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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Taming Kitchen Counter Clutter

First things first.....HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SPRING!!!!!

Are we all excited, or what?  We knew it would get here if we were just patient, right?
And now, as I see it, things can only get better....or at least warmer!

So today I wanted to share something that I have a bit of trouble counter clutter. In my case, just one particular part of my counter. You can see from this picture I took back in September that this peninsula counter in our kitchen gets lots of action.

**Disclaimer - The counter was looking particularly horrible on this day. It doesn't always look quite that bad.

You see, it's right inside our back door. So it just becomes the drop spot for everyone to leave their stuff when they come in....besides all the papers that come home from school and in the mail. It is also my command center since that's where the phone is.

Over the years, I have tried different "filing" systems in this spot to try and tame all the paper. Usually they work for a while, but then get so stuffed and out of control that I can't stand to look at them! Then what usually happens is that we will be having company (the peninsula is usually our buffet area too) and so I will stuff the "filing system" in a closet....and will forget about it until I need to go looking for something that is in the files.

That's what happened last week. And when I looked at my nice clean, uncluttered counter I started thinking that maybe I need to come up with a new tactic in order to keep it looking nice.

So here is my new three-step plan.

STEP ONE:  Keep it simple. No elaborate filing system needed. If I keep things simple I will be more likely to maintain the order.

STEP TWO: Make it pretty. My eyes like pretty. If it looks good I will want it to stay that way.

STEP THREE: And this is the real key.... Handle papers as they come in and don't let things pile up. Now sometimes that is easier said than done, but I am going to make more effort to do this. Even now, since I took these photos, there is a little pile of papers that includes some coupons which I need to put in my purse, a birthday party invitation that I need to RSVP to, and one or two other things. I have to keep on top of it.  

This is what I came up with for now. I used this lazy Susan that I purchased on my recent trip to IKEA as kind of a tray to contain things. I added the phone and other important items for this area, like note paper and pens and pencils for messages. This is also the spot where I charge my iPad so the charging cord needed to be here too. Then I added the pretty with a plant and this little robin statuette. Simple. Pretty. And hopefully easy to maintain.

I have also decided that I still need to maintain some files for some important paperwork, but I need to find a more inconspicuous place to keep this so I don't have to hide it every time we have guests over. I hope to give my desk area a little makeover in the coming months so that will be part of that project.

So that's my plan and hopefully I can stick to it. Sometimes you just have to rethink what isn't working and find a better way that makes more sense for how you really live your life.

Do you have a clutter trouble spot in your home? Hopefully my plan will help you think about how you can improve that space and make it work better for you.

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- Jill


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