It’s a head-to-head race between kitchen and bathroom counters as to which gets used more. Maybe that’s why it’s so hard to keep them clear.
In our home, the kitchen is the center of everything and the kitchen island is the first flat surface as we enter, which is an equation for everything getting dropped there.
I am a big believer in using spaces for which they’re created and in order to do that with kitchen counters, you have to have usable counter space.
5 Steps to Clutter-Free Kitchen Counters
Create a Place for the Stuff that isn’t Cooking/Food Related
I get it. I totally do. This is where we spend most of the time AND there’s a flat surface. That’s the perfect recipe for stuff to land where it shouldn’t.
To combat that, create a “drop zone” for the items that are not food or used for cooking food. Don’t over-complicate this. Pinterest can be your best friend or your worst enemy in this situation. It can be as simple as a mail tray that collects all the paper and 3 tiny hooks for keys. That’s it. Done. No paint. No DIY.
Another option is to use vertical space on the side of your cupboards. I finally splurged and purchased a few pieces from Pottery Barn’s Daily System to put on the wall next to our fridge that is right inside our door. By using the vertical space on the wall behind the door, we’ve created a landing zone. Keys, wallets, sunglasses, mail, pens and even our iPad live here.
Make Items Earn their Right to Live on Your Kitchen Counters
Hold each item that currently lives on your counters, and weed out items that don’t get used often. You get to decide what warrants “often”.
I get tight in the chest when there’s stuff all over my counters, so my rule is that an item has be used at least once a week to earn the place of living on the counter.
What doesn’t get used often gets stored in cupboards, drawers or closets with other like items.
Use Vertical Space
Look at what you have remaining and decide what could be hung under counters or on your backsplash.
This is a preference thing.
If you simply do not have enough cupboard space for what you need, hanging items underneath cupboards is a way to get stuff off the counters and can double as decor. It can also double as clutter, which is where the preference piece fits in. If mugs hanging under your counters isn’t your idea of cute decor, then don’t hang them. But, find another spot to store them where you have room. Or get rid of some mugs.
A great example of using vertical space well in a kitchen is a paper towel holder. It’s not so much decorative, but it’s really practical and it can get a big, bulky piece off the top of your counters.
Think Creatively About Other Storage Options
Do you really need that knife block? Do you use all of the knives in your knife block? Donate the knives that you don’t use and put the rest in drawer or on the wall with a magnet strip. Are your drawers too full? Go through and see if can make room by purging unused silverware.
Do you really need that k-cup stand? Clear out a spot in your cupboards (near the mugs!) for k-cups. In their box! Or get fancy and put the cups in a basket (like I do).
Corral Small Items
If a coffee station with all of the fixin’s on your counter is what bring you joy, then corral everything on a tray. It gives boundaries and makes it look cleaner.
Cooking is enough work as it is. Don’t make it harder by having a workspace that doesn’t work well for you.
What do you find to be the hardest part of keeping your kitchen counter clutter-free?