How to Organize Kitchen Countertop

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How to organize kitchen countertop

Is your kitchen countertop always occupied with so much stuff? Do you often need to take a few minutes to clean up to get some space before preparing a meal?

If this is you, you are not alone!

The kitchen countertop seems to be a magnet for clutter – you even find things that do not belong in the kitchen on them! It definitely puts a damper on your cooking mood.

This is why home organizers discourage us on putting a lot of things on the kitchen countertop. Aside from the neat look, the flat surfaces are workspaces that we need to prepare a meal. A clear and clean workspace is a must when you’re in for an easier and quicker meal prep!

So here’s a post that teaches you how to organize your kitchen countertop like a pro. Let’s do this!

1. Clear and clean.

Start with a clean slate.

Remove every item from the kitchen countertop – decors, appliances, food, and random junk. Transfer all these items to your dining table. With all the items gone and your countertops empty, I bet you realize you have more space than you’d originally thought!

Next, clean the surface. Always use antibacterial products on your kitchen countertop since it’s the place where you prepare your food. Your cleaning product must also be compatible with your countertop material so that you do not ruin its surface.

2. Declutter

After cleaning the kitchen countertop, let it air dry. Pass the time by going through the items you cleared – do a quick declutter.

Which ones must stay on the kitchen countertop? Which must be stored somewhere else? And which items must you get rid of already?

Remember, your kitchen countertop should have a huge space left for meal preparation so you have to be very selective about the items and appliances that you leave on them. These should be items that you use all the time to make them worthy of the space such as a coffeemaker, dish rack, microwave, toaster, or fruit basket.

For items that do not belong in the kitchen, look for a permanent space for them in your home so that these won’t keep the kitchen cluttered.

For the small kitchen appliances that you still use but not as often, find another place to store them too. If you do not have enough cabinet space, you may set up a rack in your kitchen to hold these appliances. It will also provide additional storage space for other items in the kitchen.

If you’re lost as to which kitchen appliances are really worth their space in your kitchen, here’s our simple guide to help you think and decide – Kitchen Appliances List: Essentials and Non Essential

3. Organize

Put back the items that must stay on the kitchen countertop. If you’ve done your decluttering, this should be easy.

Now consider how you move around the kitchen. Organize in a way that you can prepare meals and move around easily. For instance, put the coffee maker near the kitchen cabinet where mugs are stored. And place the dish rack near the sink.

Aim to keep the kitchen countertops as empty as possible. This will ensure that you can have enough space for meal prep all the time!

To give you a visual, here is a quick list of ideas on how to organize the kitchen countertop!

1. Have a kitchen catch-all solution.

If your family keeps on leaving random things on the kitchen countertop, you need a catch-all solution for these items.

This can be a tray, a bowl, or a basket, positioned in the corner of the counter to contain all these random things in one place. Every night, take a look at what knick-knacks end up there, then adjust your organization system accordingly.

For example, if you notice a lot of keys, set up a key holder on the kitchen wall. If it is mail, bills, receipts, and other paper clutter, set up a command center. When it is loose change, put a small piggy bank or glass on the counter.

When you set up a permanent spot for the majority of the knick-knacks, eventually you won’t need to put a catch-all solution in the kitchen anymore. Or maybe you still will, but this will be a temporary place only – just to contain other stuff that will be transferred to their respective places later.

2. Set up kitchen utensil holders.

Get a utensil holder and set it up on the kitchen countertop nearest to the stove. Then you can easily can get what you need while cooking! This will also save you some drawer space!

Organize kitchen countertop - Have a few kitchen utensil holders for the those you always use in cooking.
Image from Crafts by Amanda

3. Install an under-the-cabinet paper towel holder.

Most of us place the paper towels on the kitchen countertops. Save countertop space by storing these somewhere else but still in an accessible place.

Under the kitchen cabinets or shelves is a great alternative! Mount a paper towel holder and you’re good!

Organize kitchen countertop - Use an under-the-cabinet paper towel holder
Image from Homedit

4. Get a kitchen sink organizer.

When you don’t have a dishwasher, handwashing your plates mean you need to have a place for the dish soap, sponges, and brushes. These are items that should not be close to the space where you prepare your food for sanitary reasons.

So simply get a kitchen sink organizer to give these items a permanent place!

Here’s our favorite from Amazon.

Kitchen sink caddy sponge holder

Visit this page for more choices!

5. Use an over-the-sink dish rack.

Dish drying racks are another must-have for kitchens that do not have a dishwasher. It is just natural to have them on your kitchen countertops by the sink.

However, if you have limited kitchen countertop space, you can get this out of the way by getting an over-the-sink dish rack.

Here’s our top pick from Amazon.

Over-the-sink dish drying rack

Visit this page for more choices.

6. Use magnetic knife holders.

Knife blocks can be bulky looking on the kitchen countertop. And when you have limited kitchen counter space, you can benefit from getting it out of the way.

If you do not have the drawer space for your knives, you can make do with a magnetic knife strip. Just mount it on the wall and you’re good! However, make sure these are out of reach if you have kids in the house.

Here are our top picks from Amazon.

16 Inch Stainless Steel Magnetic Knife Bar

10 Inch Stainless Steel Magnetic Knife Bar

Check out this page for more choices!

7. Get a tiered fruit stand.

Most fruits should be stored at room temperature – and these usually end up on the kitchen countertop. To accommodate more fruits without having to give up a huge countertop space, go for a tiered fruit stand!

Here are our top choices from Amazon.

2-Tier Basket Bowl with Banana Hanger

Loop and Lattice Wire Basket

More choices can be found here.

8. Place a rod under your kitchen cabinets.

You can take more items off your kitchen countertops with the help of a rod and hooks! Store anything with them – even hang a basket to corral larger items!

9. Keep your homegrown herbs in the kitchen window.

It’s great to grow your own herbs. Many have them on their kitchen countertops for easy access and to double as decor.

However, if you have limited space, consider transferring your herbs to the kitchen window sill. They can benefit from the sunlight and they will still be within reach when you cook.

Organize kitchen countertop - Grow herbs in windowsill rather than the countertop.
Image from DIY Network

10. Keep your cookbooks off the counter.

Most people have a small collection of cookbooks but the truth is they barely use it every day. So why should they take up permanent space on your countertops?

Find an alternative storage space for your cookbooks. For instance, if there is still space, you can add a bookshelf in the kitchen. This can also give you additional storage space for other items, like kitchen appliances

Or… simply install shelves for your cookbooks, like this one!

organize kitchen countertop - add shelves for cookbooks
Image from Decor Pad

Maintain order and involve your family.

Your kitchen countertops will stay clear for as long as you can maintain order in the kitchen.

Prevent it from being a drop zone of different items – that’s why you have an organizing system in place.

Create rules too so that the whole family knows how to help you organize the kitchen countertop. Give every item its own space so there’s no excuse to leave things on the counter.

Take note that it will take some time for you and the entire household to adjust to these maintenance efforts. So be patient. But once they experience how this makes things smoother in the kitchen, they will begin to appreciate the changes and why these need to be done.

Put the love back unto meal prep!

Cooking for your family is an act of love. This is why the kitchen is considered to be the heart of the home. It is where the family gathers and share a meal together.

Now when your kitchen countertops are always cluttered, this act of love becomes something that you no longer look forward to. Why should you when you just end up frustrated navigating through cluttered countertops while doing the task?

So it is indeed very important to organize and clean the kitchen countertop. And with these steps and ideas put into action, you no longer have to feel frustrated with your kitchen counters. Meal preparation can go smoothly and meals will be served on time!

Need more help organizing your kitchen? Check these out!

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Make meal prep easier with an organized kitchen, starting with the the most used space when cooking - the countertop! If your kitchen counters are always in a mess, this guide will teach you how to organize your kitchen countertop!

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