I’ve staged and sold a number of houses over the years. Some were my own and some were clients’ homes. One of the prime rules of staging is to unclutter. The kitchen is ALWAYS where I start. When you remove a lot of the useless junk that most people have on their counters, it opens the kitchen up visually. It makes this hub of the home shine anew. So why not do this for yourself, even if you are not putting your house on the market? Unclutter your kitchen counters and you will streamline your routine and your life. There are a few guidelines. They are easy to follow. I promise that you will be happy with the result.
“Where we love is home, home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”Oliver Wendell Holmes
The First Step To Unclutter: Strip The Counters Bare and Clean Them
If you truly want to unclutter your kitchen counters, the first step is to see the real estate you are working with. Clean off the kitchen table because you are going to fill it up with EVERYTHING that resides on your counters. It’s the only way to truly appreciate the space that you’ve got to work with. (It’s also a great opportunity to give your counters a deep clean. You won’t regret this part.) Clear everything off, clean it and you’re half-way home. Bruce and I like two products for this: Barkeep’s Friend and Mr. Clean: Clean Freak , because we have granite and these work well. But use what you like as long as it disinfects without harm to your surfaces. For more info on great cleaning products, check out: Keep It Clean, Will You? 4 Best Home Cleaning Products.
Next: Assess What You’ve Got
According to Kitchn.com, there are very few things that need a permanent place on your counters. They suggest, in a recent article, you only keep:
- Utensils You Use Every Day
- Appliances You Use Every Morning or Most Nights
- Essential Cooking Ingredients
- Certain Non-Kitchen Items (like chargers, vitamins, and other things that help you get your life done).
I don’t necessarily agree with Kitchn that these are the ONLY four things for your counters, but it’s a pretty good start. For most people, this will cut their counter-load by more than half. Yes, this means you, the person who keeps the food processor and juicer on the counter when you’ve only used them once in the last two years. Keep the toaster and the coffee maker, lose the 400 cookbooks you never crack.
The Last Step To Unclutter Your Counters Is Adding Back The “Good Stuff”
I am a big believer, as you know, in accessorizing your home. This stark view, presented by Kitchn.com is a little too much for me. I think it’s important to surround yourself with beauty and things that you love. This, in my humble opinion, is essential to a good life. So with care and clutter-prevention in mind, add back beauty. Perhaps its a layered stack of beautiful cutting boards? (You can see my recent blog on this idea: Cutting Boards: Chef Essential and Hot Kitchen Design Trend). Or maybe it’s that cookie jar your inherited from your Nan? Or an old wooden bowl, that you found whilst thrifting, filled with in-season fruit? You can unclutter your counters and still have a beautiful kitchen that brings you joy to work in.