Clutter-Free Kitchen Solutions

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I like to think of myself as a minimalist. On a good day, my abode has clutter-free counters and clean, blank spaces judiciously accentuated by one or two decorative elements.

Although I have a kitchen large enough that I don't need to tuck everything away, when I saw this Murphy Bed-like super-chic hidden kitchen designed by Melanie Olle & Ilja Oelschlägel on Apartment Therapy, I longed for a sweet, small space in which to employ it. It just seemed so....cleansing.

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If you don't have the funds or desire to Jetsonize your cooking area, but want some organizing tips that will de-clutter any kitchen, here are a few to chew on:

1. Edit what's in your cupboards and drawers. Five spatulas, six pots, three can openers, four corkscrews, and twenty are too many for everyday use. Keep the stuff you use regularly handy and store the items you rarely use (like special-occasion china and glassware) elsewhere. Also, clean out the cupboards of clunky appliances that don't get much use, old nearly finished vinegars, and other ingredients that have past their primes.

2. Hang stuff. Overhead space tends to be wasted space. Hang pots, pans, your paper towel holder, even your little TV (if you have one) to clear counter space. If you've got room above your cupboards, take advantage and store decorative items (ceramics, glassware, etc.) or baskets or boxes of items you only need once in a blue moon.

3. Move the junk drawer and organize drawers with dividers. If you appoint every space with specific purpose, you will not be as likely to sweep random papers, pens, and gadgets into inappropriate places.

4. Remove cabinet doors. I did this with half of the shelving in my kitchen. It stopped me from overstocking the space and made the kitchen seem more open and attractive. (If the insides of your cabinets aren't attractive, paint them or tack pretty wallpaper against the back of them.)

5. Get in the habit of buying just enough food to eat; that way you won't need to find space to store tons of canned, bagged, and boxed foods.

Got any other tips to share? Feel free to chime in and happy Monday!

--Erika Lenkert

[tags]design, kitchen, small, how to, solutions, space, tips[/tags]