Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to clear your counters and make sure you can get to the things you use the most.
Impact Ratings: sanity!
Level of Commitment: Making Strides
Our focus last week for the Organizing in October mission was to look critically at your kitchen and consider reorganizing for efficiency. I shared my embarrassing countertop clutter video before Andrea of Simple Organized Living visited and filled a whole piece of paper (my notes) with things I wanted to do.
The series has really resonated with readers thus far, and quite a few fellow counter-clutterers have come out of the woodwork to say they see their kitchens in my kitchen.
It’s great to connect, isn’t it?
But we should all get our counters clearer!
That’s why this mission is even more specific: Clear those counters.
Trust me, you will feel so much better.
The caveat is that, yes, some things really do belong on a counter. I’m not putting my KitchenAid down low. I have room for it on the counter, and it’s heavy. If you really use something every day, go ahead and leave it out. Just make sure you’re making the conscious choice to do it and not just setting something out because you don’t know where else to put it.
I also think many people are probably like me and actually avoid certain appliances, foods, tools, items, etc. in the kitchen because of the takes-too-long-to-get-to-it syndrome. If you have to move more than two things to access something, it’s much less likely to be used. The stuff you use every day or even weekly should, whenever possible, be in the front of a cupboard or drawer, a one-touch wonder with nothing in its way.
What do you avoid because it’s hard to get to? Aprons? Trays? Appliances?
What do you use all the time but yet you still have to reach behind something else or head to another room to get to it? Bulk foods? A mixer? Your coffee filters? Supplements?
It’s time to rethink the location of something in your kitchen, I’m sure of it.
Go on, go take a look.
Find one thing that is either in your way (on the counter) that shouldn’t be or is too high/buried/far to be convenient. Move it.
There you go.
Don’t you just want to keep going?
“I Don’t Need to Reorganize”
Perhaps you think you have your kitchen just the way you want it. Perhaps you have a tiny kitchen and it truly is perfectly organized. Maybe your counters don’t need clearing! (Lucky you.) If that’s you, get into those cupboards and make a mess on the counter!
I’m willing to wager that you’ll find some surprises you forgot you had if you clear entire shelves or drawers.
I’ve only been in this house 10 months, and I absolutely found stuff I should just throw away, crumbs and dust that didn’t belong, and plenty of stuff I forgot I had and really need to use before it expires (or because it just expired last month but is surely still good as that’s pretty close…).
I’m thinking home cooks should go through their cupboards thoroughly, either in one messy day like mine, or one cupboard/drawer at a time, at least once or twice a year. You have to get in there to find the meal components people have given you that you forget about when you’re meal planning or the meat marinade you bought at the such-and-such party your friend threw. Either put them on the menu plan ASAP or make a note in your calendar for later. If you stick them back in your cupboard, you probably will still find them there when you do this next year.
Here are all the things that surprised me:
- a meat rub and bean soup mix that I received as samples and need to use!
- a meal kit that a friend made that I should use, donate, or give to another friend with a new baby
- salt blends that I received as samples for chicken and potatoes
- dried anchovies from Radiant Life that I should be putting in my Caesar dressings but forget about – I moved them by the vinegars so they make sense for dressings
- almost-expired whole foods vitamins we forgot to take
- a Mickey Mouse plastic plate (disposable) from Disney World, all by itself near the supplements and butter dish. Really?
- an open box of gluten-free angel hair pasta – that stuff is too expensive to waste!
- slightly expired box of gluten-free baking mix – ditto above, that’s in the menu plan for tomorrow
- samples of lucuma and yacon powder that I really don’t know what to do with – I decided to put them in smoothies, so of course, cough, ahem, downward glance…they’re on my counter.
- about 5 dark chocolate bars in two different places that I didn’t know I had. These will come in handy when I deal with all the reader comments about putting more stuff on my counter.
If your family drinks water, mark their glass for the day and only have a handful of dirty cups at bedtime instead of a handful for each person in the family. Watch for our Drinkbands in my “after” video, which is really a “working on it” video, in the next post.
Bonus! Use the code “KSorganize” for 10% off thru October 31.
Later today I’ll share the results of my re-organization frenzy, but for now I want to make sure you have hope, so I’ll leave you with Andrea’s words of wisdom and a few tip posts:
If I could banish one misconception about getting organized — it would be that it has to take lots of time and effort. Organization CAN be simple (not easy, but simple).
Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by an entire kitchen (or home) full of clutter, but instead focus on one small drawer, one cabinet, or even one shelf inside one cabinet. Once that’s finished, pat yourself on the back and move to the next shelf or the next drawer.
Start small, do a little each day (even if you don’t want to), never leave a room worse than when you entered it, and just keep pushing forward. 15 minutes a day WILL make a difference over time!
- Tips to stock and organize your pantry from Andrea
- Frugal pantry storage tips (for bulk purchases) from Whole New Mom
What do you want to be more accessible in your kitchen? Did you do any work to clear counters since last week?
If you missed the last Monday Mission, click here.
Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Drinkbands and earn commission on purchases. See my full disclosure statement here.