Whether you are in the process of listing and selling your home, or just moving into your new digs, you know that clutter is the enemy. If you are selling and just learning about styling properties, you want to corral that clutter before it offends prospective buyers. If you are just getting settled in a new place, now is the time to implement a new system of banishing clutter forever. Getting rid of all the junk we collect in the course of a few weeks can be daunting. Alas, most of us are simply clutter magnets and all of that clutter seems to gather in our kitchens.

Unfortunately, kitchen surfaces happen to be the most expensive real estate we have in our homes. Even if your kitchen is spacious, with acres upon acres of benchtops, you still ache to have it all available and free of junk. If you are like most of us, though, you don’t have a sufficient amount of counter space to allow for even really important paperwork. (Like little Missy’s kindergarten art.)
Here are a few ideas from professional home stagers that propose to keep clutter in its place.

Keeping Counters Clear
When a property stager finishes dressing a house for sale, there is next to nothing on the kitchen benchtops. Perhaps a toaster. Maybe a coffee maker or a cookbook. The idea is to keep all the counter space naked and ready to be used to create a holiday feast. Your first step in this direction is to put things where you use them.

• Put the roll of paper towels near the sink. Perhaps a holder can be mounted inside the door of the under-sink cabinet?

• Detergent bottles, sponges, steel wool and other dishwashing related items can be put into a basket under the sink as well. They are still within reach, but will not take up visual space on the countertop.

• Banish note pads and pens from the counter. Buy ones with magnetic components and fix them to the refrigerator door next to Missy’s finger painting.

• Clear glass canisters or simple canning jars can be used to store necessities. Because they are see-through, they take up less visual space. Place them neatly and keep them immaculately clean.

• Lose your knife block. This lovely piece of work takes up lots of space. Instead of using the block, install a magnetic knife strip on the splashback nearest to where you do food prep. The knives will be out of the way and will remain just as sharp – in fact, much sharper if you’ve been storing them in a drawer.

• Oddly shaped items such as cutting boards can also be mounted on the wall. Using vertical space can net you lots of benchtop space you’d forgotten you ever had.

• Hang it. A ceiling mounted pot rack can free-up lots of space in cabinets – giving you room for all manner of odd bits you can’t put anywhere else. It’s also one of those things that all would-be gourmets want but almost never buy for themselves.

• Keep a job jar. Use a clear glass container as a place to put those things you don’t know what to do with. Receipts, reminders, found buttons, rubber bands, and paper clips can go into this small space. Every week or so you empty it out and either store the items in it permanently or throw them away.

The key to keeping your kitchen looking sale-ready is to keep things where they belong. The trick is finding places for everything. Things need to be where you will use them. Take a common sense approach to every item you put your hands on – if you use it, put it where you can locate it quickly. If you don’t use it and don’t need it, toss it. This same system works in every room of your house.

By wrestling junk and clutter into submission, you can regain control of your house. If you need help with this, call the home staging professionals who spend their waking hours styling properties. They can either help you themselves or they can put you in touch with a professional organiser whose help you will find to be invaluable.

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