(photo courtesy of http://www.adsere.com)
The kitchen is one of the busiest and arguably the most commonly used area of a home. Because of this, it's a mecca for junk; food, utensils, cookbooks, car keys, mail. etc. If not handled properly, kitchen clutter can take over. Here are some tips for keeping your cooking, eating, and entertaining space in check.
1. Plan ahead. If you're building a new home or remodeling your current one, design your kitchen with storage in mind. Make a home for kitchen items in cabinets where they are most accessible. Place your pans and utensils near the stove. Put your plates and glasses near the dishwasher. Thinking ahead will save you frustration down the road.
2. Keep your countertops clear. If you don't use an appliance or tool on a regular basis, store it. You don't need your coffee maker, juicer, bagel slicer, food processor and panini press all taking up residence on your much-needed counterspace.
3. Wipe that fridge. Smothering your refrigerator with magnets, photos, calendar, keepsakes, and clippings gives your kitchen a cluttered feel, even if your counters are bare. If you must display your kid's art gallery, do it on the side that's less visible.
4. Invest in some pretty containers. If your pantry space is limited and you need to leave grains, cookies, flour, whatever out on your counter, at least get a pretty jar to put it in. This can add to the personality and aesthetic of your kitchen.
5. Put some bookends on those books. It's become trendy (let's be honest, it's always been trendy) to display often-used or just plain pretty cookbooks in the kitchen. A pair of charming bookends will keep them looking organized and attractive. Find some you love that coordinate with your color scheme and style and they will take your cookbooks from clutter to class!
6. Beware of glass or open-front cabinets. They are the peak of chic right now, and can look amazing and sophisticated, if done right. But the items within them must be organized and staged properly. You won't be able to stack up your Mardi Gras cups and toss your Tassimo tea packs in there on a whim without detracting from the aesthetic of your kitchen.