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Help me tidy my kitchen. Please!

(22 Posts)
workatemylife Mon 08-Jul-13 13:14:26

My kitchen is, most days, clean enough to be free from most physical or bio hazards. But it just looks messy, because every surface seems to have something on it. To my untrained / lazy eye, it all needs to be there. What items are in permanent and justifiable residence on your worktops, and what could or should be tucked away? I'm looking at mine now, and this is what I have sitting out, cluttering up, gathering splatter etc etc.

Microwave (hard to see this going away)
Kettle (ditto)
Water softener jug (ditto and DH won't have it in the fridge)
Toaster (ditto)
Coffee machine and bean grinder (hmmm. Maybe could go away, but bit of a faff)
Food mixer (not in use every day but a bit heavy and large to be moving in and out of cupboards. Of course if I built up my arm muscles putting it in and out of the loft on a weekly basis I would have the stamina to do my mixing by hand)
Drying rack
Washing up liquid
Kitchen roll on a spike
Mug tree x 2
Herb rack
Fruit bowl
Bread bin
Money box for loose change / DCs
Miscellaneous pile of correspondence, artwork (?) from DCs, shopping lists. Yes I know. Should be the first target.
6 small toys from party bags. Wherever I put them they seem to boomerang back to the kitchen.

workatemylife Mon 08-Jul-13 13:16:31

Oh, I forgot more stuff!! blush

I also have a pot with utensils, and a knife block which I justify on the basis that I can keep it well out of DCs reach, whereas in a drawer they are fair game!

ouryve Mon 08-Jul-13 13:18:51

Mug and herbs can go in cupboards. Herbs lose their flavour more quickly when exposed to light, anyway.

HappyDoll Mon 08-Jul-13 13:20:54

Starting from the bottom...
Small toys...bucket/basket close to kids play area; works for crappy free restaurant toys and the like.
Correspondence...I'm just setting up a filing system so I have 1 in tray in the lounge and that's it.
Money the front door? Good for grabbing parking change from as you leave.
Fruit bowl...ours is on our coffee table for late night snacking
Mug tree...can't mugs go in a cupboard?
Drying rack...empty when its dry and fold up / hide away under the sink
Everything else would stay in my house but if it's annoying you, find some cupboard space. I have a friend who even puts her kettle and toaster away shock

HappyDoll Mon 08-Jul-13 13:23:09

Oh yes, herbs definitely in the cupboard. I have a test tube rack that fits 36 tubes and I have all manner of spices in it. It was a bit of a project to do with little circular printed sticky labels on the top but I love it. It fits loads of different spices in and is easy to lift in and out of the cupboard. Any packets of spices with excess contents then sit in a higher cupboard for refilling.

MrsBertMacklin Mon 08-Jul-13 13:26:25

Any room under wall-mounted cupboards? If yes, could you mount hooks to hold mugs and a kitchen-roll dispenser?

What quantity of dried herbs do you have - could you make room in cupboards to fit a rotating tower and put them in there?

How often do you use the mixer and coffee machine?

Do you already have an organiser for your washing up paraphernalia?

ouryve Mon 08-Jul-13 13:29:57

If you're short of cupboard space, btw, then that's the place to really start. If you never ever use it, get rid. If you only use it every couple of weeks, find somewhere else to store it - I keep most of my lasagne and casserole dishes on the bottom of my wardrobe. Much easier to lug up and downstairs than a mixer.

workatemylife Mon 08-Jul-13 13:33:05

Agreed - first target the herbs and mugs, and a tidier system for the paperwork which realistically won't get sorted / put away every day. I wonder about a letter rack, or even a wallmounted organiser.
Maybe I need to start decluttering by a cupboard or two. I have a large cupboard that gets used for tins, packets, cereals etc and always seems full to bursting. Time to clear.
I like the idea of mugs hanging under cupboards. Our crockery cupboard is filled up with plates and bowls and 6 mugs, but hanging underneath might work. Or is that just moving the clutter up a few inches (which, let's face it, I'm an expert at doing! See comment above on letter rack!)

mrspaddy Mon 08-Jul-13 13:36:34

I keep my toaster in a cupboard and take it out and put it away. Bought a cream microwave to match the tiles. Use a pretty ceramic pump dispenser for washing up liquid. Inside door hooks for towels. I also put my mixer in the cupboards.
I have a cream vintage flour tin for odds and ends like mobile chargers/tealights etc. I have a tin 'postbox' thing that is on hooks attached to wall to keep paperwork and a noticeboard for bills etc, a key holder cupboard.
I think you just need to buy a few storage things.

What about something like these:

workatemylife Mon 08-Jul-13 14:51:04

lovely ideas, thank you! A box for odds and ends would at least get them out of the way, especially with a rigorous clear out every couple of weeks. In my dreams! But I like some of your links, Mrs Paddy.

Vivacia Mon 08-Jul-13 19:16:00

You paint a picture of a busy, family kitchen that's the heart of the home. I must say though, it'd be me a nightmare for me.

From your list, we don't own a water softener jug, toaster, coffee machine, bean grinder(?), drying rack or mug tree - I have a dislike of "stuff".

Washing up liquid lives in the cupboard under the sink along with the dishcloth. Herbs live in the cupboard or on a hanging rail on the wall. Fruit is in the fridge or cupboard. Our microwave, kettle and food mixer all live in cupboards.

Loose change lives in a box by the front door, but we don't really have much of that. Miscellaneous annoying paper lives in a kitchen drawer.

So from your list only our kitchen roll and bread bin is out on the side.

HoneyStepMummy Mon 08-Jul-13 20:23:23

Water softener jug -this needs to go in fridge
Toaster -put in cupboard
Bean grinder - cupboard
Food mixer - if you only use this once a week could DH lift it out of cupboard when you need it?
Washing up liquid- put under sink
Kitchen roll on a spike- can you mount a holder on a wall or inside the cabinet under the sink
Mug tree- Goodbye! Sort through mugs and put the ones you want to keep inside the cupboard
Herb rack - same as above
Fruit bowl- do you keep fresh fruit in it? If so put on coffee table/kitchen table. Otherwise keep the pile of papers you have in it
Bread bin- can you put on top of fridge?
Money box for loose change / DCs- needs to go in a drawer
Miscellaneous pile of correspondence, artwork (?) from DCs, shopping lists. Yes I know. Should be the first target.- please see above
6 small toys from party bags. Wherever I put them they seem to boomerang back to the kitchen.- put in toybox or chuck out

workatemylife Mon 08-Jul-13 21:08:18

How nice of you Vivacia - seeing it as the heart of the home is much more positive than I was feeling earlier! I think I am a collector of stuff though. A couple of you have suggested fitting hooks and other items under the cupboards and this is a really good idea. I'm not sure that I can quite manage keeping the kettle in the cupboard, but next time I have a spare evening I WILL clear some cupboard space for appliances and get some tucked away. I can live with a fruitbowl if it is a 'feature' of the room - yes, we store fruit in it and the DCs help themselves. But a coffee bean grinder? The world doesn't need to see that. Not that the world sees my kitchen more generally either smile
I shall report back with pride or with shame......

specialsubject Mon 08-Jul-13 21:26:19

kitchen roll goes on the wall - it takes a bit of doing but you can find wall mounted holders. Ditto herbs - reduce the rack to the size of the ones you actually need.

mugs on hooks under a cupboard above the worktop.

chuck the artwork and the toys.

YourHandInMyHand Mon 08-Jul-13 21:35:58

Here's what I have on my kitchen counters:

Small fish tank

Cups, utensils, washing up liquid, blender, knives, etc all go in cupboards out of sight - I hate clutter.

The trick is putting things in the right cupboards. So Mugs go above kettle, or kettle goes below mug cupboards), washing up liquid goes in cupboard under sink, as does cleaning stuff and washing up bowl with dirty dishes in). Utensils and knives go in a drawer. If DCs are danger magnets put a safety catch on the drawer.

Can you streamline what you have in cupboards to create more space? I have 4 big plates, 4 small, 4 bowls, etc. I could do to streamline my mugs and glasses but never get round to it.

YourHandInMyHand Mon 08-Jul-13 21:38:30

Ooh - paper clutter.

I have a calendar on the wall. School letters get an details written on the calendar and then binned.

For tickets, receipts, stamps, etc I have super glued 4 soft close plastic pegs to the inside of one of my kitchen cupboards spaced out (the one with tea and coffee in that I'm always in and out of) and I store any little paper things in these pegs. Really handy, at eye level when you open the door, but not cluttering up the counter tops.

GertrudeMorel Mon 08-Jul-13 21:47:31

I can't bear clutter.

We have the kettle, microwave and Nespresso machine on worktops. KitchenAid on a lower shelf in the island. Absolutely everything else is hidden away.

NotGoodNotBad Mon 08-Jul-13 21:59:45

How much cupboard space do you have? Mugs in a cupboard if you have room. How much do you use the mixer? If it's once a week or less, put it away.

And how much do you care? It's a kitchen, it should be functional. To me, that means having the toaster ready and waiting to make me toast (pretty much every day), not hidden in a cupboard so I have to get it out, make my toast, let the toaster cool, unplug it and put it away again. Same with the kettle. Worksurface is where they should be.

workatemylife Mon 08-Jul-13 23:30:25

I love the clothespegs in the cupboard idea! Aiming for functional as in enough space to function, rather than the minimalist perfection to which some ladies here aspire. I know my limits!

Jan49 Mon 08-Jul-13 23:37:48

I would definitely put the herbs and spices away. I have one spice rack in a cupboard and I only have the ones I use so I only have about 6 or 8.

Do you need 2 mug trees out? Maybe one could go somewhere else.

I have a knife block in a cupboard. Maybe you could put it out of reach.

Fruit bowl in the living room or dining room instead?

I have most of the things you mentioned out on the surfaces but I don't have so many gadgets. Maybe the ones that are used less than once a day could go in a cupboard.

NoComet Mon 08-Jul-13 23:43:32

Coffee machine and grinder live in the study. The expresso machine was banished years ago when DH exploded coffee grounds all over the kitchen.

He's much more careful when it's his paper work grin

OrangeLily Tue 09-Jul-13 00:07:03

My food mixer goes in a deep drawer so I don't have to lift it regularly. Drawer is under counter.

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