They say that the kitchen is the heart and soul of a home. And, that things are drawn to gathering there—people, objects, pizza boxes, your partner's dirty dishes. For that reason, the kitchen is usually the room in your house that is most in need of a rigid plan to keep it spotless around the clock. So here's a little tough love, in three parts.
Rule #1: Errant "Stuff" should never touch the countertop.
There are certain things that collect in the kitchen—it's drinking glasses, mail and pet supplies in my house—and that's the way things will always be. But your rule, from here on out, will be that none of those things can ever make direct contact with the counter. Instead, give them a tidy home. Dishes in the sink (always!), mail in an organizer and pet supplies in a basket or tray.
Rule #2: Never Set Anything Next to the Trash
Leaning on the trash can is not the same thing as in the trash can. If you're getting serious about this clean kitchen thing, you have to vow to always tear boxes down for the recycling bin and to take out the trash as soon as nothing else will fit (and, yes, the lid has to close). No exceptions.
Rule #3: Clear the sink each night or every morning.
Things pile in the sink, it's inevitable (see rule #1 above). But what you can control is how often the sink pile gets handled. Make it a part of your morning or evening routine to wash the dishes (or move them to the dishwasher) and things will never get out of hand.
Do you have any strict rules to keep kitchen clutter at bay?