Kitchen counters that are devoid of any useful items, and have on them only a bowl of perfectly ripe oranges and a vase of colorful hydrangeas are certainly gorgeous, but I've found that having completely clean and clear kitchen counters is unrealistic in my house.  There is stuff we need to use in our everyday lives that is simply more convenient to keep out on the countertops.  

The clutter and ugliness of it all does get to me sometimes and I feel like I'm always seeking a way to streamline the messy counters.  In an effort to really pare down, clean, and organize over the holiday break, I think I found a happy medium.  On our kitchen counters now are only those items/small appliances that we tend to use everyday, plus some food items, and a jar of fresh flowers.  I've made the things we keep out as pretty as I can by putting them in nice containers and arranging them in a simple way.  I decanted items like protein powder and coffee beans so they look more like decor than bags of marketing.  As I walk through the kitchen now, I feel lighter and not as weighed down as I did before.  It's a nice change.  

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