. Cluttered Counters
Any tips on avoiding the Cluttered Counter? This is the counter in one’s home that seems to collect unopened and opened mail, the suitcase, the purse, the half-empty pop can, the keys, the vitamins, the camera, and the flyer once taped to the door. The counter that soon becomes the looming un-clutter project each and every week.
Yes, let’s solve the cluttered counter. We know several things. People (including ourselves) are going to put items down. What we have to help our family members do is both put things down AND put them away (at the same time). This means making sensible, convenient places to keep this “rotating clutter.” What about a:
1) Kitchen drawer (dedicated just to him and his daily “bring home” clutter) which might include keys, change, and cell phones,
2) Stacked letter trays for mail, coupons, and paperwork (one for him, one for you, and one for each other family member),
3) An upper kitchen shelf just for your purse or fanny pack, and
4) A lower, larger cupboard for the diaper bag to “own”.
These are the tools.
Next we focus on systems (meaning habits for change). Tell your husband of your new “systems” and ask for his cooperation. He can put his daily “bring home” clutter in the kitchen drawer you have provided just for him. The diaper bag is to be kept here and you plan to put your purse there. Mail should be sorted immediately and put in the letter trays which you have placed here.
Finally, compliment any progress he and anyone else makes because you are setting things up for a lifetime of order and anything they can do to help REALLY HELPS!
Lastly, watch for the trouble spots with your new tools or in your new habits and find additional answers. Does a trash can need to be closer? Would a set of hooks for keys keep them up and more organized for both of you? What about a plastic container for an upper cupboard for easier storing of the vitamins?
Also, I “clutter sweep” through my home three times a day (right before breakfast, lunch, and dinner) to put away what has been put down without being put away (because a lot of the clutter is my own). This just takes a minute (especially good habit for when I’m on the phone) and returns my home back to a place of order. If others have left the clutter out, I work with individual family members to find answers, establish habits, and reward progress generously.
Cluttered counters should be left that way for no longer than a day. A week’s worth of clutter is discouraging, a month’s worth almost too much to handle. Good luck, my friends. Let’s work this next week to keep our cluttered counters clear!
Find more helpful ideas in my House of Order Handbook.
Photo from sxc.hu. Used with permission of quelbs.