A day in the life of the kitchen counter

posted in: journal 3

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real

~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~

round button chicken

I thought it’d be fun to take some shots throughout one day of my kitchen counter. It sees a lot of action, and maybe seeing the whole progression start to finish might be both enlightening and encouraging.

I had the idea and thought it would make a great phfr post, but by the end of the day I learned something that I think will help the state of our counters and the clutter they attract. 


~ Pretty Start ~

So I made extra certain Monday evening that I really cleared and washed the counter all the way to provide a blank slate and a fresh start for the photos over the course of Tuesday.

Here’s 5am and then 8am:



~ Happy Productivity ~

We started school. Here you can see our math crate and the fact that we made a “quick” pre-lunch Costco run.

Hans was a little baffled as to why I was taking pictures of the kitchen counter.




~ Funny & Unexpected ~

I thought after the school day was over, the counter would get progressively more clear. But it didn’t work out that way. In fact, in the late afternoon, more and more clutter seemed to accumulate, especially as I generally answer the EHAP question, “Where should I put this?” with “On the counter.” And that really means, “I’ll deal with it later.”




~ Real Life ~

So, I totally would have left at least half of that junk on the counter if I hadn’t been snapping pictures and wanting an end-of-day shot that was “restored” and back to clear. It was good motivation – and, apparently, needed motivation.


My unexpected finding during this Tuesday of progressive counter-top photos was that this day the counter didn’t seem to get as cluttered as it typically is. I almost felt like it was a little anticlimactic.

But while I was clearing and washing for the final photo, I realized why. If I had not been taking photos, I knew I wouldn’t be taking my evening counter-clearing all the way to “done.” And that would mean starting off Wednesday with clutter on the counters, and it would (and does) slowly build and build over the course of the week.

But since I completely cleared the counter the night before, I didn’t start off half-cluttered and so – surprise! – the clutter level also didn’t get out of hand. The week before I had simply had a slow accumulation that became mounds simply because I never actually cleared it all the way off at the end of the day. I cleared it off at a rate slower than the accumulation rate.

Plus, I think there’s a little bit of the “broken window syndrome,” too – what’s another pile added to a surface full of piles? Blends right in. However, when the counter is all clear, the pile stands out like a sore thumb. It wants to be put away. A clear counter attracts clearing and a cluttered counter attracts more clutter.

So this little photo experiment has increased my resolve and motivation to clear to neutral at the end of every day.

3 Responses

  1. Clutter attracts more clutter.

    So, so true!! I made a very intentional decision about the staircase- we always end up with so much clutter on the bottom three steps. I decided no more- and it’s been a lot better the past two weeks. But I left a pair of gloves on the step two days ago, and Wham! All the stuff returned. How does that happen!?!?

    • Mystie Winckler
      | Reply

      It happens so fast! Good to know I’m not the only one. :)

  2. Grace
    | Reply

    Lol, I should photo my counter throughout the day. It has a life of its own. I think elves or some little mischief makers go in after I have cleaned and cleared, because I almost never walk into a clean kitchen unless it is the middle of the night or early in the morning…Hmm. I think we need a habit solution!

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