© Malorie Currier, Page1Design, Inc., 2018
Ask the Kitchen Lady 
I believe that all people would prefer to be neat. OK, not all people. I also believe that they will put items back where they belong when there is an easy-to-access assigned place for each item. It is likely that your counters are cluttered for a reason. You may be "storage challenged." This can be assessed by taking a critical look at what is always on your kitchen counter. Okay for the coffee maker, toaster or toaster oven, blender if you really use it daily, spice rack, soap dispenser, and paper towel holder. Not okay for most other things. When designing your kitchen, I assess those other items and find a place for them out of view or in view but nicely accessible off the counter. It's something for you to think about too. 1) Knife blocks. I hate them. But maybe I watch too many movies where a knife pulled conveniently from this counter-top staple becomes either the attacker's weapon or the weapon of defense for the poor hapless homeowner. Let's get those weapons into a drawer. They are rarely a meaningful design feature. 2) Drain board. I also hate them. Your new sink can contain a stainless steel drain board or a rack inside. You have a dishwasher (I hope), and that is the right place for dishes. Exception: When you keep your baby's items separately on the counter--a temporary condition. 3) Paper. No paper (including coupons, recipe magazines, or mail) belongs on the counters. Create an entry cabinet or shelf that can hold these items plus your keys. Or let's build a desk into the kitchen with drawers and an organizer. Many people like them because their computer with recipes can be connected there, and email answered even when cooking. 4) Soiled dishes. Sorry, that is a family re-training problem. 5) Cooking utensils. Ugh to that motley assortment of beaten-up spoons, spatulas, and such items stuck in a pottery jar. I always provide a utensil drawer. They are not an accessory. 6) Small appliances. Hello, pantry. With rollouts in the pantry, these will slide out to you when you really need them. Of course, if they are in daily use, and high tech or attractive in appearance, we will find a corner for them. 7)  Jars and canisters. Do they hold anything you must have at your fingertips? Are they pretty? We will be fighting for every inch of increased usable counter space. I won't concede any space to items not useful or charming. The ones that hold pasta--a relic of days gone by. I could go on, but this is a serious mission in kitchen design. Once there is a proper (intuitive) drawer or shelf or corner for something, (by proper I mean easy to access, appropriately sized, conveniently situated), things are likely to be put back where they belong. It's time to bare those counter tops. You will thank me.

Tip: Refrigerator Photos--No!

I want to except grandparents, but I just can’t. Flyers, a scratch pad for shopping, magnets, sayings, a picture of you when you were delightfully trim--no no no! The fridge door is not a personal gallery. Think about painting the inside of your pantry doors with chalkboard paint and use them artfully for reminders and such. At least it has a bit of whimsy.

>Are Cluttered Counters Your Fault?

Ask the Kitchen Lady 
I believe that all people would prefer to be neat. OK, not all people. I also believe that they will put items back where they belong when there is an easy-to-access assigned place for each item. It is likely that your counters are cluttered for a reason. You may be "storage challenged." This can be assessed by taking a critical look at what is always on your kitchen counter. Okay for the coffee maker, toaster or toaster oven, blender if you really use it daily, spice rack, soap dispenser, and paper towel holder. Not okay for most other things. When designing your kitchen, I assess those other items and find a place for them out of view or in view but nicely accessible off the counter. It's something for you to think about too. 1) Knife blocks. I hate them. But maybe I watch too many movies where a knife pulled conveniently from this counter-top staple becomes either the attacker's weapon or the weapon of defense for the poor hapless homeowner. Let's get those weapons into a drawer. They are rarely a meaningful design feature. 2) Drain board. I also hate them. Your new sink can contain a stainless steel drain board or a rack inside. You have a dishwasher (I hope), and that is the right place for dishes. Exception: When you keep your baby's items separately on the counter--a temporary condition. 3) Paper. No paper (including coupons, recipe magazines, or mail) belongs on the counters. Create an entry cabinet or shelf that can hold these items plus your keys. Or let's build a desk into the kitchen with drawers and an organizer. Many people like them because their computer with recipes can be connected there, and email answered even when cooking. 4) Soiled dishes. Sorry, that is a family re-training problem. 5) Cooking utensils. Ugh to that motley assortment of beaten-up spoons, spatulas, and such items stuck in a pottery jar. I always provide a utensil drawer. They are not an accessory. 6) Small appliances. Hello, pantry. With rollouts in the pantry, these will slide out to you when you really need them. Of course, if they are in daily use, and high tech or attractive in appearance, we will find a corner for them. 7)  Jars and canisters. Do they hold anything you must have at your fingertips? Are they pretty? We will be fighting for every inch of increased usable counter space. I won't concede any space to items not useful or charming. The ones that hold pasta--a relic of days gone by. I could go on, but this is a serious mission in kitchen design. Once there is a proper (intuitive) drawer or shelf or corner for something, (by proper I mean easy to access, appropriately sized, conveniently situated), things are likely to be put back where they belong. It's time to bare those counter tops. You will thank me.

Tip: Refrigerator Photos--No!

I want to except grandparents, but I just can’t. Flyers, a scratch pad for shopping, magnets, sayings, a picture of you when you were delightfully trim--no no no! The fridge door is not a personal gallery. Think about painting the inside of your pantry doors with chalkboard paint and use them artfully for reminders and such. At least it has a bit of whimsy.

>Are Cluttered Counters Your Fault?

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