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Is your kitchen neat or cluttered?

v
Violatp Feb 23, 2013 08:04 AM

I was on Pinterest this morning and kept seeing pins for hiding everything in the kitchen. Dish soap, paper towels, appliances, mixing spoons, everything. The goal was, basically, a showplace kitchen.

That's the furthest thing from the way I like my kitchen! I use my kitchen; I like everything handy and don't care that it's out in the open. I have a jar of utensils standing next to the stove. When I had a KitchenAid, I left it right on the counter. My dish soap stays in the bottles in which they were purchased and stay on top of the sink. My cookbooks and recipe print outs are crusty!

My sister also cooks, but her kitchen has everything put away. Her recipes are perfectly neat. Dish soap and sponges underneath the sink. Mixer in a cabinet, etc.

Which are you? Admittedly, I tend towards clutter, generally, and actually get a bit anxious if things are too neat. Crazy.

  1. melpy Mar 1, 2013 09:09 AM

    Full disclosure: I have a decently large kitchen currently, so some o my items that used to be counter or on top of cabinets are now in the pantry.

    Currently out on counter:
    Cookbook stand
    Dish soap
    Papertowel holder with towels
    Toaster oven
    Glass canister of flour
    Glass canister of sugar
    Ceramic jar of utensils (spatulas wooden spoons etc.)
    Wooden antique salt cellar
    Produce bowl
    Plastic carousel of small kitchen gadgets that I use often.
    Olive oil bottle (functional decorative)
    Toaster( I refuse to use, for my fiancé)
    Phone
    Kitchen aid mixer

    All of this is a large use shape broken up with sink, stove, pantry and fridge.

    In pantry:
    Coffee maker
    Electric kettle
    Electric knife
    Blender
    Food processor
    Cake carriers
    Yo Nanas machine (ridiculous invention my mothe bought)
    Platters
    Grater
    Mini food processor
    Food

    1. m
      Mexcuk Feb 27, 2013 05:38 PM

      My kitchen is smallish, so I try to keep everything in its proper place and try to not freak about when it is not.
      Not a Pinterest-able kitchen though.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Mexcuk
        HillJ Feb 27, 2013 05:48 PM

        Good design comes in every size kitchen. I really believe it. My first and second kitchen was designed well and my bedroom closest was bigger. More importantly, great food can come out of any cooking space.

        To my eye, organized, clean kitchens seem to make the space seem larger.

        1. re: HillJ
          m
          Mexcuk Feb 27, 2013 07:34 PM

          I didn't say that it wasn't well designed just that for the amount I cook I would like very much it would be bigger. But then again I always get the comment on how such a small kitchen can hold so much.
          And about the cleanliness being friend of eye-deceiving, totally agree, just that I'm not that particular in making it look big ALL the time.

          1. re: Mexcuk
            HillJ Feb 27, 2013 09:46 PM

            My bad, when you reference, "Not a Pinterest-able kitchen though" I got the impression you weren't keen on your kitchen design.

            1. re: HillJ
              m
              Mexcuk Feb 28, 2013 03:25 PM

              Oh, no worries, I meant that in the realm between neatfreakness and Joe's apt, mine is a healthy middle ground, but hardly anyone would think that, unless staged, it's not Pinterest material.

      2. f
        Felila Feb 27, 2013 05:28 PM

        I am an unclutterer and a neat freak. My kitchen counters are somewhat busy-looking, because the kitchen is small, but my workspace is tidy and clean. PEEP is the watchword. A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Felila
          fldhkybnva Feb 28, 2013 05:48 PM

          I like it. I also have a small kitchen and that's how it operates.

        2. j
          jujuthomas Feb 27, 2013 10:11 AM

          I would prefer my kitchen to be neater - but due to limited counter space and poorly designed storage, it's a mess. It will probably remain cluttered after I rip it out and install something better... I'm not really into show room. :)

          2 Replies
          1. re: jujuthomas
            p
            pine time Feb 27, 2013 12:48 PM

            re: storage--a local TV cooking show guy (Sam) recently re-did his kitchen and shows off his unusual pantry: it's all frosted sliding doors, but the shelves are only about 4-5" deep. So, only 1 can deep fits--he loves it, saying it's cut down drastically on the 'what the heck do I have' hodge-podge.

            1. re: pine time
              t
              Tom34 Feb 27, 2013 01:13 PM

              And finding an 8 year old can of beans :)

          2. LMAshton Feb 26, 2013 04:15 PM

            We live in a studio/1 bedroom, so our kitchen is really really really really small. I have about two feet of working counter space. The rest of the small counter is occupied by the single sink, the 2-burner radiant heat stove (with my induction cooker parked on top of it), and a microwave (with kettle and rice cooker parked on top of the microwave). It's neatish. Ish. Emphasis on the ish.

            I also don't have a lot of cooking/baking stuff. We're currently in Singapore and have been for a year, but will we be here permanently? Another six more months? Don't really know, so there's not a lot of point in buying things that I'll just have to get rid of. So I make do with what I have.

            1. e
              ellabee Feb 26, 2013 01:21 PM

              Clutter is banned, but some tools are stored in the open. Neatly. (That is, in an assigned spot and secured or contained). Nothing sits out that isn't used daily, or at minimum many times a week. The kitchen looks like a workroom, one that's ready for cooking to start.

              The two most-used skillets and three most-used saucepans hang on the wall near the stove.

              On the prep counters:
              - knife block and paper towel holder
              - utensil crocks large, medium, and small
              - oil, salt jar, pepper mill, butter crock
              - cutting board

              A dish towel and kitchen towel are always on the oven door.

              At the sink, the dish soap and baking soda are out, but in unobtrusive containers. The dish brush and scrubbie air out on the sink grid (near the front base, invisible to anyone not standing right there).

              Bread is in a box on top of the microwave at the back (wall) end of a worktable, along with a set of depression glass mixing bowls (decorative but also in frequent use). The worktable also has at all times an openwork container with onions and garlic.

              The insides of the cupboards are packed, but organized. The utensil drawer is one layer of tools with assigned positions that haven't changed much in the last five years. The pantry shelves seem to get into better and better shape the more cooking I do (one result is I'm buying and storing in more appropriate quantities).

              1. fldhkybnva Feb 26, 2013 10:26 AM

                There isn't much storage room in my house, let alone my kitchen, so the counters and even the top of the refrigerator are quite full but I try to keep it organized at all times with everything in it's appropriate place which means that everything is within reaching distance. The dish soap is in the original bottle next to the sink, the cooking utensils are in a wooden holder next to the stove, pots are hanging on hooks on a pot rack against the wall. It usually stays quite organized but to me often feels cluttered and I desperately wish for more counter space. For example, I would love if there were a good place to store my nearly 50 bottles in my hot sauce collection other than the corner of the countertop or a separate counter to store frequently used appliances like the Kitchen Aid mixer, toaster, coffee machine and air popper, or a good cabinet to store the bins of popcorn kernels, snacks and cereal on top of the refrigerator.

                1. mcf Feb 26, 2013 09:57 AM

                  Mine is neat and not barren, but pretty free of clutter. When we moved to this house with a small galley kitchen, I got rid of a lot and anything I kept that doesn't get regular use is on shelves in my basement. The only stuff out on the counter are the coffee pot, a toaster oven, a small flat panel TV in the corner and a few canisters.

                  So in addition to have the neat gene, I have to keep it clutter free so I can work without having to move stuff out of my way..

                  1. rockandroller1 Feb 26, 2013 09:18 AM

                    I really dislike "showplace" kitchens. To each his own, but to me that is not a cozy kitchen, it's a picture in a magazine. My kitchen is CLEAN, but it is definitely cluttered. The coffee pot is always out (though emptied/cleaned when coffee is done being consumed), the dish drainer is always out. Olive oil carafes and salt dish are out. Two big round utensil holders with wooden spoons, spatulas, etc. are always out. Knife block. Coffee grinder. Couple of other things. I can't imagine having to find a place for all that stuff in my very tiny kitchen, let alone having to get the grinder out, put the beans in, grind the coffee, then unplug it and put it away, do the same thing with the coffee maker, etc. It just seems insane to me. Why is the goal to make it look like nobody lives there?

                    34 Replies
                    1. re: rockandroller1
                      s
                      shallots Feb 26, 2013 09:24 AM

                      "Why is the goal to make it look like nobody lives there?"

                      Because on a certain TV cable network, it photographs better. Because the photographers eat out and seldom cook a meal from scratch. Because it's come to be expected.

                      (Yet another sin for which they should answer.)

                      When was the last time you saw a realistic garage on TV (other than the Simpsons?)

                      1. re: rockandroller1
                        v
                        Violatp Feb 26, 2013 09:28 AM

                        Yes!! You get it exactly. Cozy, lived in, like something (hopefully good things) can happen at any moment...

                        1. re: rockandroller1
                          m
                          masha Feb 26, 2013 09:39 AM

                          Everyone has their own style but there is nothing inconvenient in the manner in which we store frequently used items. In our case, making coffee involves lifting the door on the appliance garage, pulling the grinder about 4" out, inserting beans & grinding. It's already plugged in. Getting utensils like wooden spoons, spatulas, and whisks involves pulling open the large drawer under the cooktop on the island -- no harder or more complicated to find the right utensil than when they are all gathered together in a jug on the counter. Our knives are in a specially outfitted knife drawer immediately to the right of the large utensil drawer on the island, each inserted in its own slot; just pull open & there they are.

                          Our clutter-free approach probably stems in part from my husband's early experiences in rental apartments with minimal counter space -- first a studio in NYC with less counterspace than your typical master bath, and then a series of galley style kitchens. If you left things out on the counter, there was no room for preparation.

                          1. re: rockandroller1
                            HillJ Feb 26, 2013 09:43 AM

                            My home has 45 windows. Hence our desire to declutter. It takes about 2 seconds to pull something out and get going on preparing a meal. I bought and designed open space so it would be open space. That's the kind of cozy I enjoy. To each their own. I would come to your cozy space and love it as much as you do. The beauty of individual space.

                            1. re: HillJ
                              v
                              Violatp Feb 26, 2013 10:02 AM

                              45 windows? Wow. That must take a lot of Windex! ;-)

                              1. re: Violatp
                                HillJ Feb 26, 2013 10:22 AM

                                LOL, we use vinegar.
                                Squeegee's inside and power hose outside.
                                I like a lot of natural light.

                                1. re: HillJ
                                  v
                                  Violatp Feb 26, 2013 10:38 AM

                                  It's funny - I knew I'd reached a certain point when, upon watching one of those HGTV house buying shows and seeing a giant Chicago loft with beautiful floor to ceiling windows, all I could think of was the possible heating bills!

                                  1. re: Violatp
                                    HillJ Feb 26, 2013 10:58 AM

                                    I hear ya. I look at older homes and wonder the same thing. My house is pretty efficient at this point with upgrades made over the last 15 years. It was less efficient when we moved in.

                              2. re: HillJ
                                splatgirl Mar 1, 2013 08:47 AM

                                I'll see your 45 and raise you 24. For the bonus round, we'll compare notes on the size of our ladders :)

                                I love the statement "looks like good things could happen at any moment"
                                It's unusual that I don't have at least one good thing--aka a kitchen science project--going on my counter at any given time.

                                I hate clutter and an overabundance of stuff, but I do keep frequently used things at hand on the counters in the kitchen. I also have open shelving for day to day dishes, glassware and curated functional accessories. I call them shelf-scapes. Chachke with a purpose.
                                I like to think my kitchen feels welcoming and user-friendly, and is evidence of someone who really likes to cook.

                                I was looking through some old photos and I found one of my kitchen from seven or eight years ago. The first thing that came to mind was "Yikes I have so much more stuff out on the counters and shelves now!" It made me a little itchy.

                                1. re: splatgirl
                                  HillJ Mar 1, 2013 09:04 AM

                                  hey there splat! we have a solution for the ladder too...spring cleaning bbq's. We've got four older children and their strapping friends who show up, light the grill for the new season and help us get the yard cleaned up. we celebrate window cleaning with a mini party!

                                  Loved your comments!

                                  1. re: HillJ
                                    splatgirl Mar 1, 2013 09:53 AM

                                    Spanked by the whole no kids=no free labor thing yet again :)

                                    Sadly, I was thinking specifically about indoor windows and cleaning, which at my house makes the outside seem a cakewalk.
                                    What I really need is a pack of trained monkeys...which might actually be easier to store than our crazy assortment of giant ladders and scaffolding...

                                    1. re: splatgirl
                                      HillJ Mar 1, 2013 09:57 AM

                                      I don't know spatg, the occasional crew sounds like a great idea so you can enjoy yourself. if it makes you feel any better raising 4 kids is hardly free ;0)

                              3. re: rockandroller1
                                juliejulez Feb 26, 2013 01:17 PM

                                When I was doing home staging, it wasn't the goal to make it look like nobody lived there. It was the goal to make it look like the most fabulous "we have it all together" people live there. Buyers respond well to that sort of look... sort of their "dream" life.

                                BTW, this was my former kitchen, while "staged"... there's still stuff out but still modelesque as well....my KitchenAid was out but not showing in the photo :)

                                 
                                 
                                1. re: juliejulez
                                  juliejulez Feb 26, 2013 01:20 PM

                                  And for funny comparison sake, what it looked like after making a big meal.

                                   
                                  1. re: juliejulez
                                    LindaWhit Feb 26, 2013 01:25 PM

                                    Exactly. The kitchen in my condo was very clean and neat with very little on the counters when I viewed it before purchase. Granted, I found out that the owner at the time never cooked - her microwave was used to store crackers.

                                    Let's just say I've more than made up for her lack of cooking in the almost 2 years I've been there. :-)

                                    1. re: juliejulez
                                      rockandroller1 Feb 26, 2013 01:25 PM

                                      Yeah, I'd feel a lot more comfortable in that one.

                                      1. re: juliejulez
                                        mcf Feb 26, 2013 01:56 PM

                                        Ok, ok... declaring my clutter phobia now for all to see. I put each thing away or in the dishwasher as I go along, wash the knives as soon as I'm done with each, etc. There's only one pot or dish out, no other evidence, by the time we eat.

                                        Whenever I think about how organized I *appear* to be, I realize it's because I feel very disorganized if I don't have a clear, uncluttered space around me.

                                        1. re: mcf
                                          v
                                          Violatp Feb 26, 2013 02:16 PM

                                          Isn't it funny how psyches work? I feel anxious and stressed if everything IS put away!

                                          1. re: Violatp
                                            rockandroller1 Feb 27, 2013 12:23 PM

                                            Yes!

                                          2. re: mcf
                                            fldhkybnva Feb 26, 2013 04:51 PM

                                            Oh I am right with you on this one. I can't sit down to a meal unless it's all cleaned. SO often yells at me as I scurry around the kitchen after the food is plated to clean the last pot and the plating utensils. I just hate the thought of cleaning after I eat.

                                            1. re: fldhkybnva
                                              mcf Feb 26, 2013 05:14 PM

                                              Wow, you make me sound positively CHILL! ;-) I can leave the last pot til after dinner, but everything else has been cleaned, put away, etc... as I go along. No sink full of utensils, bowls, cutting boards washed and dried and put away.

                                              1. re: mcf
                                                fldhkybnva Feb 26, 2013 05:29 PM

                                                Yea, I will admit I am a bit anal-retentive. Also, this makes for many a comical situation as I burn myself cleaning a piping hot cast iron pan.

                                                1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                  v
                                                  Violatp Feb 26, 2013 05:58 PM

                                                  But...doesn't your food get cold?

                                                  1. re: Violatp
                                                    fldhkybnva Feb 26, 2013 06:11 PM

                                                    Well, I clean as I go as well so it's usually just a pan or two and its a quite speedy endeavor. I can't count how often I hear "slow down" in regards to most things from walking to cleaning before dinner so it doesn't take more than 2-3 minutes. I don't really sit while cooking, if something doesn't need my attention I'm wiping the counter or loading the dishwasher, take out the trash and put a new bag in, etc. Also I generally warm plates and haven't noticed cold food to be an issue and I hate cold food. SO hasn't said anything either so apparently I do it fast enough. After dinner, I also feel the need to get up immediately and put away the dirty dishes from the table though it's wonderful to do that quickly and then rest and digest and get on with the day. I'm not as crazy as I sound....I think :)

                                              2. re: fldhkybnva
                                                javaandjazz Feb 27, 2013 01:47 PM

                                                OMG, I thought I was the only one who did this? I want no dishes in the sink while I am eating either. It all has to be clean for me!

                                                1. re: javaandjazz
                                                  mcf Feb 27, 2013 03:51 PM

                                                  I can stand one pot or dish out while I eat. But nothing ever sits in my sink overnight, or drying out on the counter, either.

                                                  1. re: mcf
                                                    fldhkybnva Feb 27, 2013 04:09 PM

                                                    Oh wow, now I feel like a slacker. While I clean everything if there isn't much to put in the dishwasher and I have time to clean up while cooking I will wash by hand and let some things dry overnight. However, I must admit that if they are dry by the time I finish eating or I happen to grab food later and they are dry before the day is over that they are put away. I always put away dry dishes after breakfast and lunch on the weekend before starting on the next meal prep.

                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva
                                                      m
                                                      masha Feb 27, 2013 04:22 PM

                                                      I don't see why you should feel like a slacker for leaving dishes to air dry (presumably in a dish drainer) on the counter. Air drying is energy efficient. To me, the reason to keep the counter free of clutter is to maximize efficiency by having clear workspaces available for the functions for which the kitchen is intended (and not to have "showplace" kitchen). Using a dishdrainer for evaporative drying is fully consistent with that goal (assuming sufficient counter space) as it conserves both personal energy in not towel drying dishes and facilitates use of the non-heat-dry setting of the dishwasher .

                                                      1. re: masha
                                                        fldhkybnva Feb 27, 2013 05:13 PM

                                                        Just a little hint of sarcasm...I don't actually feel that bad though I don't like seeing them there for very long.

                                                        1. re: masha
                                                          c
                                                          CanadaGirl Feb 28, 2013 05:40 PM

                                                          Agreed; air drying is very efficient. It is also more sanitary than towel drying. In fact, at least in some areas, commercial kitchens are not permitted to towel dry.

                                                          1. re: CanadaGirl
                                                            fldhkybnva Feb 28, 2013 05:47 PM

                                                            I rarely if ever towel dry unless I need a dish immediately and any small amount of water will case an issue. Even when I run the dishwasher I usually turn off the heat dry cycle

                                                          2. re: masha
                                                            mcf Mar 2, 2013 07:59 AM

                                                            Absolutely. I don't have any room to spare next to the sink in this house and I have become less an less clutter tolerant as I've gotten older. I had a dish drainer that I kept under the counter in my old house, and used only if there were a big occasion cleanup, otherwise it was stored.

                                                            I don't have the kitchen storage room in this house to spare, either, and it only takes a second to dry and store the few things that get hand washed, I've found.

                                                            I don't consider that this makes me more virtuous than fldhkybnva, just differently compulsive. ;-)

                                                      2. re: javaandjazz
                                                        Ruthie789 Feb 27, 2013 04:13 PM

                                                        Me too. I do not have a dishwasher. I hate to eat around dishes left around the kitchen.

                                                        1. re: Ruthie789
                                                          m
                                                          Mexcuk Feb 27, 2013 07:38 PM

                                                          I don't have a dishwasher either although I'm on the look for a counter model to fix that (anyone with a suggestion?) but I have a nice contraption learned in the micro kitchen my sister had in Spain while living there.
                                                          It's an over the sink dish rack that you can close the door on, so, no clutter seen.
                                                          Well, that's when all the dishes are clean, of course

                                            2. pinehurst Feb 25, 2013 01:25 PM

                                              Neat, but pretty packed. The kitchen is also the laundry room, and houses a washer and dryer, so there isn't a ton of room. There is no dishwasher, so I keep on top of the dishes to keep the sink/counter area uncluttered; the oven stores a couple of fry pans and a cookie sheet.

                                              1. i
                                                INDIANRIVERFL Feb 25, 2013 01:22 PM

                                                Living on a boat, a place for everything and everything in it's place.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: INDIANRIVERFL
                                                  steve h. Feb 25, 2013 01:24 PM

                                                  Amen.

                                                2. Munkipawse Feb 25, 2013 12:27 PM

                                                  My kitchen is reasonably tidy and dishes are cleaned immediately after meals, but what really drives me ape-sh*t is when my husband dumps things on my island that I consider a prep area. His office is less than 20ft away, however I've come home many a night 15mins after him and he's dropped all his stuff on my kitchen island. Since I do all the prep work for meals and such there I consider this an off-limits area for non food items. Call me Crazy as well.

                                                  1. javaandjazz Feb 24, 2013 01:23 PM

                                                    Mine is sorta cluttered. Utensils are in a container next to the stove and lots of vintage canisters everywhere filled with stuff that I use all of the time. On top of the cabinets I have lots of vintage kitchenware, I'm a collector. My dishsoap is in a fancier glass bottle with a pourer spout on in, since I don't have a dishwasher I am constantly doing dishes. My cabinets are filled to capacity of new and old vintage stuff. I wish I had an old fashioned walk in pantry and also a butler's pantry to put my dish collections in but alas I don't!

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: javaandjazz
                                                      v
                                                      Violatp Feb 24, 2013 06:51 PM

                                                      The very first apartment I ever had had a walk-in pantry and I've missed it ever since.

                                                      1. re: Violatp
                                                        Ruthie789 Feb 25, 2013 11:02 AM

                                                        Somehow that is going into my kitchen when I redo.

                                                        1. re: Ruthie789
                                                          v
                                                          Violatp Feb 25, 2013 11:19 AM

                                                          Oh, totally. Having everything out on shelves appeases my need to SEE my stuff handy. If I had a walk in pantry, I probably would put my stuff away in it.

                                                        2. re: Violatp
                                                          juliejulez Feb 25, 2013 02:44 PM

                                                          I love mine. I had one 3 homes ago, and then went to a kitchen with NO pantry at all, and I realized how much I missed my walk-in. Now I have one again and I LOVE it. I hope to never go without one again :)

                                                      2. steve h. Feb 24, 2013 01:18 PM

                                                        Neat and fairly well organized. NO refrigerator magnets!

                                                        1. j
                                                          jlhinwa Feb 24, 2013 12:10 PM

                                                          My kitchen is mostly neat, though certain things are left out. It is a very large kitchen with a lot of storage space, a good-sized pantry and a storage closet so that definitely helps keep things organized. It is not necessarily the most well-designed kitchen in terms of logical places for things but after 7 years here, i have found a way to make it work.

                                                          I leave out on the counter things that are used frequently/daily: toaster, coffee maker, spice rack with most commonly used spices and herbs, Salt, pepper, sponge, scrubbing brush, dish soap and hand soap. Also a fruit bowl and a tea pot on the stove. Mail gets stacked daily in a corner on the island.

                                                          1. t
                                                            Tom34 Feb 24, 2013 11:46 AM

                                                            I designed the kitchen to be a working kitchen with high quality products like custom cabinets, ceramic floors, granite counters, sealed travertine back splashes & high end appliances. Infrequently used small appliances are kept in cabinets designed for such items and the counters are free of clutter. I designed it to be this way so nothing would have to be moved to wipe down all surfaces after cooking a meal. Because it is so easy to clean everything up after cooking, it always get done in a thorough manner. The result is that after heavy use it looks as good / new as the day I built it 15 or so years ago and its very sanitary. Have never seen so much as an ant or ever had a cross contamination issue with a product such as chicken.

                                                            My recommendation to any serious cook is to wait a couple years if you have to in order to do a kitchen remodel right and give daily cleanup serious thought as it is often one of the biggest parts of prepping a meal.

                                                            1. m
                                                              masha Feb 24, 2013 11:22 AM

                                                              My husband is a non-clutter freak and I tend towards the neatness side of the spectrum too. The only thing on our counters between meals are a vertical paper towel stand in a corner to the right of the sink, a dish-drainer immediately above the dishwasher to the left of the sink (typically holding at least a few items that are air drying as we run our DW on the non- heat-dry cycle), a bowl of fruit, a smaller bowl of grape tomatoes, a loaf of bread, and, as of a few months ago, our drip coffee maker. We used to keep the coffee maker in the appliance garage along with the rest of the appliances used most often but, when we recently went to buy a new one, they all were too tall for the garage. Other appliances, used less frequently, are stored in cabinets. With the exception of the Joy of Cooking which resides in a gap on the built-in under-cabinet shelf for our microwave, all cook books are behind cabinets. The only thing on our island is the tea kettle on the cook-top. The kitchen table is absolutely bare, with placemats, salt & pepper shakers, and napkins all put away between meals.

                                                              10 Replies
                                                              1. re: masha
                                                                j
                                                                jlhinwa Feb 24, 2013 12:02 PM

                                                                I am married to a non-clutter freak, too. I appreciate his desire to keep things tidy but he takes it to ridiculous extremes. Just this morning I had to go on a search and rescue mission in our bathroom to find some essentials he had stashed. Drives me a little nutty.

                                                                1. re: jlhinwa
                                                                  m
                                                                  masha Feb 24, 2013 02:20 PM

                                                                  Understand completely. Doesn't happen in the bathroom (we each have our own) but there is a counter in our butler's pantry where I sometimes leave small items like pieces of mail that need my attention or the charger for my phone. Especially of people are coming over, he just clears it away.

                                                                  1. re: masha
                                                                    t
                                                                    Tom34 Feb 25, 2013 10:10 AM

                                                                    JIHINWA & MASHA: Yeah but isn't it nice though when after prepping / cooking a messy meal with oil spatter & flour dust and what not ......it only takes a minute or two with a bar towel to wipe everything up because there is no clutter.....then its on to an after dinner cocktail. Also makes it sooooo easy to do a thorough once a week wipe down with Cinch.

                                                                    1. re: Tom34
                                                                      m
                                                                      masha Feb 25, 2013 10:20 AM

                                                                      I've got no problem with a basic clutter free approach to the counter surfaces in the main prep areas. Not just because it's easier to wipe down the surfaces, as you mention, but because you don't have to pick up & move anything to make room on the counter when you are starting your food prep. My beef (and it's a minor one) is my husband's habit of moving items that I've stashed on a counter in our butler's pantry, which is an adjoining space to the kitchen and not an area where we engage in any food prep.

                                                                      1. re: masha
                                                                        t
                                                                        Tom34 Feb 25, 2013 10:57 AM

                                                                        Sometimes a fire must be lit to extinguish another fire. Stash a few things like the TV remote, his razor, socks & golf shoes :)

                                                                        1. re: masha
                                                                          j
                                                                          jlhinwa Feb 25, 2013 06:26 PM

                                                                          Yes, I have the same kind of beef, Masha. Also the selective nature of determining what needs to be out and what does not. We have a KitchenAid Professional that is his baby. But he only uses his baby once a month or even less, so I maintained that it did not need to be out on the counter where he wanted to see it all the time. And the coffee maker, which is used two or three times daily did not need to be stashed in the back storage area. (He doesn't drink coffee.)

                                                                          He's a great guy and a good cook, so it's worth agreeing to disagree about this but sometimes it still irks me a bit.

                                                                          1. re: jlhinwa
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                                                                            masha Feb 25, 2013 06:31 PM

                                                                            My husband does not apply his clutter-free rules unequally so I cannot complain in that regard. It's not really a big issue. After 34 years of marriage, I can pretty much guess where he's stashed my stuff when he picks up after me

                                                                            1. re: masha
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                                                                              jlhinwa Feb 25, 2013 10:55 PM

                                                                              31-1/2 years for us and he still has the ability to surprise, annoy, and delight me. He can be a little random, but it keeps things interesting. I keep reminding myself that it isn't "right" or "wrong," just "different."

                                                                            2. re: jlhinwa
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                                                                              urbnmns Feb 27, 2013 06:06 PM

                                                                              Sounds like you should consider investing in a "beautiful" coffee maker, jlhinwa!

                                                                          2. re: Tom34
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                                                                            jlhinwa Feb 25, 2013 06:21 PM

                                                                            That is absolutely true, and I appreciate that aspect of his selective OCD neatness. When I cook, I always make sure that the workspace is clear because I don't want splatters and further, need a clean space in order to be productive. I don't function well in clutter. I am by no means a kitchen pack rat but apparently my level of tidiness is not up to some people's standards. ;)

                                                                            Whoops! This was meant to be posted underneath Tom's post a couple posts up.

                                                                    2. l
                                                                      LeoLioness Feb 24, 2013 10:38 AM

                                                                      My kitchen has very limited counter space so most things are out of sight. It's more of a practical issue than an aesthetic one but in general, I don't enjoy clutter.

                                                                      1. s
                                                                        shallots Feb 24, 2013 08:38 AM

                                                                        Mine has been cluttered but I'm trying now to make it functional clutter. What gets used is in the highest accessability area.

                                                                        We are out in the country and don't have local restaurants and have only one grocery store within 15 miles, so I do a lot of cooking and baking, etc.

                                                                        All the baking stuff centers on one side with all the flours in canisters (labeled) with spices used in baking and preparations in the cabinet above them.

                                                                        Over by the cooktop, the Le Creusets are under it as are the huge boiling pots, pressure cookers, etc. The cooking pans (includeing paella) hang above and to the left of the sink, over the dish drainers.

                                                                        Cooking spoons, ladles, hang from a rack in back of the cooktop as so the commonly used pot lids (we made this thing they fit in).

                                                                        Herbs grow to the right of the sink where they get sunlight and are easy to water. Also my tamarind tree is growing there and may outgrow its space in two more years.

                                                                        Function is taking a large time to figure out...what works for me wouldn't work for most, probably.

                                                                        1. LindaWhit Feb 24, 2013 05:47 AM

                                                                          Dish soap is out, wooden spoons and various utensils are in three enameled pots near the stovetop for easy access, as are cutting boards. I've got tight-lock containers of flour and sugar out, but the mixer is under the counter, as I don't use it that often. A convection toaster oven is to the left of the sink, leaving about 1 foot or so of counter before the sink's edge.

                                                                          While I *like* it when the counter is mostly clean of papers, etc., so I have a clear place to work, it does tend to gather "stuff" rather easily. Mine is a galley kitchen, so while I have decent counter space, it's not a lot, so the most open work space is a stretch of granite next to the sink. If I've hand-washed dishes, they need to be dried and put away so I've got enough space to work.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: LindaWhit
                                                                            LindaWhit Feb 24, 2013 10:44 AM

                                                                            Adding to my original post...the work space I use is to the *right* of the sink, not just that 1 foot next to the convection oven. The space on the right is about 4-1/2 feet long and about 30" deep. So plenty of space to work (in addition to the two smaller areas on either side of the stove), provided I keep it relatively uncluttered. :-)

                                                                          2. Ruthie789 Feb 24, 2013 03:35 AM

                                                                            I purchased a buffet at a bargain and have all my flour, sugar, and spices on it. As well I have two shelves in my kitchen on which I have bowls. I must explain that my kitchen storage is limited,am do for a kitchen makeover. I do like seeing what I need. I do have some clutter in the cabinets and a purge is in order. I have one counter clear and use this for food preparation.

                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Ruthie789
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                                                                              Violatp Feb 24, 2013 04:42 AM

                                                                              I saw, not too long ago, a giant antique baking station. I think the top was made of zinc, maybe? Anyway, all around were drawers and bins for flour, sugar, etc.

                                                                              It was really quite cool, though egregiously overpriced at, I think around $15,000.

                                                                              1. re: Violatp
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                                                                                pine time Feb 24, 2013 12:18 PM

                                                                                A phrase I never write, but fitting in this case: OMG! Granny had one of those (before they were outrageously priced antiques)--we loved to play in the bins, with the little scoops she had in each.

                                                                                Just in shock at that price!

                                                                                1. re: pine time
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                                                                                  Violatp Feb 24, 2013 06:50 PM

                                                                                  Oh, it's an antique store here in Chicago that is so blatantly and ridiculously overpriced, like to the 10th degree, that it fits right in there.

                                                                                  Whatever price you think something is, even thinking you're rounding up, just add another zero to that figure.

                                                                                2. re: Violatp
                                                                                  Ruthie789 Feb 24, 2013 01:20 PM

                                                                                  Mine was under $400.00 and it really gives me a place to put all my baking supplies. I have very little kitchen cabinets and I was getting fed up having to pull everything out to get a pie plate or baking dish. It is a good solution until I am ready to redo my kitchen and I can use the buffet elsewhere.

                                                                              2. v
                                                                                Violatp Feb 24, 2013 03:00 AM

                                                                                Heh. Seems like I'm in the minority! That's okay. :-) I also like to decorate with lots of color vs all those neutrals and my toothpaste and hairdryer and whatnot also stay out.

                                                                                Now, for kitchens, if I had a giant and I do mean giant, pantry, I'd maybe put stuff away in there on shelves. But, fiddly drawers and cabinets? Nah.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Violatp
                                                                                  Sooeygun Feb 25, 2013 11:55 AM

                                                                                  You aren't alone. I like to have things I need at close hand. I hate having to rummage in a drawer for things I use almost daily, so I have two containers out with wooden spoons, spatulas, serving spoons, ladles, whisks, etc. And we don't have a ton of storage space in our apt. Tiny kitchen with open cabinets (we took the sliding doors off).

                                                                                  The area that is supposed to be a dining area is our pantry with wooden shelves (holding canisters, small appliances, baking sheets), cart with butcher block, chest freezer. The butcher block is usually clear for cutting and the top of the chest freezer for other work. That's where we do most of our prep. The two tiny counters in the actual kitchen are for clean dishes and rack on one side of the sink and dirty dishes on the other side.

                                                                                  1. re: Sooeygun
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                                                                                    Violatp Feb 26, 2013 05:31 AM

                                                                                    Yay - there are two! ;-)

                                                                                2. f
                                                                                  Frizzle Feb 23, 2013 07:04 PM

                                                                                  Neat. I dislike clutter in the kitchen. Benches are kept clear of everything except hand soap. All appliances are stored in a cupboard and pulled out as needed.

                                                                                  1. HillJ Feb 23, 2013 06:14 PM

                                                                                    In my kitchen, the cabinets, back pantry closet, cold box, bar, wine closet, frig & freezer keep everything I need in place. The counters are completely clear of anything other than water, fresh flowers & herb pots. I don't keep small appliances out either. I only bring things out when I'm ready to cook/bake/throw a party.

                                                                                    1. h
                                                                                      Harters Feb 23, 2013 01:32 PM

                                                                                      Neat - until you open the cupboards.

                                                                                      1. c
                                                                                        CanadaGirl Feb 23, 2013 11:39 AM

                                                                                        In between. I am fortunate to have a large kitchen with plenty of storage, so what is out I consider attractive or too much of a hassle to not have out.

                                                                                        The only appliances on the counter are the toaster, coffee maker and Sodastream. I have a knife block and crock of some utensils beside the stove. I also have a number of large, clear glass canisters holding flours, sugars and oats. I also have a salt pig beside the stove.

                                                                                        My dish soap is beside the sink, but in a glass bottle with a spout, not the container it came in. Dish towels are not out; I have hooks inside the door under the sink.

                                                                                        I have a large island, but I keep nothing on that. I like the way it looks clear.

                                                                                        1. f
                                                                                          foodieX2 Feb 23, 2013 11:32 AM

                                                                                          Neat and organized but user friendly. Paper towels on a decorative holder but in easy reach. Hand soup and detergent on the sink but in smaller, nice looking containers as I buy that stuff in bulk. Cooking utensils in a container by the stove, pots/pans organized in cupboards but again in easy reach. My cook books are well used and stained but put away when not using. I have a cook book stand on the counter for ease of viewing when in use.

                                                                                          So not messy and cluttered but not show house empty. I believe in a place for everything and everything in its place..

                                                                                          1. juliejulez Feb 23, 2013 11:12 AM

                                                                                            Mine is pretty neat, but not showplace quality. I had to live like that before (both when I was selling my own place, and later when the place I was renting was up for sale) and it was not fun. I pretty much had to clean the kitchen spotless every night (not fun with a solid glass backsplash!), and make sure everything was in it's place every morning before leaving for work.

                                                                                            But now, I do leave out dish soap and sponges, and always have a few kitchen towels laying around. I leave out my Kitchen-Aid, toaster, and coffee maker. I have one container next to the stove for utensils, my big wood cutting board stays out, and a knife block in another corner (although it's filled with the cheap knives that I don't use haha). I don't like a ton of clutter though, I even organize my walk-in pantry every few months so everything is orderly. I used to work as a home stager in high end homes so I guess that spilled over into my home too :)

                                                                                            I put away the dish soap, sponges, kitchen towels (other than the ones hanging in front of the sink and on the oven handle), and toaster when we have people over.

                                                                                            1. JerryMe Feb 23, 2013 11:05 AM

                                                                                              The area where I actually prep (I have a long L shaped kitchen layout) is clutter free. The ends however start to amass what nots and God only knows and get cleared out about once a week. I have a monstrous old microwave that sits at the end of the long L and I have a semi-permanent full basket of clutter that sits on top of that. My frig doors on the other hand are a true record of stuff / clutter, etc.

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