This is a photo of my kitchen benches before the declutter. I used to have a recipe book holder, a spice rack, various appliances and even one of my photography lights permanently in this area. I fooled myself that the light looked like a piece of sculpture. But actually it just looked like a light in a weird place. We seldom used the recipe holder, and the appliances were also only used occasionally so why leave them out cluttering the benches?
So I got rid of everything we didn’t use and placed those things we used occasionally in a cupboard. To make room for them we had to declutter a cupboard of course. We now have much more clear bench space and it simply looks better. I used the principal behind William Morris’s famous quote to make the decisions on what to leave out – keep only what is useful or beautiful. So I left out on display the flat kitchen scales, the phone, kettle and toaster because they get used all the time and the Alessi cheese grater because it is so beautiful. In this photo, I do have a mint plant temporarily on the bench. There’s also a metal fruit bowl in the far left corner. It not only looks better and gives us more bench space, it is more pleasant to cook in a clean, clear space.