Clutter-Free Kitchen Counters

Mail. Paperwork. Combs. Scissors. Empty Vases. Vitamins. Small objects swiped from the baby. Play dough. Jars. Business cards. Broken zippers. Newspapers. Toys. Spatulas. Paint brushes.  Art work. Library books. Camera. Tylenol. Coupons. Legos. Sunblock. Groceries that didn’t make it back to the pantry, or never made it there in the first place.

Does this sound familiar?

Kitchens are one of the most frequented and lived-in spaces in a house. This is the center of action in my own home.

Counter tops can so easily get jumbled with piles of “stuff.” They are the quick storage solution we naturally gravitate towards, but as stuff piles up we start to feel confused and overwhelmed.

It doesn’t have to be that way! Here are a few tips on keeping those countertops clutter-free:

1. Everything must have a home. Just like in the rest of your house, assign all items a place to live. DO NOT store items in the kitchen that are not regularly used in the kitchen. This will take creativity as you create new homes for the less obvious, such as broken things and items that need to be returned to stores. But if you want to get rid of the clutter, you must take the time to look at each thing and determine a storage solution.

2. Maximize kitchen storage. Use drawer dividers in drawers. Put storage contraptions on the backs of cabinet doors. See my Kitchen Board on Pinterest for space solution ideas. If you are really lacking space, a decorative basket can be a great way to hold (and conceal for neatness) items on a countertop – but make sure you do not overuse. Baskets can become clutter magnets and make it easy to throw things in and lose them, so I recommend only using them if you absolutely must.

3. Don’t let anything sit for more than a day. If something is still sitting on the counters at the end of the day, it needs to be dealt with. If you are drowning in school papers, read this. I wrote it for you! Do a walk through after dinner clean up and take things back to their homes. Set a timer and see how long it really takes you. It will be less than you think if you practice this habit each day!

4. Get everyone in the house onboard. Talk about it over dinner. Explain to the children and spouse that you want the kitchen to be a place where cooking and family time is celebrated, and you need space! Counters are for kitchen work and not for storage. This is also a great time to encourage everyone to get in the habit of putting things away after they are used period.

5. Don’t overcrowd your counters with appliances and knick knacks. As a general rule, I like to say no more than one appliance per stretch of counter space. By that I mean toaster oven, coffee maker, stand mixer, etc.  And I will go so far as to recommend that you store appliances under your counters after they are used, if you have the space. How do you decide what makes the cut and stays out? Stick with what is used on a daily basis. I discourage using countertops for knick knack display. Fruit bowls with fresh fruit, potted plants, vases with fresh flowers or yard clippings – these are all ways to bring a decorative touch to the kitchen while it still remains functional and feels clean.

And what you will hear me say over and over because it is worthy of repeating: Its doesn’t have to be perfect. As the day goes on, things will continue to make their way onto your countertops, but make it your goal to have them clear each night. If that is unattainable right now, start with something simple: like putting all the food in the pantry and making your countertops off-limits for toys.

Do your best to implement some of these tips and get those countertops cleared off as much as possible, and keep them that way!  You may find you enjoy cooking even more!

Sometimes kitchen clutter continues to accumulate because the entire room is in need of reorganization. The flow of a room has everything to do with whether or not it stays organized. All of our kitchens and all of our personalities are different. I would love to help you! Whether its simply creating a plan, or going through each cabinet and drawer with you. My consultations/organizing plans are half off through the end of September! Contact me so we can get started. If you don’t live in my service area, ask me about virtual consulting. I can help you even from afar 🙂

Thanks for reading,


Get Organized. Simply Live.