I have a problem.
A huge problem.
In fact, I have such a huge problem that it has spread from not just my kitchen, but throughout my entire house. It's quite a terrible disease. It affects every flat, clean surface I come across.
If you've ever been to my house you know that I have a huge kitchen. I consider it both a blessing and a curse. You see, having a huge kitchen really comes in handy when trying to cook (especially on Thanksgiving or other holidays). I have PLENTY of counter space. There is no question about that. The problem is that I tend to quickly clutter said counter space. It usually starts with mail. Then I start to notice toys, garbage, cups, dishes, and miscellaneous items that are not where they belong.
So what's the cure for "cluttered countertop-itis"?
As far as I know, there's no real cure. However, there are a few ways I plan to prevent this disease from taking over my house.
Here's my list of preventative measures:
1. Get the mail before my hubby does & take care of it right away. There's a few reasons for this... If he gets to it first, I don't always see it. Sometimes he's busy & doesn't set it where I remember to take care of it. It's not that he hides it from me. In fact, most of the time he sets it somewhere where I am bound to see it. I just tend to forget to go through it when it's not in my hand, then it piles up. Then when I see the piles I feel overwhelmed & tend to procrastinate it further...
2. Throw away any trash that's in my hand as well as any trash I see on my way to the garbage can. By keeping trash off the countertops it instantly looks less cluttered... I know it is so much easier to just set it somewhere for 'a second' rather than walk to the trashcan; but if you're like me, chances are it will be forgotten & left there to clutter the counter if it gets set down. Trash is one of the first things I attack when fighting my cluttered countertop-itis. Why? Because it's simple & it makes everything look cleaner which gives me the motivation to do more.
3. Stay on top of dishes so that the dirty ones can always go in the dishwasher. I am not a fan of dirty dishes... I don't like seeing them cluttering my counters, but I really don't like seeing them in the sink. There's just something about dishes in the sink that increases the gross factor for me. This means that if I forget to empty the dishwasher, the dishes pile up on the counters since hubby knows I don't like doing them if they're in the sink. We always try to rinse them off right after eating so that the food doesn't get stuck on, and then we put them right in the dishwasher (if it's empty/dirty). By doing this, we would probably save water too since I am OCD when I rinse dishes. If they were rinsed then set on the counter I end up re-rinsing them and practically cleaning them before I put them in the dishwasher. Silly me...
4. Pick up and organize whatever clutter is remaining on counters at the end of the day. The catch? 15 minutes. Whatever I don't get done in that 15 minutes will simply have to wait until the next day. It's amazing what can be accomplished in 15 minutes though.
Hopefully this method will help me solve my case of countertop-itis...