I don’t have any statistical proof to back me up, but I think it’s fair to say that a high percentage of households have some form on clutter on tables and kitchen counters. This clutter goes double for households with children. I personally respond to kitchen clutter with eye twitching and tons of passive aggressive comments. While these are thoroughly effective methods, there are some better ways to tackle the chaos. How do you keep these high-traffic areas clean and clutter free? Keep reading to get my 7 practical ways for busy families to keep clutter off tables and kitchen counters.
Analyze the clutter
To figure out the best decluttering method for you and your family, you first need to analyze your clutter. What items tend to make their way to your tables and kitchen counters?
If you want to keep clutter off tables and kitchen counters you have first got to figure out what is causing the clutter in the first place. Here are some ideas on how to manage the biggest trouble areas when it comes to kitchen clutter.
Sort through mail immediately
The majority of families struggle when it comes to paper clutter. A big part of this is
The best way to keep mail clutter off the tables and kitchen counter is to sort through it as soon as it comes through the door. Here is a quick summary of our mail sorting process.
- Newspapers in a bin for backyard bonfires
- Junk mail into the recycling
- Bills put in kitchen organizer
- Invites and Save the Dates on the fridge
It really doesn’t take that long to sort through the mail (since most of it is junk mail). If you can make a habit of immediately sorting it out as soon as it comes in the door, this will do wonders for keeping clutter off tables and kitchen counters. Remember to recycle!
Try a Paperless Home!
Paper clutter doesn’t always end with the mail. Especially for busy families. That’s why a great strategy is to just go entirely paper free. There are some conventional ways to do this.
- Unsubscribe from mailers.
- Sign up for online billing.
- Cancel magazine subscriptions.
Going through the process of canceling junk mail and subscriptions may be time-consuming but it can avoid clutter piling up on your kitchen counters and help save the environment by wasting less paper.
However, there is another totally revolutionary way to avoid paper clutter altogether. Having a completely paperless home is a trend that is catching on quickly thanks to growing technology.
All you need is a smartphone and a scanner to begin your journey toward a totally paperless home.
Imagine not having to dig through filing cabinets or old paper piles on the kitchen table in order to find what you’re looking for. Instead, everything you need could be easily accessed through your smartphone whenever and wherever you need it.
The Paperless Home eBook and video tutorials can help you completely transform the way your family manages paperwork from here on out. Created by a husband and wife team, this guide will show you with step by step tutorials on how to get started, the best scanners to use, and how to keep everything digitally organized.
Use organizational trays
If paperwork is your struggle and you’re not quite ready for an all-digital paperless home, then organizational trays might be the way to go. Having a designated area for school papers, bills, work paper, and miscellaneous is a great way to get a basic organization system down.
In order to keep clutter off tables and kitchen counters, our family has a one spot paperwork zone that is tucked away in our pantry. I sort through this tray once or twice a month when I pay our bills. At this point, everything gets either recycled, signed or sent.
Other great organization tips for busy families:
- How to Get Organized When You’re a Hot Mess
- How to Fake a Minimalist Home
- Create a Co-op to Reduce Stress and Save Time and Money
- Stop Running Errands and Get More Time Back in Your Day
- Small Kitchen Declutter and Storage
Try “drop zones”
Maybe paper clutter isn’t your biggest problem. Chances are at the end of your day you have accumulated a lot of random things. To keep clutter off tables and kitchen counters try creating a separate “drop zone” for your things. This is simply choosing a different place to drop all of your items instead of the table or kitchen counters.
A drop zone could be located in the living room, in the front closet, or you could even create several “drop zones” throughout the house.
Instead of plopping your purse, keys, papers, and backpacks right on the table try using a more attractive drop zone that hides the clutter
Drop zones for the whole family
Another tried and true method when you live in a larger home is giving each family member their own drop zone. This could be several baskets lined up on the stairs or separate bins in the entryway.
Here are some great ideas for drop zones that fit your decor and keep clutter off the table and kitchen counters.
Collect what you can at the door
Before you even make your way into the main living area of your home, is there a way you can start dropping more things at the door? For example:
- Keys in a key bowl.
- Coats on a coat hook.
- Hooks for backpacks.
- Bins for shoes.
- A shelf for your wallet or purse.
If you can start clearing clutter the second you walk through the door you will be better able to keep clutter off tables and kitchen counters.
Not only will dropping things at the door prevent clutter in the kitchen, but it can help create good habits for your family. No more wandering around in a panic looking for your keys, or arguing about where backpacks go. Giving big,
Do a nightly clean sweep
If you have set up a drop zone in your home or happened to dump the mail on the counter at the end of the night, clean it up. Make a habit of doing a quick clean sweep of your house before you go to bed. Put anything away that hasn’t been taken care of. Discard or recycle any unwanted items and clear some space for tomorrow.
This can be a whole family ordeal. If you have individual drop zones, each family member can grab their basket and put their items away.
I know sometimes it can be difficult to tidy up at the end of the day, but I promise it will pay off. Taking 5 minutes to clean up at the end of the night will keep your busy family more organized and help keep clutter off tables and kitchen counters.
Did I miss something? I’m sure there are a ton of other helpful ways to avoid clutter pile ups! Feel free to share your best tips in the comments and don’t miss this awesome post from Abby Lawson on How to Organize Every Space in Your House!