Jun 25, 2013

Clean and Clear

Kitchen counter clutter.  I can't stand it in my own home.  Oddly, I consider my main organizational strategy "strategic piling."  This has led to lots of strategic piles on our kitchen counter, especially near the sink.  Dishes waiting to be put into the dishwasher.  Dishes waiting to be hand-washed.  Sponges, scrapers, and dish soaps.  Fresh fruits waiting to be cooked or eaten.  Egg cartons.  Unopened mail.  Empty grocery bags.  Paper towels.

My kitchen would only look really clean and uncluttered right after a deep cleaning.  Steve and I usually do a semi-thorough cleaning once a week, but even after one of those bouts or a deep cleaning spree, some things would still be left rogue on the kitchen counter... although in strategic piles.  Our dishwashing supplies and a paper towel roll always need to be near the sink for easy access at a moment's notice, so they tended to congregate on the right side of the sink, cluttering up the counter top.  And hand soap would always be out, as well as a candle (my favorite way to get rid of dinner smells before bed).  Welp, we found a few solutions to counteract (haha) my strategic piling MO.

So tidy!

The hand soap and candle get to stay on the counter.  Everything else was relegated to another spot.  The first thing we did was the most "duh" strategy- we hung a paper towel holder under the cabinet right next to the sink.  No more paper towels roaming the counters.

I really wanted the dishwashing supplies to be close by, but all of our cabinets were already full.  And then I had an idea... if there wasn't any more room on the floor under our sink, why couldn't we install a caddy on the inside of the cabinet door under the sink?  Turns out Rev-a-Shelf makes just such a product.  Waiting on two days of shipping and about 10 minutes of install time got us some much needed hidden organization!

Everything has a place!

Sidebar- the crazy green thing you see on the kitchen rug is our slow feed dog dish.  It's intended to keep dogs from gulping down their food, which can lead to health problems, and we love it.

You can see some of the existing things that were under our sink on the floor.  Our stainless compost catcher, dishwasher tabs, cleaning supplies for the fridge and stove, and all of our garbage bags capitalized on the floor space.  The shelves let me cram all of the dishwashing supplies that usually loitered by the sink out of the line of sight but still keep them in a spot for easy access.

Dishwashing soaps go on the lower shelf, as well as latex gloves.  I don't use the latex gloves very often when cleaning- usually I only pull them on when whatever I'm cleaning is really icky, so I can just throw the gloves away when I'm done.

Secret dishwashing weapons.

Sponges, scrapers, bottle brushes, and stoppers go on the top shelf.  My apologies for the state of the Magic Eraser.  At least you know we use our cleaning supplies!  The other thing I love about these shelves is that they are held onto the door by clips.  So if the trays start getting icky, I can just pop them off the door and wash them out.

When being clipped is a good thing.

Last but not least are my heavy duty rubber gloves.  My mom always had a pair of rubber gloves near the sink growing up, and I hated them.  Now I love 'em.  Best tool ever for hand-washing dishes in very hot water.

More evidence that I'm becoming my mother.

That means that very little is left out on the counters.  The hand soap (I finally tried J.R. Watkins and I think I'm never going back... I'm in love with the Aloe & Green Tea scent in the kitchen).   And a candle (I've been switching between BBW's White Barn #3 and Market Peach lately).  A dish rag is usually hung between the two sink compartments.  The only other thing that stays on the countertop is a fruit bowl to store our non-refrigerated produce until we eat it.  

No clutter here!

Not only did installing those two little shelves alleviate my visible strategic piles, it also made our kitchen seem bigger because of all the exposed countertops.  Can't beat that!  What tricks do you use to keep the counters near your sink clean and uncluttered?

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