The kitchen is the heart of the home and also the dumping ground for the majority of our clutter. At the end of a long day, it is easy to want to dump stuff on the kitchen counter, walk away and relax. Counter clutter creates many problems in the home. It prevents you from using your counter space as intended and it creates disorganization. When you have piles of clutter, items like keys, phones and important documents get easily lost or misplaced. Here are easy ways you can solve kitchen counter clutter in your home.
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Put Your Bags Away
It might seem simple, but if you always dump your bags on the counter, you will always have clutter. Create a designated spot in your home for all purses, backpacks, diapers bags, etc. My purse used to be one of the biggest pieces of clutter we had until I created a spot for it in our laundry room.
You want to get your purse out of the way by hanging it in a closet or creating a shelf for it. I installed a small shelf in our laundry room several years back and it has worked really well. I always know where my purse is now. Our laundry room is not very big and we use it to store bags because we don’t have a separate mudroom. The laundry room is the room we always pass through on the way to the garage in the morning. The best part is about my purse shelf is that I’m no longer running around trying to figure out where I put my purse last. It is usually on the shelf.
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Backpacks take up so much space. Get them out of sight and off the counters. My children’s backpacks are also kept in the laundry room. The bags hang from hooks right next to the dryer. This keeps them out of sight and off of the counters. We also don’t trip over them because they aren’t left on the floor. When the kids head out for school they just grab them and go.
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Just like your purse and backpacks you have to find a spot for lunchboxes at the end of the day. We created a spot in the bottom of a cabinet that our kids keep their lunchboxes in.
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Hang Up Your Keys
A simple key hook is an often overlooked part of home organization. Most people lose either their keys or their phone on a daily basis. Have a dedicated place to put your keys and get in the habit of putting them there. It will make life so much less stressful when you are trying to get out the door on time.
Manage Miscellaneous Clutter
In our home, I found that one of the items most often covering our counters was paper. The biggest culprits are always receipts, mail, packages and school papers from the kids. The two ways we manage this is to have a place where you can file papers away. We also have a rule to get rid of disposable clutter such as boxes, packaging and junk mail immediately.
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I have a routine of sitting down each week to balance our budget and purge receipts. Until that day of the week I don’t want to deal with receipts, but if I can’t find one it drives me crazy. Many of our receipts these days are digital, but I still like to go through the paper ones. I have a file on our kitchen counter simply for receipts. Instead of leaving them all over we now put all receipts in this file. On Saturday mornings when I balance our budget I take this file to my computer, empty it out and shred all the receipts once I go through them. It makes for a quick way to get the paper clutter receipts create off of our counters.
Sort Your Mail
I have a whole post I wrote on how I quickly process our mail which you can click on below. I know the mail is a big source of clutter for many. The main idea is to go through your mail as quickly as possible to get rid of the disposable pieces. While you’re at it break down and dispose of clutter from packages as quickly as possible too. Just managing these two pieces of household clutter will go a long way in keeping your surfaces clear.
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Organize Your Paper
As organized as we are, two weeks ago my daughter’s homework got misplaced. I was filing items away and her homework got caught in a binder I use. So we had to get an extra copy of her homework sent and she had to redo it. It was beyond frustrating for all of us. It was frustrating for her because she had to redo it. I was frustrated because I hate losing things. I realized the problem was that now that we had two kids with homework we needed a dedicated spot to put it until it was done.
We solved this problem with a paper file that we keep on the counter. It has 3 slots in it and I realized the 3rd slot was a good place for me to put papers that I needed to process or handle but that I couldn’t deal with right when we walked through the door. This simple file has made a huge difference. We always know where the kids homework is and I finally have a spot for random papers that need attention.
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Set Up a Bin For Each Spouse
I have a home management cabinet that is near the kitchen counter in our home that used to be clutter central. Inside the cabinet, my husband and I both have our own small bin. It is a good spot for those random items that seem to get left out, but are better out of sight. My husband keeps his wallet and his ear buds in his bin. I place small items that need repair or to be put elsewhere in mine.
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The most difficult clutter to deal with is often the clutter from everyday life. If you designate spots for items, commit to putting them away and get in better habits you will notice you can quickly solve your kitchen counter clutter.