How many times have you stood in your kitchen and thought, “I need more counter space!”?
Kitchen counters are valuable real estate, and you can always use more. The flat surfaces are necessary workspaces for cooking, baking and cleaning but also tend to be magnets for household clutter. Instead of completely redesigning your kitchen, give yourself more counter space by learning how to declutter your kitchen counters and taking steps to keep them clear in the future.
Why declutter your kitchen counters? When you declutter kitchen counters, your kitchen will immediately feel more substantial and cleaner. Piles and messes tend to stress me out, so having clutter-free counters helps me feel more relaxed and in control. If you’re constantly shifting through piles on your counter then decluttered counters will save you time finding what you need.
And the best reason of all (in my opinion) to declutter your counters is it can motivate you to cook dinner at home, saving you money. If you have a clean and clear space to prepare dinner, you’re more likely to do so.
Take a look at the counters
Scan your counters and make a note of all the items that don’t belong. Most people have some type of paper clutter on their counters, whether it’s kids’ school papers, bills or junk mail. Kids’ toys, dirty dishes, food are all also likely culprits. Group whatever junk you have on your counters into categories. From here, you’ll need to take two important steps:
Make a game plan for how to deal with each category of stuff by creating a more permanent place. Create systems/routines/habits, so your counters remain clutter-free. Don’t let these words scare you! There are so many benefits to having daily routines.
Clean your countertop completely
Given that cooking involves using various types of oils, most kitchen countertops are prone to becoming greasy. As a result, the first step should be to clear everything around your kitchen countertop and put it on the floor or dining table.
This way, you will have a clear space to work with. You should then clean every space in your countertop thoroughly, having a good degreaser at this point will come in handy to degrease your countertop and the walls around. There are so many degreasers in the market, and knowing which one to buy could be a daunting task. So, check this post here for some insight.
After thoroughly cleaning your countertops and walls around it, make sure to clean each and every item you had removed before and return it to its rightful place.
Keep counters neat and clean. Food preparation goes much more quickly when you have sufficient room for all of your ingredients, tools, and cookware. So many kitchen counters are cluttered with paraphernalia that they become nearly useless.
Put away appliances you don’t use often. The most important key for organizing your counter space is to keep it clear of most stuff. Unless you use an appliance at least several times a week — the coffee machine, toaster, and blender, for example — put it away. That’s the precious workspace you’re filling up with all that stuff.
Keep non-kitchen items off the countertops. A kitchen counter isn’t a magazine rack, plant holder, wine bin, or phone bookshelf, so try not to use it for these purposes if you actually want to cook.
Hang shelves near work surfaces to lift canisters, cookbooks, and attractive serving pieces off countertops. A trio of stacked shelves makes the most of an awkward space between the end cabinet and window and the dropped ceiling and backsplash in this contemporary kitchen. Other ways to stretch a kitchen’s storage capacity? Mount a vintage corner cabinet in a forgotten corner and add shallow shelves behind the sink and range.
Behind Closed Doors
Medicine cabinets provide conveniently located caches for storing potions, lotions, and getting-ready trappings that often clutter vanity tops. This stylish beauty, replete with mirrored door, holds myriad toiletries and acts as an eye-height divider between his-and-her preparation stations.
When there’s no other place to put relevant things, make the most of available countertop space by using baskets and pretty canvas bins to fence in the small stuff that tends to sprawl across surfaces. This clever containment system holds guest supplies in a bathroom but would work equally well as a handsome holder for cooking tools or office supplies.
Cutting Edge Idea
Some storage units are meant for expansive countertops with enough room to accommodate everything from cookbook racks to knife blocks. But, when space is tight, it makes sense to move what you can into suitably situated cabinets and drawers. Look for drawer inserts that help you organize chef’s knives, spice jars, and cooking gadgets in an area near where they’ll be accessed most often.
Turn any drawer into a charging station and keep electronic gear under wraps and off countertops. Outfit a nightstand, desk, or cabinet drawer with a power strip that allows you to charge cellphones, tablets, and e-readers in a secure location. Generally, this setup works best when a hole for the cord is drilled in the back or side of a furniture piece nearest an electrical outlet. Beyond your tech capacities? Call an electrician for assistance.
Keep your countertops uncluttered by equipping the cabinet below your kitchen or bathroom sink with baskets to hold cleaners, toiletries, and paper goods. In this vanity cabinet, pairs of small and large wire baskets are configured to amplify storage on either side of the main plumbing pipe. The open baskets allow the homeowners to visually inventory supplies and restock what’s needed in a jiffy.
Rack It Up
Over-the-cabinet-door organizers allow cabinets to living up to their potential and let you keep countertops clean of bulky gear. Head to the hardware store storage aisles and storage retailers to find hairdryer holders, paper towel holders, under-the-sink caddies, and versatile wire baskets that you can hook over a cabinet door.
Commodious Commode Wall
In most bathrooms, there’s one wall that’s open to numerous possibilities. The toilet wall easily accommodates all sorts of storage units. From medicine cabinets and wall shelves to freestanding etageres designed to fit a toilet’s contours, there’s a system to suit nearly every lavatory. In addition to supplying general bathroom storage, these handsome built-ins hold cosmetics and grooming supplies in orderly fashion near (but not on!) the vanity countertop.
Look to walls adjacent to work surfaces and countertops for real estate prime for the tapping. Mount pocket organizers or shelves equipped with desk organizers to take care of the paperwork that is likely to pile up on countertops; label pockets for incoming mail, outgoing permission slips, and bills in need of attention.
Store things you use every day on vintage racks, organizers, or hooks mounted to an underused wall. This wire rack, which handily and attractively holds coffee mugs and kitchen towels, not only keeps countertops shipshape, but it frees up cabinet space for storing other kitchen essentials.
Bathroom vanity tops are a magnet for clutter. They are put to use during the most hurried (or sleepiest!) hours when there isn’t any extra time or energy for tidying up. A secretary-style desk solves this problem by storing essentials close to a vanity, in an accessible, appealing form that closes up when beauty regimens are complete.
Appliance garages house small appliances when they’re not needed. They allow you to park things like coffeemakers, blenders, and food processors within reach but out-of-sight behind drop-down doors, which in turn leaves adjacent countertops open for food-prep tasks.
Built-ins and add-ons amplify a room’s holding power in an elegant manner. Cabinets, cubbies, and drawers wrap a kitchen desk with the menu-planning utility that makes it easy to see, retrieve, and return cooking references; corkboards provide spots for displaying calendars and posting shopping lists without taking up valuable desk space.
Insert specialty holders into base cabinet drawers to boost their usefulness. Spice-jar racks keep seasonings visible, organized, and within a chef’s reach but off counters and stovetops. Use cutlery trays, bamboo dividers, and compartmentalized acrylic trays to customize a system that stores and sorts the smaller things that are likely to bring chaos to countertops.
Tools of the Trade
Freestanding kitchen tool holders conveniently place tools in plain view and close to work areas, but they take up countertop space, which is at a premium in small kitchens. A creative way to keep tools within reach? Hang a towel bar or two on an open wall; use S hooks to suspend the cooking implements you’re likely to grab on a daily basis.
Bar areas work better when there’s a clear surface for cutting fruit, placing ice buckets, and lining up liquor and wine bottles. A chic shelving unit mounted on this tiled wall handles glassware and cocktail-party serving pieces; the unit converts the kitchen countertop and tiled wall into a full-service entertainment station that’s always stocked and ready for pop-up parties.
Freestanding Organizers Flag
Streamline countertops by containing like-minded items in bins, baskets, and jars that don’t take up more than their fair share of space. Opt for holders, like this colourful knife block that can be pushed beneath upper cabinets as needed to liberate workspace on the outer countertop.
Tailored to Fit
Customize a kitchen cabinet’s interior by adding a boxlike framework of shelves and cubbies that you can use to handle your household’s organizational needs. Look for ready-made inserts and pullouts that fit the interior space, or create your own construction that holds cookbooks and gives the home phone, a charging station, and note-writing supplies a place out-of-the-way of work surfaces.
Organize Your Kitchen Counters Now
Kitchen counters can go one of two ways. If you have a small counter, you probably spend a fair amount of time lamenting how little will fit on it; if yours is spacious, you’re complaining that it acts as a magnet for all the clutter in the kitchen and surrounding rooms. The following tips will help you manage your counter, whatever its size, and keep it organized and neat.
Keep Counters Clear
If you have a tiny counter, your main goal is keeping things off of it. Paper towels shouldn’t be taking up precious inches of counter real estate; stash them on top of the fridge or cabinets, or hang them from a holder attached to a wall. (Over the sink is a good spot for these if you can install one there.) Sink related items like sponges and detergent can sometimes fit in caddies designed to go inside the sink itself. Put water pitchers in the fridge and choose paper and pens with magnetic backs that will stick to a fridge door. Utilize shelving to free up additional counter space.
Only keep what you need in your kitchen countertops. Sometimes you will discover that there is a lot of stuff in your kitchen countertop that you rarely use. The next step should be getting rid of these excess items. You can either put them in a cupboard or in the attic, especially if you rarely use them.
Only give priority to items that you regularly use, such as:
- Dish rack
- Fruit basket
- Crock of cooking tools
Once you have selected what you use on a daily basis, you should put them in close proximity to where they are often used. For instance, it would be convenient to put a coffee maker near the mugs cabinet.
Crocks of cooking tools should be near the stove and so on.
This way, everything will be where you need it, and it will be much easier to retrieve and return since you already know its rightful position.
Keep a Junk Bowl
If your counter ends up being the repository of every scrap of paper and wayward knickknack in the house, place a small to medium-sized bowl or bin in the corner of the counter to hold it all. Every week or so, sort through this collection and either throw it away or redistribute it to its proper location. If it quickly overflows, and you discover that most items in it have no proper home, it’s time to implement some new organization tips and possibly buy or make a dedicated mail holder, knitting bag, or whatever else would help your clutter stay off your counter.
Mason jars are hot right now, but they’ve been useful in the kitchen for ages. You can store sugar, dry pasta, candy, or practically anything else in these appealing glass containers. Of course, you can also use any other jars or bottles as countertop storage—just make sure that they seal it tightly if you’re keeping food in them. If you’re storing rubber bands or twist ties, any sort of container will do, and lids aren’t necessary. Whatever you pick, simply line them up, so they look neat, perhaps organized by size, and preferably against a wall to make more space at the front of the counter.
Use Vertical Storage
Instead of cluttering up a drawer with large and irregularly-shaped cooking utensils like spatulas and strainers, store all such tools upright in a vase or jar on your kitchen counter. They’ll be completely visible and easy to grab when you need them. As with mason jars, choosing a pretty vessel adds some decorative value to this practical organizing method. You can also store flatware this way, which eliminates the need for drawer dividers and lets you simply place a cup or tin full of forks and knives on the table for casual meals, instead of doling them out individually to each person.
Divide and Conquer
If you have a large counter, divide it (mentally) into sections. Keep notepaper and pencils in one corner, your fruit bowl or a vase of flowers in another area, and frequently-used items like paper towels, napkins, or your jar of utensils wherever you usually find yourself needing them. Once you get used to this, you’ll never stand to stare at your counter looking for a pen or slotted spoon, wondering where it went.
Kitchen Counter To-Do List:
– Clear all paper from your kitchen counters: Quickly clear all counters of any paper, and deal with it as discussed here (in other words, trash/shred it, scan it, or keep it). If it is something you need to keep, make sure it is put in the proper spot for important papers!
– Remove and put away any items that belong in other rooms: Use a basket to collect items that belong in other rooms and return them to their proper homes.
– Get rid of unwanted, broken or useless items: Keep only items that are currently useful, are in proper working order and that you absolutely love. Again, get rid of things that you are keeping solely out of obligation or guilt. It won’t be easy, but it is necessary to let go of those things that were gifted to you that you just don’t love or don’t use. Decide what to keep, sell or donate and follow through with it ASAP.
– Keep only absolute necessities out on your counters: For my family, that includes a coffee maker and blender, because we use those items daily. We also have a fruit bowl, a jar with olive oil in it and salt and pepper (by the stove) and dish soap by the sink. That’s it! If you can scale it down to even less than that, go for it! A clean, clutter-free kitchen can go a long way in reducing your stress and making meal prep time far more enjoyable. It’s also much easier to unpack groceries when your counters aren’t cluttered by paper and other stuff.
– If you have a tiny kitchen, you need to make some hard choices– Is your kitchen tiny with little cabinet space? I GET IT. Indeed, I do. Each of my former houses had small kitchens with limited storage. The struggle is real! It can be easy to feel like you HAVE to keep things out on your kitchen counters. But, some creative solutions will help you. Be sure to check out my post on genius storage ideas for small kitchens and learn how to maximize every inch of storage space that you have.
YES! These tips for decluttering your kitchen counters and for keeping them clean with countertop storage suggestions. Off to declutter my kitchen!
Once you have gotten your kitchen countertops to clutter-free, you will be AMAZED at how much more pleasant it feels to spend time in your kitchen. Now, go get to work! You will be so happy with the end result!
Have a less used items space
Earlier, we have mentioned that you should have items that you do not use regularly removed from the kitchen countertop. Instead of putting them in the attic or cupboard, you could have a not regularly used space in your kitchen.
However, this option only works for large kitchens. It will help you organize those items that are not used regularly in their own space and also make it easy to access them when in need.
Rules to observe to prevent cluttering your kitchen countertops
Make sure family members are aware of where kitchen items should be placed. Dirty dishes should always go to the dishwasher or sink.
If cluttered make sure to involve the family members in the declutter process so that they understand where each and every item should be.
Keep clearing your kitchen counters until you are happy with the result, and don’t feel inconvenienced with having to get out or put back away various items that used to live on the counter regularly, but that you moved to a drawer or cabinet.
Once you’ve got your counters cleared to your level of satisfaction, then the big trick is keeping them that way from now on.
A kitchen with clean counters will serve you well in so many ways. Not only does it look sharp and orderly, but empty counters also offer you the most cooking space possible. Minimal counter clutter also means less stuff to clean because you can wipe counters easily—so cleared-off counters also tend to be clean and healthy counters, too.