What do you keep on your kitchen counters? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 02-01-2006, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Don't say "clutter" - LOL! I'm trying to envision my kitchen with uncluttered counters. If you have been successful at this endeavor, please say what it is you actually keep on your counters.

I have dirty dishes on mine, mainly because my DH won't help with the dishes if the sink is full of dirty ones. Working on it...I seem to always have more than a dishwasher-full waiting to be washed.

To the left of my sink I have a box of Kleenex, a Crock-Pot (which I use frequently enough to justify its presence on the counter), my compost pot, a bowl of fruit, and a small lamp.

To the right of my sink...well, I just got rid of my huge accumulated piles, so theoretically all that should be there is a small box for collecting recycling and a small basket for mail that needs (ideally immediate) attention. At the moment there are also a few other random cluttery things that need "putting away"...gotta get to those ASAP! But it is better than it has been in a looooong time.

Across the kitchen, on one side of the stove I have my KitchenAid mixer and cookbooks and an urn of kitchen utensils (spoons, spatulas, etc). On the other side of the stove I have my Vita-Mix.

I've always had a huge "in-box" pile next to my sink - it gets bigger and bigger and I get overwhelmed and never actually do anything with it. So my goal is to NOT HAVE ONE. Has anyone been successful in keeping the clutter at bay in their kitchen? Tell me about it....

Amanda, mom to Everest (12), Alden (10-1/2), Ellery (7-1/2), & Avery (6)
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#2 of 28 Old 02-01-2006, 11:13 AM
 
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I don't like clutter on the counter & we have a small kitchen w/o much counter space so even just a few things make it look cluttered.I maybe have 5 feet of total countertop space.

I have a bread box with 2 plants on top to the left of the sink.

To the right of the sink is a metal basket with dish soap, baking soda shaker & soap cleaner & hand cream. I keep it in the basket so I can stash it under the sink if I really need some more room. Then a coffee pot, a knife block, a lazy susan with some spices, handcream (I have very dry skin) & ground coffee crock on it. And then next to the stove I have a turning thing that has kitchen utensils (can opener, measuring cups & spoons, bottle opener, peeler) with a hole in the middle for spatuals, etc. I bought it when I got my first apartment & the kitchen was literally in a closet & I had 1 foot of counterspace.

In the summer I have the compost collector next to the sink as well.
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#3 of 28 Old 02-01-2006, 11:56 AM
 
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i too have little to no counter space and no dishwasher... so to the left of my sink, next to the fridge is my dish drainer. I have a small bamboo plant sitting in the window, a bottle of dish soap and a small thing of hand soap on the corner of the sink. I have the toaster and a jar / urn-type thing holding my utensils too. I also usually have a ceramic Oreo cookie jar (DH's). That is presently sitting on his desk in the study. LOL Then I have a separate table that holds my microwave with the phone on top. I usually put my purse to the left of the microwave and then I have a small recipe box on the other side of the microwave.

Personally, I can look and see almost nothing on my counters and I love it! The only thing I have a prob with is that thing holding my utensils. SO BAD, do I dislike it, that I am sitting here thinking I will go through the drawer of other ones and toss toss toss so I can make room for those in the drawer and get that thing off my counter! I really have next to nada on my counters and it makes me feel wonderful!
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#4 of 28 Old 02-01-2006, 12:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amyamanda
I've always had a huge "in-box" pile next to my sink - it gets bigger and bigger and I get overwhelmed and never actually do anything with it. So my goal is to NOT HAVE ONE. Has anyone been successful in keeping the clutter at bay in their kitchen? Tell me about it....
Before we had a computer desk with a place for things, I took care of this problem by purchasing an accordian file (about $10-15) with many seperated sections marked like auto, bills, medical, etc., Then, you can store it wherever you have room, a lidded basket, cupboard, whatever works for you.

Now, there are so many types of them. If it sounds like something for you, go on Staples.com, put the words "expanding files" in the search, you will see a lot of choices.
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#5 of 28 Old 02-01-2006, 12:11 PM
 
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I have a ton of counter space (20 linear feet, I think) and have thus far managed to defeat the clutter-beast. I do have a dishwasher, so dirty dishes go in there straightaway, and clean dishes get unloaded as soon as there's a dirty to be put in.

On my counter: Next to the sink on one side are a few decorative things. On the other are the toaster oven and the Brita pitcher. Next to the stove is a canister filled with utensils. On the longer counter on the other side are the microwave, the flour, sugar and dog biscuit canisters, the George Foreman, some plants (under the window) and a couple of other decorative things. Sounds like a lot, but it's a 12 foot counter.

My secret for clutter prevention in the kitchen is that the mail never goes in there. That's my major clutter source, and I deal with it in the office/computer room. Good luck!

crafty mama to Chloe and Emma (10/08) and Piper
emergency medicine PA and single mother by choice
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#6 of 28 Old 02-01-2006, 03:37 PM
 
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Toaster oven (with 4 stacked bowls and my recipe box and the salt on top)
Knife block
Cookie jar
Blender
Spice rack converted to hold oils/vinegars/sauces
Plastic shelf with some spices and other things I use frequently
Round silverwear holder
Round utensil holder
Small basket with potatoes and onions
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#7 of 28 Old 02-01-2006, 04:00 PM
 
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Kate - I just checked out the link in your siggy & I love your house! The outside looks so quaint (I love front porches) & you did a fabulous job redoing the inside.
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#8 of 28 Old 02-01-2006, 05:42 PM
 
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: Kate you use color very well!

My counters have a microwave, the dirty dishes, a toaster and breadbox. Forgot, knife block and dish drainer.

What I don't have on my counter, the bread machine. I decluttered enough to make an easy access place for the breadmachine which I use 1-2 times/week.

Amy at Stone Fence Farm
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#9 of 28 Old 02-01-2006, 09:22 PM
 
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Mine is always too cluttered, and I hope to change that. Basically, I have one wall of counter top, it starts from the wall and there is: microwave, about 2" of space that piles dirty dishes, sink, (dishes drain in one side), toaster, bread maker, bananas, and a filing drawer thingy for mail, phone books, ect. It takes up literally the entire space. Then my counter does a very small turn, to make a snackbar, and there is about 2-3ish feet that I do most of my cooking on, but I always have to declutter it, b/c papers get piled there in no time. My kitchen is very small, so on the other side is all appliances, from the wall it's: fridge, dishwasher (a portable one, I have to wheel it around and hook it up to the water every time I use it, I run it every 2ish days, and I only put plates cups and silveware in it) stove, and then I have a tall jelly cabinet. My kitchen is so small, when you open the stove, it goes just about to the opposite cabinet, and when the dishwasher is hooked up, you can barely squeese past to get to the fridge. I have no idea how to tame the clutter beast, besides remodeling the kitchen. Seriously, I dream of building a house just to get a big kitchen Unused stuff goes in teh basement, b/c ther is not any extra room. We also run a business, sot he snackbar/food prep area/paper and mail area gets really piled up fast with catalogs of parts, phone numbers, notes, and I just don't now how to fix it
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#10 of 28 Old 02-01-2006, 09:28 PM
 
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My kettle, a knife block and a ceramic fruit bowl.
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#11 of 28 Old 02-01-2006, 10:07 PM
 
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We have about 8' of counter space divided into four locations.

On either side of the stovetop is a toaster oven and a microwave and the space in front is clear. I put 2 jars on top of the toaster oven for tea. The baked goods are sitting on top of the cutting boards which are on top of the microwave. It's mainly a cooking space all the way across.

There's a small area to the left of the (very tiny) double sinks and that's where my husband's coffee maker, sugar tin, and grinder are. Behind that is the cooking utensil jar. One of the sinks has a drainer in it and the other one usually has some dirty dishes in it. Then I keep the 4 1/2 feet or so of largest counter completely clear so I can cook there. Since it's between the sink and the fridge, that works well for that purpose.

Also I don't allow anything relating to bills and mail in the kitchen. It's too small anyway. There are some tray on the kitchen towels in a basket on top of the fridge. On the floor is a stool, small trash can, and plastic crate for the recycling.
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#12 of 28 Old 02-01-2006, 10:54 PM
 
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I have about 1.5 foot on each side of my stove one side has my bread cabnit with my dh's radio (fire dept) charger on it. the other side is between the stove and the sink and is my main work area NOTHING is there. the other side of the sink is my toaster oven and 4 jars with my sugar, flower, baking powder in each of them, then about 6 feet of counter that has my microwave on it. i still wish i could get even more off and more removed...
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#13 of 28 Old 02-02-2006, 02:13 AM
 
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I try to keep them clean and clear, but this is what is on them:

microwave
knife block
papertowel holder
toaster
coffee maker
a cylinder with wooden spoons, flipper, etc.
soap
a fruit bowl (not everything fits inside it)
baby monitor
telephone
cutting board

Wow, that looks like a lot, but it's really not that bad. It's stuff I use on a daily basis too.
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#14 of 28 Old 02-02-2006, 11:14 AM
 
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To the left of the sink: coffeepot and a spice rack.
To the right of the sink: dish drainer
To the left of the stove: microwave
To the right of the stove: bread machine

I have a baker's rack that holds other thing like potholders, food processor, crockpot and toaster. (We lack cupboard space.)
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#15 of 28 Old 02-02-2006, 11:19 AM
 
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Very little counter space here, too. I have on the back of the sink: soap dish, sponge, dish soap. On one side of sink: dish drainer. On other: coffeemaker (and sometimes dirty dishes). Over on our dishwasher I keep a long, narrow basket with salt, pepper, vitamins, and dh's medicines. The microwave and toaster are over on a table. Next to the microwave is my trouble clutter spot!
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#16 of 28 Old 02-02-2006, 03:07 PM
 
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Unfortunatly, clutter on one of the four counter tops ! I really need to get it cleaned off again, I love it when it's cleared off but it always seems to get piled up again. Yesterdays mail, last weeks mail, let's just stick this over here so we can clean off these other counters. Ugh.

The other side of the stove has my toaster and three little teacup precious moments things that mom got me for my birthday. When I'm cooking that is the counter I use to put other appliances (bread machine, crock pot, etc), and to cut things up. The two counters on either side of the sink hold clean dishes (drying rack) and the other side has a vase and anything to be recycled (soda cans, water bottles, cardboard boxes) until Thursday nights when they get tossed. Now that the boys are getting older I may have them take the recyclables out daily for me.

Aisling
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#17 of 28 Old 02-02-2006, 03:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishmommy
My kettle, a knife block and a ceramic fruit bowl.
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#18 of 28 Old 02-02-2006, 04:07 PM
 
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KitchenAid mixer ~ no room to store it elsewhere, it's too big!
Urn for utensils
Water Filter
Tea Kettle is kept on the stove
Ceramic bottle for olive oil
Paper towel holder
Plants behind sink
Soap dispenser
Metal basket for sponge and sink stoppers
Butter dish
Cookbooks
Fruit basket
Container of dog treats
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#19 of 28 Old 02-02-2006, 04:07 PM
 
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KitchenAid mixer ~ no room to store it elsewhere, it's too big!
Urn for utensils
Water Filter
Tea Kettle is kept on the stove
Ceramic bottle for olive oil
Paper towel holder
Plants behind sink
Soap dispenser
Metal basket for sponge and sink stoppers
Butter dish
Cookbooks
Fruit basket
Container of dog treats
Lamp on the raised part (bar)
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#20 of 28 Old 02-03-2006, 04:14 PM
 
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It has the crock that holds my cooking utensils. Everything else goes in the cupboards, in the drawers, or out the door!!

Visit www.evolutiontosimplicity.blogspot.com to follow my epic saga of single mummahood....

 

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#21 of 28 Old 02-03-2006, 05:58 PM
 
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toaster oven
dish rack
bread corner
sponge holder
paper towel holder
stand up mixer
fruit bowl
mail and other junk (it's the bad part of our house)
spoon holder
food processor
salt cellar
trivet
rack with frequently used spices, oils and cooking wines
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#22 of 28 Old 02-05-2006, 10:27 PM
 
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Going Goodwill/retro helps with our lack of counter space. I got one of those wooden paper towel holders (SO won't give 'em up, so there you go) that you can mount underneath a cabinet. I also got a mail holder that is long...it's hard to describe. It has three slots, one under the other, kind of staircased. Anyway, it holds coupons, keys, and misc. I use our beautiful, big colandar to hold the cloth napkins, and put it on the breakfast table.

On the counters:
microwave
toaster
knife block* (though we could do the magnetic strip and save some space)
food processor*
compost pail
flower pot (holds large utensils like spatulas)
soap/lotion combo
coffee pot

*These things are stuffed into corners, waaay back, where we can't reach. It would be wasted space anyway. Whoever designed our kitchen needs a poke in the eye.

I recall reading somewhere (Confessions of an Organized Homemaker, maybe?) that you shouldn't have a Misc file or folder. Everything should have its own spot. Otherwise, Misc becomes a catchall and you get lazy. I find that's true for me. She also suggests sorting your mail as soon as you bring it in the door: Tear up and toss any junk (or throw it in the recycle bin on your way in), stack the bills in the appropriate spot, and file anything else.

ETA: I have been considering getting some of those cheeseball sticky lights that you press to turn on. Know what I'm talking about? They're an As Seen on TV item, I think. That could free up some counter space for you. Anyone know if they work (well)?
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#23 of 28 Old 02-06-2006, 12:09 AM
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A wooden bowl of fruit, a knife block, a crock of utensils, a coffee maker, a toaster, salt, pepper mill, a bowl of sugar, a bottle of olive oil, and a bottle of red wine It isn't as cluttered as it sounds.

Debra Baker
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#24 of 28 Old 02-06-2006, 12:43 AM
 
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We have a big kitchen with the least amount of counter space the 1973 contractors could manage. It's truely an amazing design feat.

On one side of the stove we have a 7 inch counter. That holds the utensil crock, salt and pepper. On the left of the sink we have the toaster, knife block, sugar bowl and coffee machine, behind all that is the big butcher block cutting board. That stuff pretty much takes up every inch of space there, but it's where the outlet is. On the right is a basket of fruit, the dog's treat jar, and DH's tobacco junk in a tin. There is one other counter on the other side of the kitchen in a weird built in hutch sort of thing... on that is the microwave, phone books and phone (the second of three outlets in the kitchen is there, the third being behind the 'fridge). On top of the microwave is the "inbox". While I wish I could be rid of the basket "inbox", before we had it things got piled up aside of the microwave or the crock near the stove (bad, bad idea to have paper on a 7 inch counter top near the stove)... this looks much neater.

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#25 of 28 Old 02-06-2006, 05:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teacup
I have been considering getting some of those cheeseball sticky lights that you press to turn on. Know what I'm talking about? They're an As Seen on TV item, I think. That could free up some counter space for you. Anyone know if they work (well)?
They eat batteries like crazy in my experience. We put a couple over dd's changing table (when she was young enough to be changed on a table instead of while standing... running... leaping) and they literally needed new batteries every other day. It's not like we left 'em on for long periods of time either. :

Happy with my DH, 2 kids, dog, fish, and frogs
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#26 of 28 Old 02-08-2006, 02:47 PM
 
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I try to keep my home as minimalist as possible. I have currently have:

Microwave
Fruit bowl
Dish soap container
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#27 of 28 Old 02-08-2006, 08:53 PM
 
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We have lights (installed by previous home owners) that you can buy at Lowe's or Home Depot under the cabinets. We only use the one over the sink (as there are not enough outlets for the others and all of our junk). They are white with a small flourecent tube in them, and run about $10.

The Tabbie Family; DH , DS , DD , a few :, a couple : and me.
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#28 of 28 Old 02-19-2006, 05:32 PM
 
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I have a shelf above my stove w/ my romantopf (a terracotta baking thing I use for rice/roasts chix etc) my oil (b/c I use it at the stove all the time) salt in a pretty dish for pinching, an egg timer, a pottery canester that lost it's lid for all my wood spoons, spatulas etc, my oven lit/hot pads are on top of romantopf (i love it- get one), a jar of coffee beans (b'c have 10 inch counterf space by stove that allows for grinder etc and we use tea pot for coffee) and even a crystal!! The shelf is 3 or less feet long but has all I need pretty much for that space and it looks really cool (most importantly!)

also those 2-3 tiered wire baskets are great for avocados, garlic, onions etc.

Can put one by the window for ripening and one elsewhere. Microwaves take up so much space we don't use one- well, other reasons too but... really by the time you delegate room for the swinging door etc...ugh
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