The re-user and the organizer that coexist within me live in almost constant tension. The organizer knows there are surfaces in my home that will never be clear for more than a few hours at a time. For example: our kitchen table, that’s perpetually cluttered with dishes, daily mail, partially finished homework and objects on their way to the barn or the Creative Reuse Center (but haven’t made it out the door, yet). But, the re-user knows it’s impossible to be creative without the space I need to create things. And, much the way some people’s moods are deeply affected by lack of sunlight or time spent outdoors, clutter and disorder really take a toll on me (just ask my husband).
This winter, I’ve been treating myself to the occasional bouquet of flowers from Kroger – the ones you find on “manager’s special” for $1, following a weekend when they made more than they sold. Funny thing, a vase of flowers doesn’t bring much joy when it’s surrounded by 47 other things. It just became one more thing to move on and off the table, when I needed to make space. So, I took a tip from all the tiny house hacks I’ve been pinning on Pinterest and created more counter space.
Instead of perpetually rearranging things, I came up with a new arrangement. I ordered some clamps from Amazon (they run about $1/each) and my husband mounted four Mason jars in our kitchen window, that now hold the fresh flowers that used to get lost on our kitchen table and cuttings from my houseplants that used to fill (and fall from) my window sill. In the spring, I may use them to grow seedlings for my summer garden.
I won’t lie and say I now find washing dishes a joy, but seeing these pretty little bouquets when I’m stuck at the sink, doing my least favorite task, does make me happy.
The next quick fix was more about having things handy (frequently used spices) and top-of-mind (fresh fruit). Although I was sorely tempted to buy pretty wire farmhouse baskets to mount on our walls, I remembered we had some more practical wire shelving in our utility closet that would work just fine.
They were just holding spray paint and vacuum attachments (things easily stored elsewhere) and already white, to match our kitchen. A couple turns of the screw driver and . . . voila! Instant counter space.
Now I have full access to our lovely faux blonde wood counter top, circa 1983. And it never looked so good!