We have a modest 704 square foot apartment, and the first landing spot for all things clutter was our kitchen bar. On the corner, I had a "catch all" spot with a letter tray. This was one of my bargain buys from the $1 bin section at Target, and it was my "organizer" for all the things that were being set on the bar. I would sort through it and tidy it up to make it look presentable, but soon I found it overflowing with junk.
When I embraced the idea of minimalism about a month ago, I realized that that "catch all" was worse for us than just an empty, clean bar. So how do you revamp your "catch all" spot and where do you put it all? Here's some of my tips that I used and why it now works better for us.
1. Find a home for everything. The letter tray included random things such as tape, rubberbands, a cup of pens, chalk, stamps, mail holder, a coin jar... you get the idea! I have a neat little home for all of these elsewhere in another three drawer stand, but that's another post. I kept one pen out, the mail holder and my coin jar.
2. Rethink your space. What could it be used for that is more useful? Ever since my lifestyle change, we have been cooking more plant-based meals in the kitchen. I have many cookbooks now that are vegan only and a few that are my favorites. Instead of having a pile of clutter that served only as an eye sore, I chose to store my cookbooks instead. Now they are staring me in the face each day and beckoning me to post more recipes!
3. Reuse what you have. That bargain letter tray is now being reused as a spice holder. Now that I'm cooking more, I have a wider variety of spices, and in turn, many more bottles to store. I recently moved all of my spices to a different (and deeper) cabinet space. The letter tray fits perfectly inside the cabinet and allows me pull out all of the spices at once for a quick and easy selection.
4. Keep the new space clean. It's easy and tempting to start dropping items where you used to. As the saying goes, old habits die hard. Once you are able to enjoy the new functionality of your old clutter magnet, you'll take pride in keeping it as you intended. We've been able to keep it clear and it's such a focal point into the kitchen area, so it makes a big difference!
5. Keep only the essentials on the counters. I only have the bare minimum on my counters, including a cutting board, music dock, food processor and blender. These are the things I use most frequently and serve a purpose most days of the week. In the morning as I walk into my kitchen, it's almost comforting to walk into a clean space. Keep it simple, and tidy up as you go along!