"It seems like every time I clear off my kitchen counters, "stuff" reappears. I'm so frustrated, because I can't seem to keep my kitchen organized!"
Organizing is about surfaces. When your surfaces are clear, you feel organized. You feel serene. Other people compliment you. You feel proud of your home.
When your surfaces are messy, you feel embarrassed. You feel overwhelmed and incompetent. You feel ashamed. I understand. I've walked in your shoes.
When trying to clear off kitchen counters, start with one counter at a time.
Step 1 - Visualize it with nothing on it. This might seem silly, but it's the most important step. You have to see in your minds eye where you are headed, or you will never get there.
Step 2 - Divide the counter into fourths. Start with either the left most quadrant or the right-most quadrant, and clear it completely off. (You can replace a few things when the counter is cleared off.)
Step 3 - You will have three categories of things.
I - Things that belong elsewhere. Put them there. These things already have a "home." They were just on the counter for no reason.
II. Things that can be trashed. Trash them.
III. Things that have no home. (The counter was their home.)
Once you have handled I and II, it's time to handle III - Things that have no home.
1) Decide if you really want these things on the counter. If not, where else could they "live"? If so, how many do you want to stay on the counter?
2) If they are big (like blenders and such), can you create pantry or shelf space for them?
3) If they are small (like spices and such), can you gather them in a plastic shoebox and put them on a pantry shelf?
4) If they are unnecessary decorations (that rooster statue from your grandfather), consider putting them elsewhere. Maybe you could create a space for kitchen decorations. Maybe you could consider that you don't need them anymore.
5) If you have no idea where you want them to go, or what you want to do with them, put them away to decide about later. (You should have no more than three "undecideds" per counter.)
When your counter is clear, keeping it clear will become your next challenge. At this stage you must "guard it like a bulldog"... especially from yourself!
Don't allow ANYONE to put ANYTHING on it for ANY REASON!
Have a terrific day!
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