A little over a year ago, right about the time I quit my job for stay-at-home motherhood, Hubbo and I decided to enroll in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. I know I have talked about this before, but seriously, I cannot recommend this program enough.
But this post is actually not about finances.
Before he was a debt-busting financial guru, Dave Ramsey was a realtor – a very successful realtor. And one of the things he talked about in his program was how to sell a home. Like any good realtor, Dave’s recommendation is to “stage” your home when you have a showing; and one of the things I remember him saying is to never have more than two or three things on your kitchen counter.
Even though we are not trying to sell our home, I do like to “stage” it a bit for our guests and even for ourselves. There is just something about coming home to a put-together, clean, relaxing atmosphere that makes me feel more contented. Every morning, I arrange the throw pillows on our bed, adjust the curtains just-so, toss a blanket over the couch, and just generally try to spruce things up a little. It only takes a few minutes, and it does wonders for my attitude around the house.
But I have to admit, my countertops were a mess.
Next to the change jar, bottles of medicine, the dish-drying rack, the coffee pot, the can-opener, the canisters of baking essentials, the knife set, the toaster, the spice rack, the cooking utensils, the fruit bowl, and all the other things that were on my countertop on a daily basis, I hardly had any food prep area. And I have a lot of counter space. So last week, I set about a re-org. (It is Tackle-it-Tuesday, after all.)
The small-kitchen appliances I don’t use on a daily basis (even the toaster) now live on an accessible shelf in the garage. I’m drying dishes as I wash them. I cleared out a drawer for the cooking utensils. And it looks really good!
But I still have more than three things on my countertop.
I almost despaired – I had gotten rid of everything that was practical! I didn’t want to lug out the can-opener every other day, and my coffee pot certainly wasn’t going anywhere. My spice rack is an organizing tool for me – where else could I keep so many spices organized? You have all seen my tiny pantry, after all.
But then I realized: I am happy with the way it looks now. I don’t need to follow an arbitrary rule about how much stuff I can have on my countertop. I just need it to be workable for me! This arrangement is functional, pretty, and it doesn’t make me want to pull my hair out when I try to find a space for a cutting board. I like it!
The moral of this story is: don’t try to re-create someone else’s organization style in your home. You are you! Do what works; break the rules.