How To Keep Your Kitchen Counter Clutter Free For Good

To declutter your kitchen counter is key to an efficient and productive kitchen. In this post, I give you steps to keep kitchen counter clutter to a minimum.

Keeping your kitchen counter clutter free is a challenge we all feel on a daily basis. That is unless you have a system to keep the kitchen counter clutter at a minimum.

Kitchen counters that have been decluttered.

How do you know what to keep on the kitchen counter and what not to? Are your kitchen counters a dumping ground for everyone’s stuff?

Keeping your kitchen counter clutter free is of utmost importance. Clutter free kitchen counters will encourage you to stay home and make dinner rather than grabbing some take out.

It is nearly impossible to have a completely clear kitchen counter. Some items just need to stay on the kitchen counter because of daily use. Because keeping them on your counter just makes sense. After all, your kitchen is a working kitchen. Just like mine.

This is the cost of clutter. It will take away your productivity.

This is where you prep your meals. I can’t work with a lot of stuff in my way. I’m sure you’re the same. Kitchen counter space is limited and valuable real estate. Let’s make the most of it!

It’s time to take control! Here are my practical solutions to keeping your kitchen counter clutter free. To conquer your kitchen counter clutter for good!

How To Declutter Countertops

Decide what to keep on your kitchen counter.

These are the appliances that I feel are a necessity on the kitchen counter:

  • Heavy stand mixer: I don’t use my stand mixer every day but weekly. It is heavy. Lifting it out of a cabinet each time I wanted to use it would be too much of a hassle. By leaving it on the counter, I will use it more often. I can stick into a corner of the counter out of the way. And I think it is pretty.
  • Appliances that see daily use: I use my Keurig coffee maker each morning. Plus the toaster. So, it’s just easier to leave these two appliances out in plain view.
Utensils in crock with a knife block.

Meal Prep Items Are Necessary

Kitchen counter organization is key to ridding yourself of kitchen clutter.

  • Cooking utensils: Spoons, spatulas, whisks and such are kept in two crocks on my counter for easy access. All I have to do is reach over and grab what I need. With limited drawer space this is a much better option than storing in a drawer.
  • Cutting boards: Leaving a cutting board out leaning against a wall or in a bin, serves two purposes. Decoration and function. By keeping these out, they are more accessible. It is so much better to use a cutting board than the counter top to chop vegetables.
  • Knife block: This is kind of iffy. I think if you have room for a knife block, this is a great item to store next to your cutting boards. Personally, I would rather keep the knives in a drawer knife holder. I do have both. I just can’t part with any knives.
  • Hand soap and dish soap: Placing hand soap and dish soap on a small dish or tray would be ideal. I just set mine next to the faucet till I can find a tray I like. Keep a dish scrubbing brush next to the dish soap for quick clean up. I believe in seasonal scented soaps. Anything to help with dishwashing.
  • Paper towels: We use paper towels when cooking and for quick clean ups. It makes sense for us to keep them on the counter tops. Paper towels could be mounted on a wall or the inside of a cabinet. Do what works for your family.
A kitchen sink with a hanging towel and bottles of soap.

The Number One Item To Keep Off The Kitchen Counter

Mail and paperwork.

If you never deal with mail, it  will multiply. And it multiplies fast! Leave mail unattended for a week, spells disaster. Mail becomes piles of clutter.

The more you leave it, the less you want to deal with it. Daily is the best way to deal with incoming mail. Hard to even think about, I know. Let’s get to work!

You need a system for kitchen counter mail organization. Reduce paper clutter!

Organize that paper clutter so it doesn’t become overwhelming.

The easiest way to deal with daily mail is to go through it immediately once it is brought into the house. Set up a couple of file folders and store them in basket or bin that is mounted on a kitchen wall.

  1. Shred junk mail
  2. File bills in a file folder with the due date written across the top of the statement in bright marker.
  3. Toss any flyers except grocery store flyers. Store grocery flyers along with your menu plan for the following week.
  4. Coupons should go directly into your purse or wallet.
  5. School papers should also have file folder with due dates in plain view.
  6. If at all possible, try to have most of your bills paid electronically. Less paper to hassle with. Plus as soon as a bill arrives in your email box, go ahead and schedule the payment. Less stress.
A stand mixer and cutting boards with a rooster on a kitchen counter.

What Not To Keep

  • Too many decorative pieces: Decorating my kitchen is a favorite of mine but I limit the number of items I use. This is an area you need to use restraint on. Having too many decorative pieces can leave little room for meal prep. I know this only too well. Home decor in the kitchen should be minimal at best.
  • Canisters: Flour and sugar canisters are best stored in the pantry. They take up a lot of valuable counter space. If you use these daily then keep them on the counter.
  • Dish rack: Not a pretty thing at all. Keep this under the sink when not in use.
  • Cookbooks: Collecting cookbooks is a weakness for me. One I have had to rein in. When we remodeled our kitchen, I only kept a few of my favorites. Keeping them on the kitchen counter would take up too much space. I store them  in the cabinet above my stove. Still accessible but out of sight.
  • Spice rack: Spices should be kept in a drawer or a rack mounted on a wall or cabinet door. I recently organized my spices that helps keep them neat and easy to find.
  • Cookie jar: Keep the cookie jar in the pantry unless it is filled with delicious, homemade cookies.

Related article: Organize Your Kitchen With Baskets

Uncluttered counter tops are easier to clean and maintain. A quick wipe down happens in minutes without having to move unnecessary items. Then once a week, take everything off, to do a more thorough wipe down.

This post has lots of tips on how to clean your home in minutes which includes some kitchen cleaning hacks.

Kitchen sink with soap and paper towels.

It’s time to clear off those counter tops. Determine what is necessary to you every day and what is only used occasionally. You will love the difference in having a kitchen counter clutter free.

Do you need help on decluttering your kitchen? Check out this post on How To Declutter Your Kitchen (20 Items To Toss).

What things do you keep on your kitchen counter? What things are an absolute no no? I’d love to hear.

An organized kitchen, in particular, an organized kitchen counter that is clutter free is simply beautiful.

How To Conquer Your Kitchen Counter Clutter For Good collage.


  1. Carol, I so agree with you. As much as I’d like empty counters, it makes no sense to put away the used-daily toaster and the used-all-day-long electric tea kettle. And I would never use my stand mixer if I had to hoist it onto the counter every time.

  2. Good tips Carol. I keep other things on my kitchen counter. For instance, my husband likes his bag of coffee handy so we leave it out. I also keep two food processors (a mini and full size). Both we use almost every day. Think a home looks better streamlined, but it should be comfortable for its inhabitants, if you get what i mean. Visiting you from the Pretty Pintastic Party #250.

    1. I so agree with you, Nancy. I fully believe that a kitchen counter must function well for the people using the space. If it is used everyday, it needs to be on the counter. That’s why my toaster has a well deserved space on one area of my countertop. Thanks so much for visiting!!!

  3. I agree that anything that is heavy needs to stay and make total sense. I did go through this time when I put dried fruits etc in mason jars and have them on my counter but now I am waiting them out of sight. I think we all go through a time when we allow things to make clutter and then we have to revamp. Thank you for your post, would love to have you share on Friday Features. PS your kitchen is exactly the same layout as my daughters.

  4. This is what I hate the most a clutter over my kitchen. I don’t like looking over a kitchen that is not organized or clean. Yes! we do clutter on the kitchen when we are using it but be sure to clean up after finishing up cooking or using the kitchen.

  5. Waking up to a clean kitchen starts your day off right. I so agree that cleaning the kitchen after each use is absolutely necessary. Thanks so much for visiting, Carol!

  6. Can’t forget the microwave! I’d love to have a built-in one but for now it goes on my counter

      1. Hey Carol, I seriously love this post! Just cleaned my counters and reorganized according to this post and it feels so fresh and clutter-free

        1. Hi Ashley, I am so glad this post was helpful. Having clutter free counters makes such a big difference in your kitchen. It’s much better having space you can work in. Refreshing a space is one of the reasons I love to organize!

  7. Hi Carol, loved reading your organization suggestions. It all makes such good sense. My kitchen definitely needds to by de-cluttered. But I have to ask what do you suggest we do with large appliances that are not used every day? I have made room, as you have for my standing mixer, but I’m thinking of the Instant Pot, toaster oven, crock pot, etc. Taking stock of my kitchen has shown me some places where I can improve my counter organization, but finding a place for these other items has got me stumped. Do you have any thoughts for me? Thank you Cecelia

    1. Hi Cecelia,
      My best solution for storing small appliances that are not used every day is to keep them in a lower cabinet. Lower cabinets are not always the easiest to get to especially when you must bend over to get to them. I use a lower corner cabinet to store my small appliances since this cabinet is not particularly easy to reach into. If you can’t spare the space there, then how about a nearby closet. We have a hall closet where I can store those small appliances on its floor if I need to. I hope this gives you some ideas.

  8. Thank you for these tips! I recently had a cabinet refinisher repaint my kitchen cabinets and my husband installed a new backsplash. With these updates, I’ve been trying to keep my kitchen counters more clean and organized…but it is so difficult! I’ve removed a bunch of decorations, and I ordered a spice rack and dish soap, so I’m crossing my fingers that those help!

  9. As I age, it is more difficult to reach heavy appliances from high places. I engaged the use of my coat closet close to the kitchen for an appliance pantry. Most all of the appliances are waist-high and much earlier to lift and move when needed. There was hanging space, still used for coats and the shelves are my new/old appliance pantry. It’s the best solution for me.

  10. I keep my stand mixer on the counter, it’s a lovely shade of pistachio green and has very nice pink flowers on it. I keep a salt and pepper shaker and butter dish out, also mint green and a crock. I have a large counter ,so I keep my small toaster oven to the right of my stove. Over on the other side of my island I have a coffee area with a pot and a lazy Susan with spoons , stirers , sugar and a holder for coffee pods in it. I just redid my cabinets, countertops and backsplash and am looking for ideas to dress up the corner of my counter. Thank you for all of your advice about what NOT to put on them.

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. Your stand mixer sounds very pretty. I love combining style and function! Thank you for sharing what you keep on your counter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.