I thought I would share another something that works well for our family. When we bought our house ten years ago, one of the things I loved most about it was the storage. We are blessed to have ample closet, counter and cabinet space. Especially in the kitchen.
I have two huge cabinets, one lower and one upper, that are awesome and huge. Because I don't need all that space for the storage of my kitchen things, or maybe because I don't have all that much, I decided to use one of the cabinets in a different way. I turned it into our "homework cabinet" when Graham was in kindergarten. There's a blue basket that I kept pens, pencils, crayons, markers, scissors and rulers in that he needed to use every single night. It was so much simpler to have all that in one basket that I could easily remove from the cabinet, then put back.
Over the years our needs have changed and now I'm going to show you what we use it as now.
I use the top shelf for all of our medicine, thermometers and the medicine that the animals need. On the middle shelf are all of my cd's that I use all the time, because I have a kitchen radio with a cd player right under this cabinet. I like to mix it up and almost always have music playing.
I also keep all of my stationary and pictures to be put into albums on that shelf. I have at least printed the pictures out, now I just need to put them into something.
On the bottom shelf is the blue basket I talked about, but now it has different things inside~a hole punch, note cards, rulers, a picture cropper and a few other odds and ends. On the right side of this shelf are more cd's, tape, two cups that hold pens and scissors and playing cards.
I know not all of you have ample kitchen storage, but if you do, this kind of designated cabinet keeps counters free of clutter. Remember when I talked about how much I hate clutter? I also have a box that's on the counter under this cabinet that I call the Mom box. It's an upright letter-type box. Inside this I keep all the things that I or my kids might need sometime soon, like forms from church that need to be filled out, or newsletters and such that I receive in the mail. That box prevents piles of paper sitting out on my precious counter space.
I try really hard to keep my counters free of stuff. I have cute things sitting out, but only what I consider to be a reasonable amount. I am big on using unobtrusive objects to cover up unsightly things like electrical outlets, so I have a decorative tray standing up under the radio, and I have decorate bottles hiding another outlet in my kitchen. Aside from those things that I have sitting out, I don't have a lot of other stuff that's useless sitting around. (My step-mom calls them "dust catchers".) I have canisters that stay out because I use them multiple times each day~there are five that I use to hold what I use lots of: straws, sugar, flour, tea bags and coffee. I also have a wooden chopping board that's huge and beautiful that stays out because of how much I use it. And because I love it, and because Giada does it, so why can't I?
I try to clean my kitchen every night before I go to bed, unless I am not the last one awake who takes things to the kitchen (AHEM, Todd). ;) I like to have clean counters and sinks before I go upstairs...I learned that years and years ago from the Fly Lady. (If you don't know who she is, Google her. She has marvelous ideas.)
So, in the area of my kitchen, this is what works for me. There are a couple of other cabinets that are low that could use some work, but it's just a matter of straightening or re-positioning things.
Maybe this post will inspire you to start the process of de-cluttering and organizing your home. I think I'm going to go find another cabinet to work on. (My spice cabinet needs help.)
Love to all!