Tonight I'm crossing Organize Cook Books off of my list. Just organizing my cook books has led to completely re-arranging my counter tops and making an effort to de-clutter. It's not that the few cook books that I have were in disarray so much as that whole area of the counter was just a mess... constantly! Okay, so, I previously had my cutting boards stored in the silver file holder. This worked great when I also had the trays from Andy's high chair stored there, but now that he sits in a booster seat and eats at the table, the file holder was just a little too big for three cutting boards. So, I took them out and just leaned them up against the wall and used the file holder to hold my cook books! Much better! This definitely made that counter top space a little more tidy.
The other issue I had in that area was that things like fruit, veggies, coffee disks, etc. were just kind of floating around. Nothing had a home. Since the pile of things I decided to keep out of the garage is still sitting in the entryway to our house (sigh) I went "shopping" in there for something to hold fruits and veggies that I want to keep on the counter. I found a cute sea grass basket that was holding a "Spa Kit" that was given to me for my wedding... four and a half YEARS ago. Well, it looks cute on my counter now! Then I moved the coffee maker to the other counter and found a pretty crystal bowl in my hutch (thanks Gramma!) and put it out on the counter top filled with the coffee disks. It looks SO much better not having all of those disk boxes stacked on the counter!
This has freed up a considerable amount of counter top space for food prep. I have been doing a LOT more cooking lately and it's been making me anxious to get my counter tops cleared off! It definitely looks a lot better and a lot neater. The biggest issue I am having now is the top bar part of our counters. It's constantly cluttered. It's like the landing zone for EVERYTHING that enters our house. I can NOT seem to keep it clean, no matter what I do. My husband told me last week that if there is a flat surface in our house it will immediately be covered with stuff! And he's totally right. What I need to do is figure out specific places to put mail, keys, purse, phones, wallet, etc. I don't have anything like that right now. There is no entry table in the hall, or hooks to hang anything on. Part of the reason is not being completely sure what I want to do, and the other is money. Maybe I should start hunting around on Craig's List and at yard sales for some kind of inexpensive entry table or dresser or cabinet that I could fix up and use. Maybe I should try not putting anything on the counter top for a week (or maybe even just a DAY!) and see if I can try to change that habit.
I really, really don't want to be a cluttery person, so I need to figure some kind of system out here!