In my family, everything happens in the kitchen: work, bill paying, meal planning, arts and crafts, homework, evening gardening. Oh, right — and cooking and dining, too. Even though those are the main purposes of the space, so much other gear can creep into the kitchen it seems like sometimes there's no space at the kitchen table to eat, or on the kitchen counter to prep food!
Keeping kitchen clutter at bay feels like an exercise in futility: Even if you work at it every day, it keeps growing. And when you do the big overhaul where you spend an hour going through everything and tidying and re-homing it, the countertop and table only stay clean for about two days before they get messy again. So frustrating!
But I've learned the key to keeping this clutter at bay, and it's a twist on a technique I learned a while ago. Because sometimes, even if your practices are good (read: you declutter regularly), what you really need is a tool. In this case, the tool is a basket.
Here's how it works: Keep a basket in your kitchen that's designated for the items that belong in other rooms, like homework supplies, office stuff, and gardening stuff. As you clear the table for dinner or the countertop for prep work, put all those things into the basket.
The basket doesn't have to be particularly big — in fact, something on the medium-to-small side is better, so you don't risk filling it all the way and letting it become another black hole. A basket that's easy to carry, like one with handles, is best. And it should certainly match your decor and look like it belongs in the room!
Then make redistributing the items in the basket part of your nightly kitchen cleanup routine (or better yet, have someone else in your family put away the basket items while you finish cooking dinner and set the table). The key is that you've created a designated spot for items that were taking up the designated spots of other kitchen-related items, and once you've done that, you've pretty much organized the clutter! And at least it won't be taking up space you need for something else.
Do you do something like this in your own home, or will you incorporate it?