Wednesday, July 7, 2010

15 Count Me In!

Don't you just love when something that seems negative, turns into a positive?  Who doesn't right?

So imagine my excitement when my toaster broke the other day!  I was so giddy, I am sure it was known for miles around.   OK, so maybe not quite.  Actually, I was almost in tears and spending hours researching new toasters online, when I thought I was no longer going to be able to enjoy a morning bagel, waffle or peanut butter toast!

But before I knew it, a positive came out of the situation.  I removed the toaster from my counter... and then....

That was it!  Life was instantly better!  How you ask?!  I will explain.

You see, we have an itty bitty kitchen space.  I have done some things around the joint to make updates to the colors and organize like crazy, to keep it looking more open and fresh, but I thought I had hit a little bit of a speed bump when it came to de-cluttering my counters.

I use just about everything on the counters... and the things I don't use daily, I just heart so much, I couldn't imaging the space without them....

But when my toaster went on the fritz, and I removed it from the counter, I was IN LOVE and AWE of the new found space.  I didn't want to put another toaster back in it's place.  And then the big ol' light went on, I just love when that happens!  I have a gigantic rotisserie machine taking up mega counter real estate, that I have NO other place to store at the moment due to it's tremendous size.  And, since it must stay out, we find ourselves using it as frequently as possible.  The best part about that machine is that it also doubles as a toaster oven, which I totally forgot because I always just used my toaster!  BINGO!  No need for double appliances that do the same thing!  Such exciting news!

So, now that I am toaster-less, I couldn't wait to take advantage of my new cleared off space, which eventually just led to a major counter cleanup!

I started by reusing an extra magazine file I had from my home office makeover {you may remember the stylish white beauty from this pic}

It sat empty, so it has since been moved to corral all necessary counter top goods:

Inside you will find all sorts of awesome kitchen necessities, such as dishtowels, dish soap {goodbye oil decanter}, counter cleaning spray and hand soap!

Who knew that something so functional for an office space, could be equally as functional in the kitchen?!

And it sits right next to the kitchen sink, making my daily chores a quick and easy breeze and everything within arms reach!  IHeart it!

At the sink I also added a little plastic floral bowl, to hold our dish scrubber, again, keeping only necessities out and about!

And on the other side of our stove, I have moved our coffee station, to a new location, and used the space next to the stove to house our favorite cookbooks.

I topped the stack with a free floral arrangement courtesy of our hosta plant out back!

The coffee station actually is now tucked between our fridge and pantry cabinet, which at one time held kid's paperwork binders {which have now been relocated to our craft closet}.

Before and After:

Although not overly cluttered looking before, the paperwork really didn't need to be where it was.  It was more for storing and revisiting later, which is why it was moved to the craft closet to make room for the coffee machine and mugs.  Which couldn't have fit better!

I also removed EVERYTHING off of the fridge, including the not visible side!  That made me happiest of all!

And made sure to clean up our garage entry area by filing papers and hanging up coats and backpacks back in their original homes.

And of course, none of this would have been possible if I wasn't able to move some of my most favorite belongings, to my new shelf system on the other side of the room!

Aren't those free flowers from my shrub out front, just amazing?

OK, sorry for the A.D.D.  It's probably frequently evident in my writing...

And I was done with the counter overhaul!  All because of a little broken toaster!  Taking the counter from:


In about 15 minutes!  Wahoo!

Side by sides help sometime, especially when small changes are made!

{Notice fewer accessories on the counter, none in the window or on the stove... those small changes sure makes the space feel twice as big!}

Your turn!  Any mishaps turn into happiness?  Anyone got a spare 15 minutes that I can "count you in" for a quick counter revamp?  How about any other 15 minute organizing projects going on?  I would heart to hear!


  1. Gotta love a quick, easy, and free change! Looks tons better (and I bet it functions better, too!)


  2. I really heart your blog! I have a question for you - where did you find your little floral bowls you keep your scrubber in, and also the ones in your laundry room? Love them!

  3. I heart your new kitchen rug! Where did you get it? I love to change out our accessories on our entertainment center to create a whole new look. Like this: to this:

  4. Jen that looks so nice and much bigger too! Love the little changes that make such a big difference! Yay for broken toasters!!

  5. My sister has been helping me reorganize my house. I go along with everything and move things when it just doesn't work. For example, she moved my microwave to to the dryer, so it shared an outlet. Well I had to plug and unplug the microwave too much. One time I turned on the dryer and forgot it wasn't plugged. The laundry stayed in a long time and it smelled like mildew. Ewww!! That was it! Shortly after that I moved it back to it's little short cabinet.

    When I was at big lots they had these cute plastic magazine racks and I have a narrow space between the dryer and wall. I shoved in the magazine rack and put laudry detergent in there (well at least the smaller bottles). The large bottles go by the refrigerator. I used to keep them on the shelf but now my shelf has kitchen decorations and my books. One side is recipe books and the otherside are craft books.

    I found a small container, that hadn't been found, after the remodel. I put the dryer sheets one one side and the square napkins on the right. I put my bread in a rectangle basket on top of the refrig. It is so much neater and functional. I'll admit I was inspired by your laundry posts for the dryer sheets in the container. lol

  6. Ahhh....doesn't it feel so good when things are organized? I swear, organization is sexy!

  7. Organization is so thereaputic! i LOVE your blog and how you organize things! Go check out my blog I've got something there for ya!

  8. Thanks so much everyone!!! You ALL are amazing and my inspiration!

    Jessica, I actually had snagged the acrylic flower bowls on clearance from Pier 1 a month or two ago, in their outdoor section.

    And Tina, THANK YOU so much, I am flattered to receive an award from you!! The support I receive from you as a reader is what keeps the blog up and running!


  9. Amanda, I purchased the kitchen rug at Target but have since seen it for half the price at Home Goods! Ahh, so bummed when that happens!

    And I am totally digging your entertainment center updates! The little accessory updates made a HUGE difference! Thanks so much for sharing!!


  10. I am on mission lately to reorganize and declutter our kitchen countertops. we have 22 month old twins and I am now trying to 'take the house back!' Our kitchen is the most lived in room of the house so naturally it accumlates the most stuff!

    I love your blog.

    Question for you... where do you store cell phone chargers? This is my biggest problem lately. We have 4 items that need to be plugged in/charged. We have a little charging station but I just can NOT find a good home for it that is 1) convenient and not cluttered.
    Any suggestions?

  11. Hi ktwins!

    We actually have a 4 slotted cell phone charging station, which we keep on a console table in our living room/entry way.

    I guess I would suggest that you think about all possible locations that are easy to access within your daily routine. Maybe placing them in another area of the home is an option? Do you have room to make a little command station in your kitchen, in which you could place a slotted in mail box {like this one} with the charger on top? This would create an organized multitasking zone that could eliminate some piling clutter.

    I have also seen people use the inside drawer of a console table to place a power strip and store corded accessories.

    I hope that helps a little.

    Thanks for stopping by and happy organizing!


  12. It looks great! A couple weeks ago we retired our countertop microwave and opted to use just the toaster oven (or the stove) to reheat food. I LOVE the new counterspace too, so I know how you feel.

    I will look through older posts, but WHERE did you get that lovely off-white organizer by the door?! That's exactly what I've been looking for! Love all your organizing tips--things look nice and clean. :)

  13. Hi Ellie!

    Congrats on removing the microwave! It's amazing how much space and eye clutter appliances can create right?!

    Our letter/mail filing system is one area that I totally splurged on a few years ago. And although I don't regret it and it's uber functional while remaining stylish at the same time, I purchased it at Pottery Barn one piece at a time: {|4|1||10|daily%20system||0&cm_src=SCH}

    If you are trying to organize on a budget, I found these {}, that could be equally as functional, if not more, at a HUGE fraction of the cost. Only difference is wood tone, but it could easily be spray painted to achieve a look similar to the Pottery Barn ones.

    I hope that helps!


  14. I have an extremely small kitchen with very limited counterspace. I recently reclaimed a small sliver of space next to the sink that was cluttered with the coffee pot and accessories. It not only holds the stand up style paper towel holder and a cute little pitcher with silk flowers. It makes me smile to see it that way. I scored a butcher block type cart/island at an awesome indoor flea market place for $10, yep $10. It was nasty dirty but it cleaned up. So I moved the coffee station to the cart and it's perfect.

  15. Hi Lisa!

    I am impressed on the $10 find! So envious, I am really digging butcher block lately!



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