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
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."