking for more decluttering tips and ideas? Check out this article.
We hope your journey to Finding Home is smooth and successful. And remember, no matter where you happen to be in the moving process, you can count on Mayflower to be with you Every Step of the Way®.
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