Hello again, savvy savers! So for the Day 11 challenge, I want to discuss kitchen counter tops.
For me, the kitchen is the heartbeat of our home, but too often our kitchen counters are cluttered, disorganized, and undervalued! This lack of prime household real estate, in my opinion, could be much better utilizes the day-to-day activities of a home. So, today I challenge you to incompletely clean off your counter-tops. This should be no longer than a 1-hour project!
A points I would like to add as a caveat to this challenge:
- You may be thinking, is that really more convenient? Yes, is it. While leaving tools, crocks, and small appliances on the counters seems easier, this allows for your tools and appliances to be subjected to spatters of food, grime, bacteria, staph, and other contaminants. We place dishes in cabinets to prevent this same scenario, why not for your small appliances?
Also consider the following:
- Will it take more than two seconds to pull out a toaster? How long does it take to plug-in?
- How often is the appliance used?
- Do you have to clean the item more than you would stored in an above cupboard?
- What is the cost of purchasing, cleaning, and laundering appliance cozzies?
Consider the cost of a messy counter:
- Is the cost of leaving a small appliance plugged-in, and potentially sitting as a fire hazard or phantom power source truly worth it?
- An appliance regularly used for 1-3 minutes daily, remains plugged-in constantly, and so small appliances are a power phantom source; this can cost as much as $1.00-$2.00/month, per item!
- Also worth noting, the appliance most likely to cause house fires, according to the National Home Owners Association, toasters!
- You may also be thinking, will my cabinets be able to hold these items? Yes, I believe so. Divide cabinets by need, cook and food prep, dishes, and the like, and if items will not fit, and they have not been used within six months, consider donating or selling these items!
- Larger appliances, such as stand mixers, can also usually be stored in larger, vertical below counter cabinets, as well.
- Mid-size appliances such as bread machine, blender, immersion blender, and rice cooker can easily fit into most cabinets.
So how should you go about this? Follow these steps:
- Declutter your cabinets: Clear out your cupboards of anything that you don’t use on a regular basis. Make room in your dining room, basement, or stockpile area for seasonal items, such as punch bowls and holiday dishes. Purge, recycle, sell, or donate items that have not been used in a year.
- Zone your cabinets: I have a zone for coffee, baking, and pets; keep like items together. Creating zones in your kitchen helps to keep your cabinets organized, helps you to know where to store things, and helps you work more efficiently in the day-to-day running of your home.
- Create Nook Spaces For All Other Items: Anything random, left over, and not able to be placed into cabinets, think of creative, upcycled ways to display and store these items.
- Keep Counters Cleared: Nightly, as part of your bedtime home routine, simply take the items misplaced on your counters, and go put them away.
The process of minimizing your kitchen, clearing off your counters, and creating new home work stations is not an overnight process. It takes work. You will probably be able to clear off your counters in an hour, give or take the existing items you have on hand, but the real time will come into maintaining this standard– unless you work at keeping order in your kitchen, you will never have order in your kitchen.
This project will pay out great dividends in the long run, I promise! Know I’m pulling for you today!
Be sure to check back in tonight for my daily recap!
Here’s to saving,