Give yourself room to both cook and relax by assessing how you use your counters, cabinets and corners.
Kitchen counters can quickly become cluttered with mail, shopping bags, small appliances, and kitchen tools and gadgets. Once these surfaces are full, preparing meals becomes much more challenging. Plus, just the sight of a cluttered counter can add to your daily stress. Reclaim clean, clear space on your kitchen surfaces to make room for cooking.
If your kitchen also happens to function as your home’s entry, dedicate a specific spot to store keys and mail (for example, a dish for keys and a tray for mail) so that these items don’t spread over your freshly cleared counter.
Instead of focusing on what to get rid of, choose to look at clearing clutter in a positive light, and ask yourself this: What do I love and use in my kitchen?
Focus on clearing prime space (top drawers and easy-to-reach cabinets) for the pots, pans, tools and dishes you use daily. Highly specialized cooking gadgets have their place (and if there’s one you love and use, by all means keep it!), but allowing these items to take up space front and center will only make it harder to work in your kitchen.
Look at what’s left in the other areas, and see if you can let go of some cooking tools, small appliances or excess food storage containers that you rarely (or never) use.
If your kitchen is compact and galley-style, this may not apply — but if you have a bit more space to play with, take a moment to consider how you are using that space. It’s clear how the main work area of the kitchen should be used (for cooking, chopping and washing up), but when it comes to the nooks and corners, it’s really up to you.
Think about what you want from this space: a nook to read, a tidy desk to pay bills, an art corner for your child? Let yourself daydream a bit, and note down what you come up with.
For example, if your goal is to create a quiet corner to read while a pot of soup simmers on the stove, pull in a comfy chair and a few favorite books — and take out the unnecessary and distracting stuff, like piles of bills and old shopping bags.