DAY 13 Update, Don't Renovate Challenge: Clear Your Counters

As I mentioned before, a high priority for my clients is to get more storage and counter space in their kitchens. Sometimes I make the uncomfortable suggestion that they could just learn to use their kitchen a little differently. Yep. Sometimes I tell people not to renovate their kitchen.

Before you freak out, if they sincerely want to, then we move forward with the consultation! I don’t just say NO. LOL.

The challenge for you today is to clear everything EVERYTHING off of your counters and see what naked counters feel like. Wipe them down. Feel them in all their gloriousness. Read on for things to consider and things you may have NEVER considered.

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The one and only huge problem with counters are all of the things that people put on them. Toaster ovens. Toasters. Blenders. Knick knacks. Coffee Pots. Microwaves. Utensils. Etc. Consider the possibility that you have too many things, or at least too many things laying out, and that is why you have zero counter space. OR if you’re like me you have a different kind of counter space problem. For me it’s more of a more-things-than-my-eyes-car-to-process problem. Hopefully you’ve done the kitchen cabinet challenge already and so you have some space in those cabinets now. That will make things easier.

Look at what you have out. Are you using it? Is it a duplicate of something you already have? People are willing to rip out perfectly good kitchens and drop tens of thousands of dollars for more space. That to me says it’s pretty important that counter space. First I would suggest trying small lifestyle changes before dropping all that moola. For instance, I once did a consultation for a client that, “had no counter space” and was going to rip out their kitchen. The kitchen they had looked great to me. Certainly not worth spending thousands to replace it. Next to their oven sat a large toaster oven that took up at least 2 feet of space. I’m sure the toaster oven is very convenient, but there is already a large, very expensive appliance that heats things up in every one of our houses already. THE OVEN. They do the same job! Add to that a toaster. Yes toasters are convenient, but an oven toasts bread as well. It’s not rocket science. Get rid of these two small appliances if space is that much of a concern for you.

Microwaves. Some of us have them on the counter. Do you actually need a microwave? Do you have a pantry it can go in instead? Get rid of it. It’s bad for you anyway. I rarely put a microwave in my remodels nowadays. If all you are doing is reheating pizza, you’ve got an oven for that. Be critical of your usage of any appliance on the counter. If you have other things that you use pretty regularly and they are on your counter, consider finding a space in a cabinet nearby. You can pull it in and out as you need them. This may be inconvenient to you at first, but do you want counter space or not!?

I can get behind convenience when it isn’t getting in the way of peace of mind. To me, a clearer counter = clearer mind. My house, not remodeled by me, has a huge 8’ x 3’ island. We had our lovely fish Popcorn sitting in the middle of the island. Honestly, I wanted Popcorn to live there so I wouldn’t forget about him. I would do that. After two years, Popcorn was getting up in age and seemed a little sick. We learned that he would prefer a warmer climate and bought him a new tank that required being plugged in. So, he moved off of the island and to my SHOCK, it was a huge eye ball relief. Popcorn was literally cutting off half of the island even though he was just in a little 12” diameter bowl in the middle of the space. The way we used the island when he was there was junk/drop zone on one side of Popcorn and prep work on the other side. Only 4’ of work space. Nothing to shake a stick at but certainly not the 8’ of space that as actually there. This was a HUGE lesson. Becoming aware of this faux blockade was eye opening.

Your Mission

Clear your blockades. Put some stuff away in a cabinet, pantry, whatever. Remove decor. Fish. What have you. For a day or so use your kitchen and see what feels better. Or worse even. Be aware of anything that might just feel like an annoying new phone or new car. Awkward at first but you can get into the swing of things once you get used to it and where things are located. Show me your photos of your naked counters. #nakedcounterphotoFTW + #updatedontrenovatechallenge obviously.