My kitchen is in progress right now, but a few months ago when we bought our house it looked like this:
Untouched from 1970. Very dark with lots of harvest gold.
During our first week of home ownership we pulled down the upper cabinets that divided the food prep area from the eat-in area. My heart raced as I anxiously watched those heavy oak cabinets be pried off the ceiling and come crashing down. It was for the best, as it opened up the space.
We considered removing the lower cabinets and counter that divide the room as well, but I’m glad we didn’t. We noticed during that first week how often we piled our tools on the counter, and it was so useful. It is the main landing spot in the house.
The kitchen counter is our dumping ground for everything that we bring into the house: groceries, bags, and school papers. It’s the place where we temporarily set glasses, tools, and toys as we come in from other rooms. It’s where I wrap gifts, pack lunches, and serve up meals for family and guests.
The kitchen is the center for work and activity in the house, and having a clear counter to serve as a work surface is essential.
We often treat the kitchen counter as a storage space, but it’s supposed to be a work space. Storage can get in the way. We can put our stuff on the counter, but that doesn’t mean it should stay there. It needs to move out of the way for the next activity to happen.
Let’s work on clearing off the kitchen counter today.
I always have a dish drying rack next to the sink, but otherwise I try to keep the counters as clear as I can. When I set something down temporarily, it’s obvious and out of place. This gives me incentive to put things where they should go.