Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Home Projects: Minimzing Kitchen Clutter

When we moved into our house last August, we knew the kitchen would pose the most difficult challenge for us because it was significantly smaller than our apartment's kitchen. We managed to find spots for all of our essential items, but had to store many of our small appliances and tools elsewhere. It's a bit of a pain when I want to bake and have to scrounge around for certain pieces of equipment, but it's not a huge problem. Even though our kitchen is ugly and cramped it's fully functional and we're not ready to invest in a big renovation project at this point. If it's not broken, why fix it, right?

The fact that I spend a lot of time in our tiny kitchen means that the counters and the tops of the refrigerator and microwave collect clutter. Lots and lots of clutter. It drives both of us crazy, but we just don't have a lot of free space so keeping the kitchen tidy is challenging. It just collects. Rapidly. One day it's spotless and the next it's a disaster zone. My mission this week is to tame the kitchen's clutter causing trouble spots.

Last Saturday, while surveying the stock at TJMaxx HomeGoods, I found a large, shallow seagrass basket. I immediately knew that it would be perfect for holding the boxes of saran wrap, tin foil, wax paper, plastic baggies and hot pads that have lived on top of our microwave since last August.

Take note of that other clutter to the left of the microwave. Included in that pile are four candle holders, a spool of thread, my grocery list, a thermostat, two boxes of pewter serving pieces, a set of cheese knives, and my copy of Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook. Oh, the irony.

On Sunday, I cleared off the top of the microwave and put everything in the basket. I also tidied up the pile of stuff to the left of the microwave. The basket really makes a difference, I think.

But now I want to tackle all of the messy areas of our kitchen, including this disaster zone (the clean dishes aren't usually there, but everything else is)...

...and this mess of stuff (I'm betting at least half of the boxes contain 1/4 cup or less of whatever is in them - my husband very kindly saves me the last bits just in case I might want them - so they should be easy to clean up)...

Tidying up these spaces will make a big difference, I think. I hope. Any tips for managing kitchen clutter?


  1. Hmmm. Do I spy a piece of Polish pottery in those photos??
    You're right - the basket works perfectly!

  2. And I want to know about the pewter serving pieces. I love pewter.

  3. Why, yes, you do! I may not be using it for it's intended purposes, but it functions beautifully as a tray for all of my everyday essentials - olive oil, salt/pepper and vitamins. It's also a nice little reminder of you!

  4. And sugar for my tea, of course. ;)