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Old 01-22-2013, 12:45 PM   #1
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Please help me with ideas of how you keep your kitchen clean and clutter free. My counters always have things on them despite how often I clear them. Sometimes the items on the counter are clean dishes (of course, dirty ones, too). Papers also have a way of landing on my counters. Then there is just miscellaneous stuff that collects...pens, toys, DD's hair clips...

Should I designate a "junk drawer"??

I feel like my living room has become an easy room to clean. It also doubles as our playroom, but I have pared down on the amount of toys and books, and use baskets to store toys. It is so easy to pick up toys, and put them in their basket.

After I pick up my living room each day I look to my kitchen, and cry. How can I make it as easy to pick up?

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Old 01-22-2013, 12:47 PM   #2
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I have no wisdom to offer because my kitchen is terrible for clutter, but I'm subbing for ideas!
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:42 PM   #3
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Re: I need Kitchen Help!

A few things that help me...

I do my best to run the dishwasher at night, and to empty it in the morning. Obviously it doesn't always work, depending on how many dishes get used, but this works most days. I usually then wake up in the morning, use stuff directly from the dishwasher for our breakfast and coffee (eliminating the need to put stuff away while taking the same stuff out of the pantry to use), and then put dishes away while I make coffee and breakfast. That means that I can put dishes directly into the dishwasher during the day, instead of having them clutter up the sink and counters.

I set up a "command center" in our kitchen, too. Very similar to the one here:
http://www.abowlfulloflemons.net/201...enge-mail.html

Any incoming papers get sorted into the folders. I have files for unsorted mail, bills, DH and I each have our own file for personal stuff, and there's a file for stuff that needs to be filed. It works really really well! Then I just go through it occasionally to deal with things that need to be dealt with.

I keep it in the kitchen, and we use the drawer underneath that section of countertop as our mailing/billing station. I keep a container for pens and Sharpies, another container for tape, we keep our checkbook in there, a coupon folder, and then we have a Wonderfile that we use for our billing stuff and in there is where we keep stamps, envelopes, etc.). It's all in that drawer, so it's easy to get to and stays nice and neat.

Another thing that really helps is that we keep very few things on our kitchen counters. It's much easier to keep them cleared off if the clutter doesn't blend in with everything else. The only small appliance that stays out is our coffee maker.

Maybe it would help to have a small bin somewhere for those little extras to go into, and then you could relocate those things once or twice a week?
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:36 PM   #4
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Re: I need Kitchen Help!

I have a few suggestions. Take them with a grain of salt, the kitchen is one area I am SO not truly minimal.

All clean dishes/pots/pans have to live in a cabinet. They can't be out somewhere. So they are either dirty in the sink, in the dishwasher, being used, or put away in a cabinet. It sounds simple but it's very easy to think, I can leave this stack of plates or bowls here for now and they sit there forever.

I have baskets for the few things I do have on the counters. I have a lot more counter space than I used to, so I probably have more baskets than a small kitchen should have. But I have a small basket for hair ties/brush/comb/detangler spray, because we do kid hair there every morning. I have a basket for fruit and a basket for bread, because I don't want those in a cabinet. I have small basket next to an outlet to hold recharging phones or e-readers. The only other things I have on my counters are my Kuerig, because that's a pain to move back and forth every day, with the k-cup organizer because it doesn't fit in a cabinet, the fire extinguisher, a plant, and some wine bottles that will be moved to the basement now that I have a place for them.

All my other stuff lives in a cabinet or the pantry. Even stuff I use almost daily, like the toaster. It cannot live out on the counter, or it gets out of hand fast.

I also have a command center in the kitchen. I have a four pocket hanging thing, one for each kid and one for me. Each pocket has a binder that I keep their school papers in. Then there are three magnetic boards. One holds the calendar and the daily to-do checklists. Another holds their school schedules, the lunch menu, and any flyers/reminders/invites for upcoming events. Then I have another one for them to put their drawings/A+ type assignments.

I have to stay on top of dishes or that clutters the counters too. I try to never let there be more than can fit in the sink comfortably. We have limited hot water at any given time, with five people and laundry, so I can't just run the DW whenever I want to. But I can keep it full, and do at least one load a day to keep it at bay.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:27 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by wordbox
A few things that help me...

I do my best to run the dishwasher at night, and to empty it in the morning. Obviously it doesn't always work, depending on how many dishes get used, but this works most days. I usually then wake up in the morning, use stuff directly from the dishwasher for our breakfast and coffee (eliminating the need to put stuff away while taking the same stuff out of the pantry to use), and then put dishes away while I make coffee and breakfast. That means that I can put dishes directly into the dishwasher during the day, instead of having them clutter up the sink and counters.

I set up a "command center" in our kitchen, too. Very similar to the one here:
http://www.abowlfulloflemons.net/201...enge-mail.html

Any incoming papers get sorted into the folders. I have files for unsorted mail, bills, DH and I each have our own file for personal stuff, and there's a file for stuff that needs to be filed. It works really really well! Then I just go through it occasionally to deal with things that need to be dealt with.

I keep it in the kitchen, and we use the drawer underneath that section of countertop as our mailing/billing station. I keep a container for pens and Sharpies, another container for tape, we keep our checkbook in there, a coupon folder, and then we have a Wonderfile that we use for our billing stuff and in there is where we keep stamps, envelopes, etc.). It's all in that drawer, so it's easy to get to and stays nice and neat.

Another thing that really helps is that we keep very few things on our kitchen counters. It's much easier to keep them cleared off if the clutter doesn't blend in with everything else. The only small appliance that stays out is our coffee maker.

Maybe it would help to have a small bin somewhere for those little extras to go into, and then you could relocate those things once or twice a week?
I do the exact same things. It really does help
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:20 AM   #6
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Re: I need Kitchen Help!

Here's a picture of the kitchen in our main house...



And then we have a little kitchenette in the guest apartment, which I just redid :-)

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Old 01-24-2013, 06:41 AM   #7
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We do not have a dishwasher so I wash dishes after each meal & put away. If I keep on top of it, it only takes a five minutes.
Mail gets either filed or tossed as soon as it comes in, the 'one touch' rule.
Last year I went thru our kitchen and donates anything that wasn't used often/duplicates....ie/I have a magic bullet, donated our large blender.
I do not own a single fridge magnet.
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:02 PM   #8
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Re: I need Kitchen Help!

I like that command center thing from the bowl full of lemons link....

I clean off the counter several times a week. It's maddening, but I cannot get control of it, for the life of me. I used to have a basket, but then stuff just got piled up in there and forgotten. A file system would help, but would I start filing and forget, too? I need something like that, though. I can barely stay ahead of it all.
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