Friday, August 12, 2011

The KISS Kitchen - Keep It Simple, Sexy!

I love looking at "Dream House" magazines and torturing myself over their gorgeous glossy pages, dreaming of what I could do if I too had $75,000 to spend on a swanky kitchen.  I love their sleek lines, I love their glassy surfaces, I love how it looks as if nobody lives there except an army of self cleaning robots.

One thing I have noticed about these dream kitchens is that the benchtops are always free of clutter.  There are no grimy canisters, no bills lying about (well of course not, with a $75,000 kitchen they probably have someone to take care of that), no tacky good luck elephant ornaments (don't ask, my MIL has a penchant for these) or other assorted ephemera cluttering up their kitchens.

And if you have ever sat through one of those real estate/make over shows on TV, one of the first things suggested is to de-clutter the kitchen and bathroom, because basically other people don't want to see your sh*t lying about.  They want to believe that just by buying your house, their kitchen benches will always be squeaky clean and clutter free.

This is even more apparent when you have a kitchen the size of a matchbox, much like myself.  As far as kitchens go, its probably ideal for a young professional couple with a nice little maltese terrier.  But for a family of six, my kitchen is woefully inadequate.  So, as I am going through a lengthy de-cluttering process in my home at the moment (you can read about my wardrobe war right here), I decided it was time for me to K.I.S.S. my kitchen.
Keep It Simple, Sexy  (yes, I know its supposed to be "Keep It Simple Stupid" but I prefer the flattery!)

Taking a leaf out of the "Dream House" magazines I took everything off my benches and kept the bare necessities out which ended up being a kettle, a fruit bowl, and my whiteboard calendar.  These items were put together in one spot so that the rest of the kitchen remained clutter free.

It took barely any time at all and it is truly one of the best things I have ever done.  My kitchen feels bigger, my benches are spick and span and it's so easy to wipe them down without having to swerve my way around bits and pieces.  Kitchens, by their very nature, are an oily, sticky place and after a while canisters and ornaments can end up looking pretty grotty and gross which just means more things to clean.

But what about all my little bits and pieces I hear you say?  What about my collection of porcelain pigs?  Won't my kitchen look soul-less and empty?

Well, I love collecting antique china and have way too many pretty tea cups and saucers for my own good.  In my dining area (which is right next to my kitchen) I have all my pretty things on display in a kitchen dresser.  Everything is one place and its a great way to show off your collectibles.  A buffet or shelves would work just as well.

Kitchen Decluttering Tips

Here are a few tips I have for keeping my kitchen clutter free and efficient.

One of the biggest kitchen clutter culprits is your toaster.  Toasters are used for about 10 minutes at breakfast time.  So why do they live on our benches taking up precious real estate 24 hours a day?  I keep my toaster in a cupboard below the power point and in the morning I whip it out and after breakfast I put it away.  Oila! Easy peasy.
Then there is the fridge door.  Yes, it is a convenient place to display the kid's kindy artwork, school certificates, bills that need paying, invites for xyz's birthday but it is amazing how clutter free your kitchen looks with a squeaky clean fridge door.  It's easy, just treat your fridge door as if it was not magnetic!

My kid's artwork goes into my office (the extra special ones I keep, the others I display for a week or so and then bin).  Details from birthday invites, etc. get written down into my diary and/or written on my whiteboard then they get binned.  Bills go in the draw/office and eventually get paid :)

One of my other tips is to put all the breakfast stuff in a plastic basket.  I have 4 boys who never want to eat the same thing on their toast so instead of rummaging around in my pantry looking for the vegemite/jam/peanut butter I pull out my breakfast basket and when breakfast is finished I shove it back in the pantry.  I am in the process of "basketising" my pantry to make it neater.  As you can see, its still a work in progress.

Luckily for me my kitchen has a dishwasher which is great for hiding the dirty dishes (although it is currently broken, yes Im talking to you Ms Snotty Landlord Lady if you would hurry up and fix the bl**dy thing) but I did read an excellent tip on the Fly Lady's website.  She suggested clearing a space under your sink and putting a dish drainer with a tray under there to put your dirty dishes on until you wash them.  Technically, its like having a dishwasher drawer but without the automatic washing part.  Its a small consolation, I know!  However, as I am having to wash my own dishes at the moment - oh the sacrifices - I find that because the kitchen is so clutter free, it still looks tidy even with dishes drying on the sink.

Why Not Take the KISS Kitchen Challenge?

  • Take everything off your benches apart from your absolute necessities (really it should only be 2 or 3 things)
  • Banish your toaster to a cupboard
  • Clean off your fridge door
I bet it will make a huge difference.  If you give it a go, please link to my post and upload some before and after photos so we can see the transformation!


  1. Right. So now you are on to me too about my benches. I guess I will get on to them now. 'Now' being 'perhaps next week'.... Great post, love you work.

  2. hahaha B - I have a whole pile of decluttering challenges up my sleeves, you can't hide forever!!!


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