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De-cluttering your counters


July 2015

A clutter-free kitchen counter might sound like an impossible dream. After all, the kitchen is a high-traffic area and, letís face it, a dumping ground. But there is a way to avoid clutter. Here are some suggestions of what to keep and what to let go of from Cheryl Ryan of Kitchens by Design in Elm Grove.

1. Creative Knife Storage: That bulky knife block could be taking up space better used by another item. Consider an under-cabinet knife drawer or pull-down cutting board with knives stored behind it.

2. Coffee Brewing Station: "Create a brewing station by keeping your multiuse coffee maker (Š la Keurig), coffee, cocoa and other items together on a tray," Ryan says.

3. Wave Goodbye: "Open up some space by putting the microwave behind closed doors. Itís still handy, but out of sight," says Ryan. Shelves built above the counter can also be used.

4. Start a Group: Store spices inside a pantry or cabinet, but keep frequently used spices close. "Grouping like items ó herbs, oils and spices ó can add some visual interest, but still look organized," Ryan explains. Trays can be a great way to declutter, whether wicker, wood or even antique silver.

5. Go Paperless: "If your counters are overflowing with recipes, mail, cell phones and electronics, get it off the counter by installing a mini home office in a cabinet, if room allows," Ryan says.

6. Say Something: "Perhaps itís time to buy the cobalt blue blender you wanted and make that your statement piece on the countertop. Use it for smoothies all summer long," Ryan says. Store away your big mixer, juicer and other seldom-used items.

Keep this in mind: "There are no rules for what goes on your counter. Your lifestyle will be the guide," Ryan says. "If the clutter is stressing you out, take the time to go through the items you want on the counter and find a new home for others."



This story ran in the July 2015 issue of: