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It's the first day of neatntiny.com's 30-Day Spring Tidying Challenge! If you're just joining us, please check out the link above explaining how it works.
Don't forget to subscribe for a free, printable 30-Day Spring Tidying Challenge schedule!
It's the first day, so we're easing in with something simple but impactful: decluttering your kitchen counters! Below are my suggestions for how to approach this:
1. Clear all items off of the counter and onto the floor or adjacent kitchen table.
2. Clean the counter surface with your favorite all-purpose cleaner.
3. Decide what items you need/want to keep on the counters. This will differ for everyone. I'm absolutely anal about clear counters, and our counters usually house only the soap dispenser, fruit bowl and paper towel dispenser (less if I'm photographing them!).
- The less you have on your counters, the tidier your kitchen will appear. My strategy is to keep hidden from sight that which can easily be accessed in an adjacent cabinet or drawer.
- Consider relocating some of your counter dwellers, like the knife block and spice rack, to adjacent drawers or cabinets. You may need to purchase some accessories to do this (i.e. in-drawer spice racks, in-drawer knife blocks, etc.).
Above: our knife and spice storage situations. For more on how we maximize drawer organization to keep things off our counters, see this post.
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- We keep our toaster and coffee maker in the appliance garage. But, if you don't have one, small appliances can be housed in cabinets with nearby power outlets and hidden away when not in use.
4. Divide the things that were on the counter into four bins/boxes:
i) belongs on the kitchen counter (i.e. soap dispenser, paper towel holder, fruit bowl, etc.)
ii) belongs elsewhere in the kitchen or elsewhere in the home
iii) fit to donate or sell used
5. Return only the items that are designated counter dwellers to the clean counter.
6. Redistribute the items that belong in the kitchen, but not on the counters, to their appropriate drawers/cabinets; redistribute the items that belong elsewhere in the house.
7. Donate. Take the boxes designated as 'to sell/donate' and put them somewhere out-of-sight, but accessible (i.e. mudroom or basement). You'll continue to add to these each day for the rest of the month, with the casualties of each day's tidying task. At the end of the month, you can make a trip (or several) to your local donation bank and/or go on an online selling spree.
8. Dispose of and/or recycle items from the designated garbage/recycling bins.
Feeling ready to attack your counters? Let me know how it goes!
Also, coming soon, on April 4th, my first of six weekly instalments as a guest participant in the One Room Challenge!
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