Seven ways to clear kitchen clutter
The kitchen is the busiest room in the house, the most used and the one room that everyone interacts with every day. It's also the room that is often the most cluttered.
Because there's usually more horizontal space, lots of things find their way onto the counters until the surface almost disappears. If that describes your kitchen, you'll be glad to know you can make a counter attack that will de-clutter your kitchen and make it seem larger.
■ Clear the windowsill or sink counter. If you have a kitchen window or a counter above the sink, you know that this spot attracts all manner of flotsam and jetsam from jewelry to hand lotion, twist ties and rubber bands, medicine bottles and small tchotchkes. Clean this off for a clear view.
■ Put away can openers. Unless you open multiple cans a day, this appliance doesn't need to be on the counter and can be placed in a cabinet. Or, you can ditch this appliance altogether and get a good quality hand-turned can opener.
■ Store the mixer and food processor. These appliances are mostly used on an occasional basis, so clearing them off the counter will give you lots of space and a clean, uncluttered look.
■ Consider storing toaster and coffee maker if unused regularly. There are some hard core counter clutter enthusiasts who say all counters should be completely clear, but if you make coffee or toast frequently during the week, taking these appliances in and out of cabinets is cumbersome. Leave on the counter if you use four or more times a week.
■ Designate a spot for mail. Counters collect homework, bills, pizza flyers and the like. Create a mail spot in your home to handle all the mail. This can be at the front door, or try hanging wall pockets on a door or inside the pantry to get the visual clutter confined to a home and off the counters.
■ Round up the electric cords. The kitchen counter has also become the central location for charging cell phones and tablets. It's important to get these items up and off the counters, because liquids could inadvertently get the electronics wet. The Adorne system is an electric track system that has multiple plugs and cradles to hold cellphones and tablets while they charge ($15-$100, www.legrand.us/adorne).
■ Organize the pantry and drawers. One reason counters collect things is because there isn't enough organization elsewhere. That means that some items are missing a "home." For example, prescription pill bottles and other types of medicine often pile up on counters. Use small, shallow baskets to hold them and store in a drawer or a designated cabinet/pantry shelf.