#1 - Take everything off the front / sides of the refrigerator.
Photographs and calendars and grocery lists are cute & handy & all but if you really want a clutter free home, give this tip a try. Take everything off the fridge and put it in a box/envelope for a "trial week". If you really don't like it, put it back up next week.
But I'm almost positive you'll love the clutter free look (or you wouldn't even be reading this series) and I'm sure you can find another place to keep your stuff that's not as in-your-face. You might even like to set up a little household command center or binder where you keep the calendar instead. Furthermore, you don't have to worry about it falling down anymore as you're trying to open the door!
#2 - Take everything off the countertops. I think my friend Erica told me years ago to have at most 3 things out on the counters when staging your home to sell. Erica is a genius at this kind of stuff. She is a realtor now. She sold her personal residence in 3 days.
The only things we have on our counters these days is the Kurv hand vacuum (which is actually kind of pretty), the toaster oven and bananas if we have them on hand. The kitchen just seems much more inviting when the countertops are clear. Like "you could actually cook dinner here" inviting...
Sure beats the "I have to clean the entire kitchen before I can even cook" look!
(Of course my disclaimer for the above picture is this is what our kitchen looked like after cooking actual home cooked meals for ourselves and 2 brother in laws on a hot plate and in the toaster oven for 4 days with no dishwasher and construction going on 2 ft away from the sink...while breastfeeding a 4 month old baby for 30 minutes every 2 hours 24/7...)
#3 - Put your trash can inside a cabinet. No one wants to look at trash. Yuck. We now have a pull out trash can sorter under our kitchen sink, which I just love.
If you don't want to go to the extent of adding something like that, you could very easily put a regular trash can in the cabinet under the sink. That's what my mom does. This really helps to reduce visual clutter (and smells).
#4 - Put all your food/dishes inside the cabinets. If you don't have enough cabinet space, GET RID OF STUFF, or bring in a freestanding piece of furniture to contain your stuff. This is what we
Except our piece of furniture had glass doors and we didn't cover them up with fabric or anything that would have helped with the visually cluttered look. Also, we should have gotten rid of all the stuff sitting on top of the fridge and the cabinet, and taken our own advice of getting the stuff off the fridge door...ahhhh! But I wasn't writing a 31 Days series on clutter free homes at that time either.
#5 - If you have cabinets with glass doors or open shelving in your kitchen, make sure what you display in those areas is neat looking. Don't put your macaroni noodles and peanut butter on display in the one cabinet with glass doors. Put your best dishes there.
Or if all your cabinets have glass doors or you have only open shelves, consider putting food items in decorative containers, as shown in the pic below.
Be sure to come back by this weekend for some more kitchen de-cluttering. Saturday we'll tackle refrigerators/freezers and Sunday we'll hit up the inside of the kitchen cabinets. It's going to be so much fun!