General Question

charliecompany34's avatar

What is considered "clutter" in a kitchen?

Asked by charliecompany34 (7804points) July 1st, 2009

i hate clutter. sometimes i go into cleaning rages, muttering under my breath about things that are out of place or just simply in the way. seems the kitchen should be like “sanctuary” to me.

what thing or things do you just have to have in your kitchen? is it clutter or is it necessity? how do you rid of clutter? do you even realize it is?

is your kitchen so clean, you could literally eat off the floor?

if you could clean somebody else’s kitchen, what would you trash first?

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43 Answers

vegelizabeth's avatar

Ask Kate Gosselin, hahaha .

Blondesjon's avatar

Other people, fucking up my program, when all I am trying to do is feed them. . .well.

Tink's avatar

Clutter to me is dirty dishes, yuck, and when the trash can is full of shit and no one bothers to take it out!!

jrpowell's avatar

When I lived alone I kept the basics. Two of everything (plates, bowls, silverware) and pans and cheese grater.

I had a cookie sheet and garlic press too.

I pretty much made sure that I had to wash dishes to make my next meal.

charliecompany34's avatar

@Blondesjon yeah, i agree. nothing is worse than guests eating chicken as fast as you fry it.

charliecompany34's avatar

@Tink1113 yup, pet peeve for me is the garbage can too. my oldest son just keeps pushing it down into the basket to avoid taking it out. forget the odors…

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

To me, clutter is more than one set of dishes in the sink, appliances on the counters used as decorations rather than tools, collections of plastic baggies, leathered up pieces of fruit, knick knacks, decorative jars of pasta, beans and vinegared but inedible foods that collect dust and grime.

Tink's avatar

I know!!!

Grisaille's avatar

Being a single guy living on my own, I echo @johnpowell.

Though I’m quite neat, I have mismatched everything. My ex hated the fact we’d eat off of different plates. No, I have no clue why.

Clutter is too much stuff lyin’ about. A kitchen can remain clean whilst being crowded, I reckon.

basp's avatar

After fifteen years of having a kitchen with only two cabinets and drawers, I have moved to a home where the kitchen has more cabinets and drawers than I can fill up. I went from having to store everything on limited counter space to unlimited storage and counter space. It is so nice to have room to put everything away!!

Facade's avatar

Things that aren’t need and haven’t been used. Things that are used but aren’t correctly put away. Dirty dishes more than a day old. Trash that’s more than 3/4 of the way full. Open drawers and/or cabinets. An overly crowded fridge and/or freezer.

jrpowell's avatar

I was bored so I counted some dishes in our house now.

40+ plates
20+ bowls
40+ drinking containers
Too much silverware
A insane amount of Tupperware

Crazy thing is my sister notices if a single piece of Tupperware is missing.

charliecompany34's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence oh yeah—the pasta/beans/olive oil and peppers arrays. i know the look. i love decorative bottles, but when they start ganging up on a corner of the kitchen, i have to let them go…

jrpowell's avatar

@charliecompany34 :: And this is after the divorce. She only took what she needed. It was much worse before.

charliecompany34's avatar

i say get rid of the fridge magnets. clutter ad infinitum

Grisaille's avatar

@johnpowell ಠ_ಠ

That’s absurd.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

@johnpowell: farking stinky stainy yucky to wash plasticware!

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@johnpowell One can never have too much Tupperware. No, I don’t sell it. I just BUY it

charliecompany34's avatar

@jbfletcherfan i agree. just as long as you have somewhere to store it.

(uncluttering kitchen as i write…)

ubersiren's avatar

I need to have empty wall space between items on my counter. If my canisters are on the counter, there can’t be anything else on the same counter. If my chi isn’t flowing, then there’s too much stuff out. Everything must be in its place. I don’t like lots of stuff cluttering up the refrigerator either. A few magnets, no paper, dry erase message board with no more than 2 messages. Absolutely NO dishes in the sink or on the counter. All dirty dishes go immediately into the dish washer. No crumbs, no food wrappers, no drips of water. Get out of my kitchen!

charliecompany34's avatar

empty wall space is key!

YARNLADY's avatar

When the ants start carrying the dishes away, I guess it’s probably too cluttered. I would have to look under the pile of empty cereal bags that I have on top of the receipes and coupons I pulled out of the newspaper. There is a serving tray with the package of napkins and all the little bread wrap tags, plastic forks and knives, and small plastic lids, next to the large fruit bowl full and overflowing with bananas, apples, grapes, and oranges. Then the toaster is sitting on a serving tray to catch the crumbs, along with the salt & pepper, honey jar, sugar dish, vitamin container, ziplock baggies, and chocolate pudding containers.

In front of these are several coffee mugs that can’t be washed in the dishwasher, the ice trays waiting to be refilled, the empty fruit juice pitchers waiting for the juice to be taken out of the freezer and water added. There’s an upright paper towel holder, several refrigerator magnets that needed wiped off, a plastic grocery bag dispenser, two types of cleaning wipes containers, a spray bottle of cleaning liquid, and a bottle of dish soap. In the sink is a pile of dirty dishes waiting for the dishwasher to be emptied of the clean dishes.

And that’s just the counter on the left side, I could write a list of stuff on the right hand side that would be even longer, because the counters on that side spread out on both sides of the stove.

ubersiren's avatar


heart attack


But you have grandchildren, so this is acceptable.

Darwin's avatar

As long as I have space to chop veg or make a sandwich on the counter, I am fine. However, my kids seem to believe that all flat surfaces must immediately be filled with everything from library books to used napkins and discarded wrappers.

I spend a lot of time clearing off the counters so I can cook.

augustlan's avatar

Since we don’t use them everyday, I keep my toaster and coffeemaker in a cabinet rather than on the counter. The front of my fridge is routinely empty of magnets & such… I use the side of it for that (the side that faces countertop).

My big problem w/ clutter in the kitchen are all the things my husband leaves on the table after a day at work. Phone, wallet, keys, sunglasses, pocket knife, landscape design tools, etc. They often end up in my napkin basket, which means I can’t refill it w/ napkins. Grrr.

There are always dirty dishes in the sink or on the counter, but that doesn’t seem to bother me much.

Grisaille's avatar

@augustlan You don’t use your coffee machine every day? Are you an alien?

Jonline's avatar

Anything that impedes preparation of food, including dirty dishes, junk mail, cats, personal items, figurines, people with opposing goals and sometimes other food.

Darwin's avatar

@Grisaille We have a coffee machine stashed somewhere in a deep lower cabinet – I think we have used it only two or three times in twenty years of marriage. Last time I checked, we were all Earthlings at our house.

Grisaille's avatar



Darwin's avatar

But I have fur!

augustlan's avatar

@Grisaille I don’t drink coffee at all. My husband does, but he gets it at work during the week. He usually makes a pot on the weekends, though.

@Jonline I hear you on the cats! I have two, and they are always underfoot. :)

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

@YARNLADY: children are born not just to eat up the bounty of the land and add laughter, they’re to toil (with love, of course) crack the whip~!

Grisaille's avatar

@Darwin I’m watchin’ ya, poochie.


@augustlan B-b-b-but… how do you survive without coffee?

charliecompany34's avatar

@Jonline wow, you have only been on fluther a new york minute, but i must say i feel your angst. i will totally clear a kitchen of all clutter and one hour later, the kids and the wife come home and put stuff on counters and the kitchen table like “aaaaahhhhh,” open counter space where we can set things down and walk off.

augustlan's avatar

@Grisaille No caffeine at all! The cocaine keeps me going. Kidding!

Grisaille's avatar

@augustlan Man, 5 hours without a cup and I’m asleep. Really, I’m physically dependent on the crap :[

That is, of course, if I don’t have any blow nearby.

YARNLADY's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence—the two year old loves to put away the dishes when he is here, dirty or clean, he doesn’t care. The 22 year old is working nearly every day now, and he pays rent, so helps a lot less than before. He still empties the trash, takes good care of his cat and sometimes mows the lawn.

RedPowerLady's avatar

First thing I would trash is the freaking microwave. The second thing I would go through is the junk drawer.

I read a good book and one thing it stated was about decluttering. It said go through your house with a garbage bag and anything that gives you negative feelings when you look at it, throw it away. Now I think that is quite an interesting and refreshing approach to decluttering.

Jeruba's avatar

Very interesting approach indeed, @RedPowerLady. Was decluttering the subject of the book? What’s the title? Also, did it say anything about how you do that when the space and also the things belong to more than one person?

RedPowerLady's avatar

I was too embarassed to say what the book was called but I suppose I have enough courage to say it, lol. It is called “Trust Your Vibes”. It’s an odd book about getting in touch with your inner-self. The book is a bit different but the practical advice each chapter offers is quite fascinating. Like the first piece of advice is to get out a peice of paper and carry it around with you for a couple of days, write on it all the fears and negative thoughts that pop into your head.

Here is what it says about the decluttering: It says to take the week and “methodically clear out everything in your life that no longer uplifts your spirit.” It says start with your wallet or purse then move on: your closet, your house, your car, your office etc… And to keep nothing that doesn’t leave you with light positive energy. And to be quick about elimination so that you have no time for second thoughts.

It doesn’t say specifically what to do when the space belongs to more than one person. I think the idea is to get rid of it no matter what. It’s about not letting those obstacles get in the way of creating a more positive life for yourself. She has a website. The author has a website that is again a bit odd and I haven’t used it yet myself but they do have a chat group where I’m sure questions are welcome:

elijah's avatar

I don’t want anything on my counters. I hate clutter. No canisters, no little piles of papers, no anything. I leave out my marble cutting board, my toaster and microwave because they are stainless and match all the other appliances, a silver basket for tomatoes/whatever veggies, and my Keurig coffee machine because it’s badass and glows blue. My island is where my sink is so there’s a little hand soap dispenser, Paper towel holder, another cutting board, and another silver bowl for bananas/plums/whatever fruit. Also two placemats for the side you can sit at.
No dishes in the sink, no sponges or washcloths (those are nasty), no car keys or whatever else people bring in.

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