Select-an-Effort: Kitchen Counter

Select-an-Effort: Kitchen Counter. Seana with open hands in the kitchen.

We are in the middle of the second week of “Select-an-Effort: Organizing Tasks for 2023.” Is this a busy or relatively light day for you? Either way, you can get something done! One of the busiest surfaces in most homes is the kitchen counter (including the kitchen island if you have one). Today we will turn our focus to this location.

Wondering how to move forward in this space? Here are three ideas from which you can choose:

Low Effort

Do a quick look-through of what is on your various kitchen surfaces and throw away any trash. Recycle any papers that you easily see are out of date. Wash any dirty dishes that have accumulated. Wipe down what you can.

Medium Effort

Gather anything that has landed on your kitchen surfaces that doesn’t belong in the kitchen, and then walk around and put it all away. In case you are wondering, it is pretty common for many “non-kitchen” items to end up there, including:

  • Hammer/screwdriver
  • Bills and other mail
  • Hairbands, clips, brushes, etc.
  • Sports supplies
  • Clothing
  • Remote controls
  • Reading material
  • Recyclables
  • Homework/paperwork
  • Electronics and charging cords
  • Coins
  • Gloves, hats, mittens, etc.

The list is honestly endless, as many people walk in the door and drop stuff on the counter in the kitchen. So, just walk around and put things back where they belong.

High Effort

If you have a bit more time, go through everything that is resting on a kitchen surface, including the trash, dumped items, appliances, cleaning supplies, food, décor, etc. Ask yourself, “does this need to live here?” Challenge yourself to clear off as much space as possible. Remember, the kitchen counter is the only place you can cook. You can perform most other functions somewhere else.

You may find that you have some items that you like having out and within easy reach, but which aren’t being very well contained. There are options for these. For example, k-cups and other small/loose items can be stored in attractive cannisters. Paper that needs to be in the kitchen can go into a magazine file or paper sorter. Bottles can be corralled onto a turntable. Need some more ideas? Check out my “kitchen organizing” page on Pinterest.

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How are your kitchen surfaces looking today? What will you do to move forward with getting them a bit clearer?

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Select-an-Effort: Organizing Tasks for 2023

4 thoughts on “Select-an-Effort: Kitchen Counter”

  1. I try very hard to do this on a regular basis. Papers really add up and need sorting as well as mail that needs attention. It’s a full time job if you want to stay ahead of it. Right now there are several Christmas items that need to be examined -cookies that are past their time for instance.Time to get started.

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