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Kitchen Countertop Clutter

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

The other thread about "how do you use your kitchen" made me think, we all suffer from not enough countertop space.  No matter how much you got you always need more.  So, how do you use your counter top space?  What do you keep on your counter top?  And what tips do you have for decluttering?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #2 of 13

That is an excellent question Miss KK.

It took me some time, but I figured out where I could store everything away in cupboards or drawers. 

Small appliances and extra dishes are in some non-conventional places.  I have the china and silver stashed in the Entertainment Center. 

Now that we have DVR, we got rid of most of our tapes/CD/DVD. 

My husband goes a little crazy though when he opens the linen closet only to find my domed cake pedestal (that was the only place it would fit) and insists that we build another storage cabinet out in the garage.

from ...

My kitchen in the middle of the desert

A Hui Hou (until we met), ALOHA!

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from ...

My kitchen in the middle of the desert

A Hui Hou (until we met), ALOHA!

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post #3 of 13

Oh, heavens. My counter tops are Crowded with a capitol "C."

 

Coffeemaker and coffee cannisters for ground and whole bean coffees, Kitchen Aid Mixer, a 25 year old Cuisinart food processor, microwave, toaster, blender, an ancient manual juicer,a knife block,  big French canning jars filled with staples like flour, sugar, rice, etc., my big splurge: an ice cream machine, a big dish of ripening fruits and tomatoes, another big bowl of Onions, garlic and shallots.

 

Then there are two catch-all bins. One to hold things from my overflowing "pantry" cupboard and another filled with art supplies. 

 

I used to keep a boom box in there, too, with a pile of cds but that all had to move to make room for the ice cream maker--which I have used like crazy all summer and do not regret in the slightest.

 

I've also got stuff lined up on top of the upper cupboards, near the ceiling--papermaking supplies and equipment, mainly, but also bakewear that won't fit in the cupboards, including a stonewear cloche for baking bread.

 

It's rather shameful how crowded it all is but I'm at a loss for how to improve it. I have a lot of cupboard and counter space but only have 2 closets in the entire apartment, so there's no relief  to be had there.

 

A few things get stored in the dining room and china hutch.  Wines and liquers for cooking, wine glasses, water pitchers, ceramic tea pots and cups, a pedestal cake plate.

 

I wish I had more of a minimalist impulse but, alas, I do not.

post #4 of 13

My kitchen is by the stairs. A good chunk of my kitchen electrics and less frequently used gear lives down those stairs on racks, as well as most of my pantry.

 

There's usually my induction burner on my counter. Knife block, two utensil crocks, a bowl with garlic. A toaster oven.

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

Lately what I'm starting to find is that the key to de-cluttering my counter tops lies in space wasted in my cupboards.  It's easy to ignore what's in there because the doors mostly stay closed.  And when I open them my eye goes directly towards what I'm looking for and tends to ignore the stuff on top that I never need.  The truth is that we all probably hold on to things that we never use for either sentimental value or the "what if" factor.  I have no problem letting go of most of these things, I rarely place sentimental value on bulk items.  The reason they're there is probably because I'm busy or lazy or don't know where to start.  I have at least 3 different sets of plates in there all with matching cups and saucers, salt and pepper shakers, and sugar and milk saucers too.  I have a couple of waffle makers, various platters I never use, and glasses I've never drank or will never drink from. 

 

So my thinking is that if I can donate all those unecessary items I'll have more room to store things and get some clutter off my counter. 

 

But the REAL problem comes with heavy things like my food processor, microwave and stand mixer.  I hate these being on the counter full time but don't know where I can put them.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #6 of 13

The best thing that ever happened to our clutter was selling our home and moving after MANY years of living in one place.  We decided that everything was going to GO!  We packed up all but the valuable things into ‘donate’ and ‘move’ boxes, very little came with us.  I figured that I deserved just about everything NEW!    

from ...

My kitchen in the middle of the desert

A Hui Hou (until we met), ALOHA!

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from ...

My kitchen in the middle of the desert

A Hui Hou (until we met), ALOHA!

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post #7 of 13

decluttering the counter by putting stuff in the cabinets doesn't work if you have few cabinets.  And i do use practically everything in there.  One set of dishes i always use and another broken set for beating eggs, for taking into the living room for an occasional tv dinner, etc.  I have a big christmas party for which i need every pot i own, and all the plastic tupperware type stuff.  i use all the serving dishes.  I like lots of pots because i wash them in the dishwasher and need to have them available.  One normal supper can use five pots and pans.  And there just IS no other space. 

 

My problem is we take stuff out and leave it out.  And much of my cabinet space is up high (italian apartments have a lot of height) and i need a chair to get and put back stuff.  So the oil, vinegar, condiments, etc, and lots of other stuff are on the counter. 

 

I try to clean up occasionally but it's a half a day's work. 

 

I chalk it up to entropy - newton's third law of thermodynamics (correct me if i'm wrong - it's the only kitchen chemistry i really know) - molecules begin all close together but then get gradually distributed around (and things cool down) - which in domestic terms means the stuff in the house begins in very orderly piles and cabinets, but eventually it gets evenly distributed around to all countertops. 

How can we fight the laws of nature!

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #8 of 13

I have been thinking quite a bit about this topic, and as I was prepping dinner tonight, it dawned on me that I have incorporated function into design.  On the large front counter I placed a decorative bowl with assorted fruits that needs to ripen more (also the easier for DH to grab and eat); in the back corner, there is a pretty basket that has Tomatoes in it.  I never thought that food and storage plus design came together before now.

from ...

My kitchen in the middle of the desert

A Hui Hou (until we met), ALOHA!

Reply

from ...

My kitchen in the middle of the desert

A Hui Hou (until we met), ALOHA!

Reply
post #9 of 13

hmmmm the eternal dilema.  I like cannisters for rice, sugaar, coffee tea etc which will stack safely - I use plastic but it looks like glass so if the lot topples over it won't hurt anything.  And think about hanging rails with hooks - gotta love them.  Clean out your cupboards - anything you haven't used for a year, donate it or give to a friend in need of it.  It's a bit like clothes - you keep them for the "what if" day or out of sentimental value.

 

My pantry space is pathetic, so stackable containers rule.  With labels and dates of course...ahem, yessss.  One day.

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaneohegirlinaz View Post

I have been thinking quite a bit about this topic, and as I was prepping dinner tonight, it dawned on me that I have incorporated function into design.  On the large front counter I placed a decorative bowl with assorted fruits that needs to ripen more (also the easier for DH to grab and eat); in the back corner, there is a pretty basket that has Tomatoes in it.  I never thought that food and storage plus design came together before now.


Long ago i got the idea to take a really nice enamel colander (mine is green) and use it as a fruit bowl.  I have several now, since we eat lots of fruit.  Sometimes when there is not enough space i fold down the top of the small paper bag you get the fruit in at the market, and use that as a container, which is actually quite nice (they sell fake bags made of terracotta, why not a real bag?) 

 

In season i have braids of real tropea onions (a nice reddish purple) that i just hang on a hook on the wall where the eating side of the kitchen is, and i have a wire basket for loose onions and another small one for garlic by the cooking area.  Yeah, it's all really decorative, what could be more appealing in a kitchen than food!

 

All my frying pans, woks and ridged cast iron grilling pans (I have at least ten between them) and a few of my pots and smaller strainers are hanging on a wood thing i had made that looks like a chimney that old country houses had over their stove, just a rectangular thing about 5 feet wide and two feet deep, up to the ceiling, and it has tons of hooks on it and all these pans and pots.  And i STILL don;t have enough space

I used to hang them on a painted sheet of masonite with holes in it, and hooks inserted into the holes, like people have in their basement to put tools on. 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

I'm totally up on the "food as decoration" tactic.  I've got a brown wicker basket with a lid that holds all my potatoes.  And an open wicker basket that holds my onions.  There is always a bowl on the island that holds tomatoes and avocados and a banana stand.  I have oversized mason jars that hold different kinds of rice, a pretty collection of vinegars, a metal canister of olive oil, and a mason jar of salt by the stove.  I also have a terracotta garlic holder.  My Mother's kitchen is insane, they live on a farm and depending on what time of year it is there are all sorts of vegetables crowding the kitchen.  In the summer for instance the kitchen is a sea of baskets filled with tomatoes, zucchini, and figs.  Step outside on the terrace and you'll see figs and tomatoes drying in the sun.  It's wicked.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #12 of 13

Kitchen isn't tiny... thought it was massive when first moved into house from cramped 1 BR apartment many years ago.  Has an area for "eat-in" area, but always found it crowded.  Small round table always seemd to accumulate everything?!?  Two SMALL hunks of counterspace to either side of stove.  I'm the kinda person who doesn't put small appliances away that might get used, even if on a bi-weekly basis.  Periodically I have to just put all the JUNK away... and for a brief time actually have counter space.  Did away with the table all together, since it's just me in the house.  Bought a restaurant-style metal shelving unit.  Microwave came off counter ond onto top shelf.  Have several big glass jars... onions/potatoes... sans lids.  Food processor, rarely used blender, and rice/veggie steamer live on that.  Found a kitchen "cart" at a yard sale... probably 4' long and maybe 18" deep... on wheels.  Have 2 large crocks (maybe 2 gallon and possible valuable??) that I found at a thrift store... LOADED with kitchen utensils... wood spoons, spatulas, etc.

 

Not a big gambler, but do buy a lottery ticket or 2 when the jackpot is REALLY big.  Have always said that if I ever won I'd have a kitchen to DIE for.  Enough counter space where I'd need to leave a trail of bread crumbs to keep from getting lost.  Still imagine I'd have times when the counter space was gone??

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by siduri View Post

 

I chalk it up to entropy - newton's third law of thermodynamics (correct me if i'm wrong - it's the only kitchen chemistry i really know) - molecules begin all close together but then get gradually distributed around (and things cool down) - which in domestic terms means the stuff in the house begins in very orderly piles and cabinets, but eventually it gets evenly distributed around to all countertops. 

How can we fight the laws of nature!

2nd law of thermodynamics ;) and Newton had nothin to do with the laws of thermodynamics, but yes I attribute everything to that law eventually things slowly move towards entropy (disorganization/chaos) 

 

currently I'm in an apartment with no room, our pantry is stocked, fridge stocked I have my coffee maker and bread on the bar, our microwave and toaster oven are on a stand we put together in our living area, and my knife block/wok are actually kept in my closet in my room (which my friends all mock me for). But at any given time there's bowls and cans and forks and wisks and spatulas and various spices all over our counters, drives my girlfriend absolutely crazy. I think it makes it more homey 

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