#Home CPR

4 Steps to Reclaim your Kitchen

January 18, 2018

Is your kitchen a dumping ground for keys, mail, and other stuff that comes in the door?  How long has it been since the counter top glistened with glee?  Or maybe the better question is - How long does it stay that way?  Are you ready to reclaim your kitchen and keep it guest-ready??

Before Pinterest was even on the horizon, I implemented the following guidelines and they are still working beautifully!

Step 1:  What do you want your kitchen used for?

- cooking and food preparation
- eating 
- food storage
- homework area
- command central - for calendaring
- home office and bill paying
- drop off place

You can have as many functions as you want, if you have the space - but make each function intentional.  (by design, not default)

Consider how you currently use your space and whether it's working for you.  If so, add a bowl for keys, or a file for bills, and mail to respond to, and create systems for keeping up with the stuff regularly.  Or perhaps you decide you want to eliminate any of these functions from the kitchen because there's no room anymore.  Relocate the task to somewhere else in the home.  Is having kiddos do homework in the kitchen causing dinner time chaos or messy or missing homework papers?  Create a homework center elsewhere in the house so the default location is not at the kitchen table. 

Obviously, the functions that can only happen in the kitchen - like cooking - need to have top billing for space.  Other functions are added only if there is enough space available for them.

Step 2:  Create usable counter space.  Clear your table (mostly)

Why are clear counters important?

  • physical:  to have the space for many different cooking activities - the main function of a kitchen, right?
  • mental:  to keep you calm and less stressed when you enter the room.  It's hard enough to decide what to fix for dinner.

Clear the Clutter:

  • Remove items that don't fit your kitchen's functions.  Create a place and routine to make sure they end up there.
  • How often do you use all those cool kitchen appliances?  Anything you don't use weekly should not be taking up prime real estate on your counter top.
  • Purge gadgets and appliances - too old, broken, duplicates, not used in a year  (I let go of a bread machine, a rice cooker, and a Nu-wave cooker.  Mr B was the only who had tried them.) 

Step 3:  Storage solutions 

I love Pinterest - oodles of ideas for shelves, racks, hooks for pots and pans, or a fun container to hold utensils close to the stove.  Can you see it?  Not there.  A little over to the right.  

I think this gal needs a rolling cart . . .

On second thought, let's just reconfigure the whole space, 
add a spacious island, 
and replace the linoleum with some gorgeous wood floors.
I hear Chip is a pretty handy fellow for demos.

Step 4:  Create a habit of keeping the sink clear 2 x a day

When you have dirty dishes in the sink, it is an invitation to dump junk on the counters.  It's called the "broken window syndrome".  If there's one broken window that doesn't get fixed right way, the rest of the neighborhood quickly goes to pot, since the thinking is no one cares.

No need to go ballistic about the one lone bowl in the sink.  A routine of clearing the sink twice a day - maybe after breakfast and dinner (or before bedtime) is realistic.  Of course, other helpful family members are eagerly doing their kitchen chores to prevent you from becoming a Martyr.  Make chores fun with a touch of sweetness at the end!

Kitchens are one of the most important rooms in the home . . . a place of nurturing, bonding, and memories.

Enjoy the good company!


  1. One of my chores was to do the dishes after supper, and we did not have a dishwasher. No matter what, the dishes were to be done. No soaking and coming back to it later. Just use some elbow grease and clean those pots and pans. Imagine my surprise when years later, visiting my mother, she suggested we just let something sit over night and clean it in the morning. Oh, the shock of it!!!

    1. That's hilarious! My mother and I used to go to the Wednesday "Take a chance night" at the movies. She would say, "Let's just hurry and do the dishes so we don't have to do them when we get back." I don't recall a "we" being part of the plan. She was right about it, though. I'm being intentional about the kitchen being clean before bed.


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