Note: if you're new around here I'm sure glad you're here! 🙂 Be SURE to read our story of how we started out pinching pennies 25 years ago (those brown paneled walls started it all off and I'm so thankful for them!) I'm so thankful we started out frugally, and the journey has been so fun.
I don't know that I ever set out to be a minimalist initially, but when my kids were little and clutter was everywhere in our home, having a little bit of order in my kitchen helped me feel a wee bit more in control of things. So each day in the morning and again at night, I'd clear the clutter, wipe down the kitchen sink, and keep as little as I could on my countertops.
This was our kitchen two years ago before we changed out the kitchen counters to white and painted the island Sherwin Williams Foggy Day. What a huge difference white countertops make!
Because I struggle with staying focused a bit (my brain just goes a whole lot of directions each day, like most women out there I think!), starting and ending my day with a tidy kitchen just takes a wee bit of anxiety off me each day.
And, since I do Facebook Live and Instagram Videos several times each week, my kitchen doubles as a “set” for video for me, so keeping my space clear of clutter helps me do my job more effectively and efficiently each day. Since I'm the “host” of the videos, the videographer, marketer, advertiser, as well as the set up and clean up crew 🙂 I do all I can to make sure this space “works” well for me.
After running PPP for 12 years, we finally updated our kitchen almost solely so that I would have white kitchen countertops to make a prettier backdrop. Before that I'd been hauling out white wood backdrops to stick under each recipe and laying out sheets to make our kitchen a little brighter. I'm so thankful for this happy kitchen space and know it is an incredible gift!
There are two “rules” I follow do faithfully that help my space feel peaceful to me.
Rule #1: The “clear countertops” rule.
I limit kitchen clutter on my countertops to only 5 things.
Here's what I keep on my kitchen counters all the time:
- Kitchenaid mixer
- my home planner with recipe stand and a small lamp
- my recipe tin
- my cleaning supplies (hand soap, dish soap, multisurface spray)
- a paper towel holder
For some reason my pantry door is ETERNALLY left open. Whew! 🙂
Because my “rule” is that my countertops have to stay clear of clutter and I don't have tons of cabinet space in our kitchen, I ruthlessly get rid of gadgets and dishes that I don't really need.
Rather than having 17 scrapers or spatulas, I have 4.
Instead of having 38 coffee mugs, I keep maybe 8 (which is still probably a few too many, but when having company I always want to hav enough!)
I constantly try to think of things that will serve dual purposes, and if I can get rid of one thing by using something different I do. Less stuff helps me feel more in control of my home, and I enjoy each thing we DO have so much more.
Rule #2: The “material” rule.
I limit kitchen clutter by using the “5 material” rule when purchasing anything in our kitchen.
(Ooch. Are you ready for this?)
I ONLY buy things for my kitchen that fit into the following five “material” categories. When I'm out shopping, if it can't be considered as one of these five things, I DO NOT PURCHASE NO MATTER HOW VERY MUCH I LOVE IT.
It must be . . .
- occasionally something with a pop of blue
*my two caveats:
- coffee mugs ~ but I still try to keep them pink or blue because those are my favorite colors!
- anything my kids get for me as a gift. My sweet Caroline gave me the MOST DARLING EVER snowman latte mugs that I use for soup in the wintertime. I love them and will keep them forever! 🙂
That means that if I see a red dish that I absolutely adore, no matter how much I love it I don't buy it for our kitchen. It's not that I don't love red, but setting up this “rule” keeps me from buying about 78 colors of red dishes (because just like everyone else, I love all the dishes!) 🙂
It helps me spend so much less money because I'm not tempted to snatch up something extra we really don't need, and I constantly think of ways I can live without that extra item before bringing it into our home.
Now, do not misunderstand me. I love pretty “happy” little things. But having too many happy pretty things feels overwhelming to me, so I work really hard to live with less. I know this absolutely isn't for everyone, but for us it totally works.
More than anything, when my home is incredibly cluttered I don't feel like I have space for the people in it, and they're more important to me than the stuff. When my kids (or husband!) walk in the door, just like every other family on the planet, they bring their “stuff” to the table. Backpacks are thrown everywhere, mail gets added to the counters, and homework binders are all over the place.
By having 95% of my counters clear for all the stuff ahead of time, my anxiety level simply goes down when the clutter DOES come in (because it definitely DOES come here too!)
They bring in their “stuff”, I get a little overwhelmed for a minute, and then I remember they'll be gone in just a quick minute 🙂 and I can declutter a few more things again the next day.
If you've been feeling overwhelmed with the clutter in your home, consider trying out these two “five things” rules. It might be incredibly scary, but you might truly just love it, and it'll give you space for your mind to clear and dream big.
So go ahead, hop up, clear your kitchen counters and give your kitchen sink a warm sudsy bath. I'll be over here in my kitchen wiping down these counters again too~ and am right on this side of the screen cheering for you!