5 Essential Tips to Keep Your Kitchen Counters Organized

a minimalist kitchen counter

The Spruce / Michele Lee

Kitchen counters often go one of two ways. If you have a small counter, you might spend a fair amount of time lamenting how little will fit on it. And if your counter is spacious, you might complain that it acts as a clutter magnet.

Here are five tips to help you keep your kitchen counter organized and neat, regardless of its size.

  • 01 of 05

    Keep Counters Clear

    shelving in a kitchen
    The Spruce / Michele Lee

    Always aim to keep your kitchen counter as clear as possible. For instance, don't let paper towels take up precious counter real estate. Instead, stash them on top of the fridge or cabinets, or hang them from a holder attached to the wall. Likewise, sink-related items, such as sponges and dish soap, can sometimes fit in caddies designed to go inside the sink itself to free up counter space. Moreover, if you keep a grocery or to-do list on the counter, instead consider a pen and paper with magnetic backs that will stick to the fridge. And if it works for your kitchen, hang shelving for storage to free up counter space.

  • 02 of 05

    Keep a Junk Bowl

    a catch-all bowl
    The Spruce / Michele Lee

    If your kitchen counter ends up being the repository of random household knickknacks, papers, and other items, place a catch-all bowl or bin in a corner of the counter to hold it all. Every week or so, sort through this collection, and put the items in their proper places. You also might consider implementing some new organization habits, such as using a dedicated mail holder or a jar for change, to keep counter clutter from piling up.

  • 03 of 05

    Embrace Jars

    glass canisters used to store dry goods
    The Spruce / Michele Lee

    You can store dry foods, rubber bands, twist ties, and practically anything else in mason jars and other containers on your counter. Just make sure the containers seal tightly if you're keeping food in them. Keeping items in containers helps to make them easily accessible, and it allows you to get rid of any unsightly or bulky packaging. Simply choose the same type of container or ones that look good when grouped together, and line them up on your counter for a neat, organized appearance. Push them against the wall or backsplash to keep the space at the front of your counter clear.

  • 04 of 05

    Use Vertical Storage

    a crock to store utensils
    The Spruce / Michele Lee

    Instead of cluttering a drawer with large and irregularly shaped cooking utensils, such as spatulas and strainers, store such tools upright in a vase, jar, or other container on your kitchen counter. They’ll be visible and easy to grab when you need them. Plus, choosing a decorative vessel will add some aesthetic value to this practical organizing method. You can also store flatware this way, which will eliminate the need for drawer dividers. And you can simply place the container full of cutlery on the table for casual meals rather than doling out utensils individually to each person.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Divide the Counter Space

    kitchen counter divided into sections
    The Spruce / Michele Lee

    To keep things organized, mentally divide your kitchen counter into sections. For example, a section close to where you eat can hold your fruit bowl while a section by the stove can hold your cooking utensils and frequently used spices. This way, every item you keep on your countertop will have its place where you'll easily be able to find it. And strategically organizing like this can make for an overall neater look in your kitchen.