7 easy tricks to keep kitchen countertop clutter at bay! Use these kitchen counter organization ideas to clean and declutter the busiest room of your home.
The #1 secret to make any space look tidier is to keep the surfaces clear.
When clutter covers the flat surfaces of your home, it will never look or feel clean.
This is DEFINITELY true for your kitchen countertops!
If your kitchen counters are covered with mail, spices, dishes, cookbooks, and takeout menus, it will…
…be hard to prepare meals.
…take forever to clean.
…make you feel totally disorganized.
Luckily, there are some easy tricks you can use to declutter and organize your kitchen countertops!
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How do I keep my kitchen counters clear?
The first step is to do a major declutter of the kitchen.
Anything that you don’t use regularly should be stored elsewhere in your house, or gotten rid of completely.
The fewer items you keep in the kitchen, the less opportunity it has to look cluttered.
Here’s what you should declutter in your kitchen:
- Storage containers
- Cups, glasses, mugs, and water bottles
- Dishes and bowls
- Cooking utensils
- Pots and pans
- Baking tools
- Cutting boards
- Casserole dishes
- Small appliances
- Dish towels
If you haven’t used an item in the past 6-12 months, box it up for storage or donation.
What should I keep on my kitchen counters?
Only keep things on your kitchen countertops that you use very regularly!
These items may include:
- Coffee maker
- Crock with cooking utensils
- Dish rack (if necessary – a drying mat can be more easily stored away between uses)
- Fruit bowl
- Cookbook stand
- Salt and pepper shakers
- Knife block
- Stand mixer (but only if you use it often, and don’t have room to store it elsewhere)
Anything that CAN be stored away should be, for the tidiest look.
👉 Stay tuned for the bottom of the post, where I share some smart countertop storage solutions!
How to organize kitchen countertops
#1 Corral loose items
Lots of small items sitting on a counter look very messy.
Use baskets, trays, or bowls to keep loose items together.
If you like to keep cooking oils, spices, and condiments on the counter, use a pretty lazy susan to make them look neat.
Keep bread, buns, and rolls in a cute bread box. They will stay fresher longer, and closed storage solutions are always tidier!
Ideally, you won’t keep your mail and keys on the kitchen counters.
But if you absolutely need to keep them in the kitchen, use a bowl or mail rack to keep them contained and organized.
Try to keep spices, or medications and vitamins put away in a cabinet, but if you can’t, use a cute basket to keep them together, looking neat.
#2 Put dishes away immediately
Having a system for your dishes is a necessary part of your daily cleaning routine.
The simplest system is to run the dishwasher every evening, and empty it every morning.
That way you will have a place to put the dirty dishes all day long.
Every time you use a dish, rinse it thoroughly, and stick it in the dishwasher.
If you don’t have a dishwasher, aim to quickly wash your dishes after each meal. Then put them away while you’re preparing the next meal.
Or dry them and put them away immediately to REALLY keep the counters clear.
Create a daily kitchen cleaning routine that works best for your lifestyle.
💡 Pro-tip: If getting to the dishes right away isn’t always realistic, you can at least rinse and place them in a stack in the sink. Avoid keeping them on the counter.
#3 Don’t store appliances on the counter
Aside from your coffee maker and toaster, try not to keep any small appliances on your kitchen countertop.
Store your slow cooker, Instant Pot, air fryer, blender, and electric grill or griddle away in the pantry or cupboards whenever possible.
And definitely don’t hang onto small appliances that you never use. Donate or sell them, instead of leaving them to gather dust!
#4 Don’t put it down, put it away
A lot of what looks like clutter in our homes are actually items that just never got put away.
Next time you’re done using something, put it back where it belongs.
Don’t set it down on the kitchen counter or island!
If you can adopt this system, you’ll save SO much time cleaning.
When you get ready to clean, you first have to go around tidying everything…
…but if everything is already put away, you can just get right to the disinfecting and deep cleaning.
#5 Have a system for mail, coupons, and takeout menus
Paper clutter can be the hardest to deal with.
Every day, your mailbox is full of paper, and the stacks can feel like they’re constantly multiplying!
Well, it’s time to create a system for it all.
Here’s what I do, as an example:
After I grab the mail, I immediately process it.
Ads and other junk (without my name on it) go into a basket of paper recycling that I keep in the pantry.
I have most of our bills automatically withdrawn from our bank account. If I receive a paper bill in the mail, I either pay it immediately, or set an alarm in my phone to remind me to pay it.
I keep a binder in one of the kitchen drawers where I organize coupons and takeout menus that I really want to keep. Every month, I go through and throw away any coupons that have expired.
For mail with my name and address on it, I use a privacy stamp to hide my information before getting rid of it.
A paper shredder is also really handy to have set up somewhere in the house, so you can immediately shred anything private you don’t need to keep.
#6 Don’t keep non-kitchen items in the kitchen
If you and your family tend to walk in the door and drop belongings on the kitchen counter, it’s time to create a designated space for that stuff.
Set up a command center or ‘launch zone’ for it instead.
Purses, backpacks, sunglasses, recently-delivered packages, and keys are all common kitchen clutter culprits.
Put up hooks in your mudroom or entryway, where everyone can dump their belongings when they arrive home.
#7 Follow the “one in, one out” rule
One of the BEST ways to keep any clutter at bay is to make a little rule for yourself.
Every time you bring a new item into your home, another item has to go.
So if you buy some new cute kitchen utensils, donate or toss just as many old utensils.
This simple system will stop that ‘clutter creep’ we all face in our kitchens.
(Last year, I got rid of over half of my utensils, and haven’t missed a single one!)
👉 Now let’s check out some simple kitchen counter organizing ideas to make everything look neat and tidy.
Ready to try these kitchen counter organization ideas?
I hope these organizational tips have really inspired you to declutter your kitchen counters and keep them clear.
By changing your habits a little (and adding some simple organization ideas and storage solutions), your kitchen can start feeling like a calm, tidy space you can actually use!
For other cleaning and organizing tips and tricks, check out:
- How to Find the Motivation to Declutter Your House
- 6 Simple Ways to Keep Your House Clean ALL THE TIME
- 12 Tricks to Motivate Yourself to Clean When You HATE Cleaning