Monday, July 11, 2011

My Nemesis: My Counter Top

Breezing through a Better Homes & Gardens, I halt at a mesmerizing picture of a kitchen with gleaming surfaces, gorgeous lighting, and plenty of clutter-free room to cook. It's lovely. Really, lovely.

Slowly, my brain registers something odd. The counters...they're visible. And sparkling. Sure, a toaster, coffeemaker, and a knife holder adorn the surfaces, but where is the junk?

My kitchen and the dream kitchen differ in one main feature. Mine is a clutter magnet.

On section of my counter top routinely boasts the following:
- purse
- unread magazines
- bug spray
- baseball hat
- paper parachute from fireworks
- three empty water glasses
- bug bite stick
- iPod
- nail polish in assorted colors
- swim goggles
- LEGO people with or without heads/legs
- scraps of paper
- paper clips
- loose change
- crayons, pens, markers
- socks
- dog toys
- suntan lotion

I toss the Better Homes & Gardens to the side, my mood heading south. I realize no one would feature their kitchen with all the clutter on the counter tops, but I question my belief that most people have a catch-all area.

Do most people have an area that collects random items like dogs attract fleas?

I, along with my kids, clean the counter off at least every other day. You would think it would remain pristine. But no, as soon as it's clear, something finds its way there within minutes.

I would love to have the tidy, inviting kitchen in the magazine, but I can't imagine it would stay beautiful long!

Is your kitchen spic-and-span with zero clutter or do you struggle to keep the counter tops cleared too?

Have a wonderful Monday!


  1. Of course they are, obviously.
    Children's drawings, little presents they've given me, flowers, notes, bits and bobs, notes, toys...and... more notes.
    There you are, perfect :)

  2. LOL. Yeah mine are empty because they're so small, so it doesn't count!

  3. Kitchen counters make a perfect villain! I try my hardest but I have to make an effort to keep it free and clear!

  4. Ours were clean Saturday. I know it. I could see the tops of them on Saturday.

    After lunch on Sunday? From here I can see, a Bible, a power drill, two novels, assorted dishes, swim suit cover-up, my cell phone and a birthday cake.

    It's like a cross-section of our life right there on display.

  5. I have 2 piles. :) These piles are my nemesis...

  6. Amazing, You had installed wonderful Granite Kitchen Countertop. I really like your concept of luxury kitchen.

    Granite Kitchen Countertop

  7. I have this thing about clutter on the cabinets and bar. I have a place for keys, phones, and all of hubbies pockets. I'm the clutter police around the kitchen.

    Does it stay pristine? Not when I'm cooking, but when I'm not. Yep.

    Now, let's not talk about nightstands and closets. Please, I beg you don't ask that question. I will crawl in a hole and not come out. :)

  8. Good morning!

    Elle: Aww, I love your description of your clutter--it sounds filled with family and love. :)

    Jessica: You're forgiven! :)

    Laura: Same here. Right now I see six books, a travel coffee mug, a CD w/baseball pics, and three dead printer cartridges. It never ends!!

    Dawn: Ha! I'll take the birthday cake off your hands. :) Love your description that it's a cross-section of your life. How true!

    Elizabeth: Yep! Things just accumulate on surfaces in our house!

    Moana: It's a beautiful picture, isn't it?

    Jessica: I know where you're coming from! I've gotten to the point where I'm tired of telling the kids to clear off the counter, so I alert them and circle my finger over the area! It's ridiculous!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  9. I hate a messy kitchen. It drives me up the wall. So I clean mine every morning. Just a quick wipe down and sweep. Inevitably, it is dirty come the afternoon. Plus, our dishwasher is broken right now, which is a horrible, horrible thing to breakdown.

  10. Counter tops, table tops = flat files especially the dining room table. I think surfaces should be made spherical so things would fall off and then you'd have to put them right away instead of doing a stash and dash.

  11. The counter right where I come in the door is the repository for whatever I have in my hand.

    Right now my purse and Bible from church yesterday are filling the space.

  12. My kitchen counter tops are's my dining room table that has the clutter...

    mail, stuff to send my kids, a large clean platter used on July 4th for a fruit platter...nail polish, Ipod, cord to my laptop...a Yankee candle. a head band, a thesaurus, two dog leashes, and so on...

    Great post.

  13. I have a tiny kitchen with very little counter space. My KitchenAid mixer, 2 cans of baby formula, and 4 kid's cups are on there right now. The cups will be used at snack. Because I have a daycare in my home, I have to keep things clean and picked up. Just don't ask to see my basement...oy.

  14. If I weren't so embarrassed, I'd take a picture of my counters right now and let you judge for yourself! lol...

  15. I loved this post. My problem isn't the counter, it's the dining room table. The dining room is the first real room you walk into when you enter the house, so everything seems to get dropped there. Right now it's covered in today's mail, two books, my husband's weight-lifting gloves, headphones, a squishy stress ball, a cell phone, the puppy's outgrown collar, a hat, and a pair of scissors.

    I should probably be embarrassed, but I've taken heart hearing how many people struggle with the exact same thing :)

  16. I keep my entire house neat, but cannot keep the clutter off the kitchen table. As soon as we walk in, things get thrown on the table, sometimes never to be picked up again until it is thrown away.

  17. I have a canvas tote box wherein it is the rule that all junk gets tossed into it for future need. I get a little stressed seeing counter top clutter so a catch-all cute box helps a ton becuase let's face it, clutter is totally unavoidable!

  18. Katie: Good strategy! But no dishwasher?? Ours died this February and we had to replace it. I'm soooo sorry. I know how stinky it is to not have one!

    CJ: Life would be so much easier with your plan. Let's make this happen!

    Erica: If all you've got is a Bible and purse sitting out, you're doing pretty good!

    Loree: Ha! I love your clutter--dog leashes and Yankee candles! Nice!

    Lisa: Yeah, I can see where you'd need everything organized. If I had parents walking into my home, I have a feeling the clutter would be taken care of each day!

    Ralene: They cannot be as bad as mine! There's now a beach towel and a water bottle up there too. It never ends...

    Marcy: Ha! Love the weight-lifting gloves and the too-small collar! I have a clean platter waiting to go down the basement and a cocktail mixing book--they've been waiting for 2 weeks to head downstairs. It would take 30 seconds tops to take care of them...

    Brett: Same here! Maybe I should grab the trash can and swipe everything in? :)

    Jaime: I have two canvas totes on top of the fridge: one for each kids' school papers. I like the idea of throwing one on the counter too. It couldn't hurt to try!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  19. Love your post. Live it, too.

    I blame it on an inexorable force, similar to gravity. The "law of the flat surface" pulls assorted junk to the nearest flat surface--and exerts its strongest pull kitchen counters.

  20. Oh, we've definitely got a dumping ground, too! And what's an American kitchen without a junk drawer, right? :)

  21. I have very little counter top in my kitchen so things tend to migrate to the kitchen table and then hidden on a kitchen chair. Or maybe even under the couch!

  22. You are not alone! I also have random swim goggles on my counters:)

  23. Lenore: We should campaign to have your theory declared a scientific law! It's true!

    Sarah: Yes, I have one of those too. How did you guess? :)

    Lynn: If we didn't have counter space, we would have a junk table or chair. It's inevitable!

    Jessie: Yay! And we now have a Wii remote, swim trunks (cuz, naturally all swim paraphanelia belongs ON THE KITCHEN COUNTER) and two stray sets of earphones. It's sad...

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  25. Kitchen? Yeah, clean. Mostly because of the DH. But my desk is a total clutter magnet - it finds bebe's backpack, has several 'in progress' scrapbook pages (that have been in progress since about Christmas), my notebooks, crayons, a full manuscript in editing stage, a stack of 'Expert' Name That Tune game cards, leftover birthday invites, a porceline pig I've never seen before, 2 tubes of lotion, sunscreen, magazines...the list goes on.

    I think I need to clean it all up...but I know the clutter will come right back.

  26. Kristi: I'm impressed that you're scrapbooking from this year still! I would be working on 2004 stuff. And where did that pig come from? Hmmm...we may have to investigate!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  27. When my kids were home, we had a chair where they could leave stuff until they had a chance to put it away. I never let them put junk on the dining room table. It's sort of my one place that can't have any junk. We do projects on it, but they have to be cleaned up.

    And the counters, I try to keep them clutter free, but we keep getting assorted kitchen machines that end up there. Woe is me.

  28. Oh goodness, my kitchen is never free from clutter. If it's not on the microwave or the countertop, it's on the kitchen table. Funnily enough, none of the stuff belongs to my daughter, so I can't even blame it on my child! ;-)

  29. Nancy: Smart idea! One junk chair. Love it!

    Melissa: Same here, but we're all guilty in my house! I stack magazines and books, while the kids leave all kinds of weird stuff!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  30. Oh, I love reading that I'm not the only one! My kitchen counters are pretty clutter-free, but my office downstairs is another story...stacks of papers everywhere, pretty, little sticky notes dressing my monitor, and other various odds and ends I just don't have time to get to. And scrapbooking...yes, sadly, I'm waaay behind on that, too. But most of are writers, right? So we write...and wait for the magic fairies to come out at night and give us a hand.

  31. Are you kidding, the kitchen is lucky to have a cleared counter once a week. Plates, spices that weren't put away, empty soda cans and more. Anyone can stage an area for photos, it just means the clutter is elsewhere. When something is so sterile it lacks the feeling of life. Life is messy.

  32. Great post, love the pictures. You are making me want some design in my Countertop...thinking Kitchen counters just to get me started.


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