This is the week to tackle the mess around the house, and the kitchen gets the focus. If we're going to get after it, it should be easy, and this is.

The mere presence of family members at home can make a mess, and now that we're home all the time the whole house might be looking like a football locker room after a bad loss.  It's a wreck.

Clutter adds to stress, and if we get rid of some of it we'll feel better.  At least in theory.  Whatever the motivation, we're still stuck at home a lot these days, and we might as well tackle something that's been on the list of good intentions for eons. The kitchen it is.

Organization expert Andrew Mellen launched the 5 Day De-Stress Your Mess Challenge this week to encourage us to chase out the clutter, and today the spotlight is on the kitchen.  Whether you're part of Mellen's challenge or ambitious on your own, there are some goals to shoot for.

Housebeautiful says there are six things we should keep in mind.

1. Think about what you do most often.  Put away the stuff that you don't use much, and keep the most-used items in a central spot.

2. Don't have endless spares.  Oh my gosh, I have spares for everything.  But the drawers will open and close better if the spatula count is reduced by about half.

3. Position food so you can see what you have.  All of the pasta can go in one basket in the pantry, granola bar boxes can be grouped into a pile, and spices can sit on top of stair-step racks with small drawers underneath to hold yeast packets and things.

4. Be practical with where you place things.  Heavy pots and pans will drive you nuts (and maybe hurt you) if they're up too high.  Put the heavy stuff at the lowest point and work your way lighter.

5. Ensure your storage areas are working in the best way possible.  Make the most of moveable shelves so no space is wasted.  50% of cabinet space will go unused if moveable shelves are never moved to a spot where they're most efficient.

6. Think practical, not pretty.  Clear jars might help nuts look their best, but keeping pistachios in the original container will take up less space.  (Said the girl who keeps walnuts in a clear jar on the pantry shelf as a reminder to choose those over peanut butter.)  Sometimes pretty is practical, but not always.

The easiest thing to do to spritz the kitchen is to take away some appliances from the kitchen counter.  The coffee pot has to stay, but the Kitchenaid mixer could go in a cabinet below to free up space and create clean lines.

We can throw out old water bottles, sippy cups that the kids used when they were two, and all those mismatched storage container lids.  We'll feel better. And then order some takeout as a reward.  

There are a bunch of ways to get a good recharge and chase out the blahs, and we'll keep them coming.