Thursday, July 22, 2010
The Messy Family Reforms: Project Two
The coffee counter.
This is a little counter (just 29 inches wide) where the coffee and tea things live. Unfortunately other things find their way there: a bottle of wine, a bottle of ketchup, a flashlight, hand cream (2 containers!), bags of bread and hot dog buns, a velcro cable tie, an empty souvenir Coke bottle, crumpled up cupcake papers retrieved from the pantry, a box of jello... and dried up spilled coffee!
When the kitchen is small, we have to make the most of our space. I have very little space in the form of kitchen countertop. I made the mistake of measuring it once after a binge of reading home improvement websites. I learned that something like 11 linear feet is the bare minimum for kitchen counter space. I have 8.5, in 4 separate, small chunks. Talk about setting myself up for discontent!
But the space seems even smaller when it is a big mess and covered in stuff that doesn't belong. So what really does belong on my coffee counter, besides the coffee and tea things? This counter is an appropriate place for the kids' cell phone to live (it sits nicely on a ledge), and a flashlight. The hand cream is, um, handy there. If the ketchup, wine, cupcake papers and other misplaced items were not there, the water pitcher we use all day every day would fit too, without crowding it.
With less stuff, it will be easier to clean up any spilled coffee.
This would look better if I had a nice tray to set the tea things on. (And if I was a better photographer.) They are mostly hidden behind the big water pitcher. But this is not about buying cute things to make the room prettier. I'm not fixing up; I'm getting organized and making things easier to take care of. Pretty can come later.
So the easy part is over. The project isn't cleaning the counter; I can do that quickly. And I do - over and over. The project is keeping it this way. Can I train everyone (including myself) not to drop their Velcro cable ties there?