Do you ever feel that your kitchen is the most difficult place to keep tidy? I know that we spend so much time in the kitchen that clutter spontaneously appears on the island, the table and the counters. The more clutter and paper I allow to acculmulate, the longer it takes to get back to a place of Tidy!
While sadly this isn’t my kitchen, wouldn’t you rather be in this kitchen than one with papers and appliances on the counters, and dishes piled in the sink?
Here are a few ways that I have found that help to eliminate clutter and keep it tidy.
1) Only Purchase Quality Products – Years ago, I started selling Pampered Chef (I do not sell anymore). I was blown away by the quality of products offered. I slowly got rid of my spoons, spatulas, can opener, etc. I sold these products for less than a year, but I continue to buy these products.
Purchase quality: My example is a spatula. I have had the white spatula for 10 years. The one with the blue head, I have had for 4 months. I was given it as a gift. I should have immediately thrown it away, but as you can see, cheap spatulas don’t last very long. It is time consuming and frustrating to have to always replace items that break.
That frustration leads to loss of productivity. It also leads you to hate being in the kitchen. When you can’t find the right tool for the job, it leads to a feeling of discontent.
When purchasing pots, pans, coffee makers, spatulas make sure you get the best you can afford. When you are working in the kitchen, it is depressing and time consuming to be using products that are substandard and broken.
Quality products last longer, are easier to clean up, and make your job easier. My crockpot, coffee maker, and Farberware stainless steel pots and pans are all 31 years old. Sometimes you can find great pieces at auctions and estate sales. I was given a starter set of my pots and pans as a wedding present, and I picked up some add on pieces at a local auction. I have also seen quality knives, Kitchen Aid mixers and (new in the box) toasters, crockpots, and more at sales.
The only appliance the this rule doesn’t apply to is hand mixers. For some reason the hand mixers break within a couple of years whether they cost $20 or $60. If you have a hand mixer that has stood the test of time, please let me know.
2) Throw Away Broken – This is basically for the same reason as Number One. It is frustrating and leads to us not wanting to be in the kitchen. Keeping broken items does not help you have a tidy kitchen. Brokenness saps your energy!
3) Only Keep Appliances and Other Items on the Counters If You Use Them Regularly – This is one that I have to work on. But why keep your Kitchen Aid Mixer on the counter when you use it occasionally. My rule of thumb is that if I use it less than once a week, it gets put away. If I can’t find a place for it, I need to get ride of something else. Having clutter and things on the counter doesn’t look tidy. If my counters aren’t tidy, then I subconsciously feel defeated.
I gave up my electric can opener years ago. I didn’t like the look of it. It was one more thing that I had to clean because when appliances sit on the counter they tend to get dirtier.
My handheld one has served me well. I bought a quality one that will last for years. Since I only occasionally open cans, it is put away in my utensil drawer.
4) This is one that I fail at, but keep picking myself back up and trying again.
Rule of Touch Once – papers, dishes, etc. When you get the mail, deal with it immediately. If it is an invitation, schedule it on your calendar, return the RSVP, and your are done. Far too often I put stacks that I need to process on the side. Tomorrow’s stack gets put on top, and then the next day, and it continues. When I need to find something in the stack, it takes valuable time to rummage through looking for that one item.
When you finish using an appliance, put it away. When you finish dinner, clear the table. Touch things one time.
5) Clean as You Cook – At the end of cooking a large dinner, it is overwhelming to face a counter and sinkful of dishes, pots and pans. I try to clean as I go. If I wash a mixing bowl immediately, it doesn’t have to soak as long and is easier to clean.
It is also easier to clean up spills and splatters when they happen. Once dried on it takes so much more effort to clean.
This is the actual desk area where I have failed! Hopefully by next week, I will have it cleared off, and a photo for you to see!
Do you have an area in your kitchen that needs tidying? Feel free to comment below and hopefully by next week, we can have those areas tackled and cleaned!