Do you ever feel like there is not enough counters in your kitchen? Whether you have a big counter or a smaller one like me, keeping the counters cleared can be a challenge. However, it IS possible!
My counter tops used to accumulate clutter that would get in my way while preparing dinner. But over the past several months, I made it my mission to clear the clutter! Now my kitchen counters are much more functional, and preparing dinner is easier.
Here’s what helped me, and could help you too!
1. Define the Frustration
What is frustrating you in your kitchen? Look around and truly analyze each item that is sitting out. Does it get in your way? Is it taking up too much space?
I knew that I was frustrated with my kitchen, but I didn’t realize what was causing that frustration until I intentionally asked myself what was working and what wasn’t.
For example, I used to keep a basket on our island that I thought was a great way to corral random items, but in reality it was taking up way too much space and getting in my way.
I also had two jars holding my kitchen utensils near the stove. But I realized that looking through all of those utensils to get to the ones I use on a regular basis was a pain.
This is a picture of my kitchen. You can see that I don’t have a ton of counter space by the sink. However, I do have an island next to the stove where I prepare meals and work on projects.
Yes, that is giant floor tile used as the counter top. It was something the previous homeowners installed. No, I don’t know why they chose to do that! 🙂
2. Decide What Stays
After you have figured out what is frustrating you, it is time to figure what you really need on your counters. When decluttering, we often ask, “Should I get rid of this?” But I think the better question to ask is, “What do I need to keep?”
There are certain things that your family uses regularly and may need to be left out. Those things will be different for each family. Decide what you really need on your counters and put the rest in a designated spot in your cupboards or pantry.
Right now the only things on my counter tops are the coffeepot, knife block, hand soap, small cup for my ring while doing dishes, utensils jar, potholders, and a cookie jar.
3. Make Stored Appliances Easily Accessible
As you look at your counter tops, look for anything that you haven’t touched in the last several days. If you haven’t used something in the last week, find an alternative way to store it that is still easy to get to. You may have to try it in a few different places before you find what works for you.
If you put it somewhere that makes it hard to pull out each time you use it, you will be tempted to leave the appliance out on the counter. But storing it where it is easily accessible will make it easier to return the appliance when you are finished using it.
As I said earlier, I used to get frustrated with the utensil jars by my stove. After being fed up enough, I decluttered them by going through each utensil and getting rid of the ones I never used.
Then I only kept out the utensils that I use on a daily basis. The rest of the utensils were put in a basket in the drawer. It is so much easier to grab these from a basket. I love it!
I have several appliances that I use 1-3 times a week like my toaster, can opener, and rice cooker, but they don’t need to take up valuable space on my counters ever day. Instead of keeping them out, I put them all in a cupboard which is easily accessible.
4. Put Away Clutter ASAP!
This may be the most important tip for keeping a clutter free counter top! When I shared my 2 tips for dealing with clutter, I talked about making decisions right away instead of letting clutter pile up by being indecisive.
My kitchen counters used to be the landing spot for my purse, the mail, laundry that needed to be put away, and other random objects that needed put up. But after reading Make Room for What You Love*, I have purposefully put my purse away when I get home, filed the mail as soon as I bring it in, put the laundry away after it is folded, and returned items to where they belong.
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