5 Essential Tips to Keep Your Kitchen Counters Organized

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  • 01 of 06

    Organize Your Kitchen Counters Now

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    Kitchen counters can go one of two ways. If you have a small counter, you probably spend a fair amount of time lamenting how little will fit on it; if yours is spacious, you’re complaining that it acts as a magnet for all the clutter in the kitchen and surrounding rooms. The following tips will help you manage your counter, whatever its size, and keep it organized and neat.

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  • 02 of 06

    Keep Counters Clear

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    If you have a tiny counter, your main goal is keeping things off of it. Paper towels shouldn’t be taking up precious inches of counter real estate; stash them on top of the fridge or cabinets, or hang them from a holder attached to a wall. (Over the sink is a good spot for these, if you can install one there.) Sink related items like sponges and detergent can sometimes fit in caddies designed to go inside the sink itself. Put water pitchers in the fridge, and choose paper and pens with magnetic backs that will stick to a fridge door.


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  • 03 of 06

    Keep a Junk Bowl

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    If your counter ends up being the repository of every scrap of paper, wayward knick knack, and other portable thing-y in the house, place a small to medium sized bowl or bin in a corner of the counter to hold it all. Every week or so, sort through this random stuff and either throw it away or redistribute it to its proper location. If it quickly overflows, and you discover that most items in it have no proper home, it’s time to implement some new organization tips and possibly buy or make a dedicated mail holder, knitting bag, or whatever else would help your clutter stay off your counter.

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  • 04 of 06

    Embrace Jars

    Jars on kitchen countertop
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    Mason jars are hot right now, but they’ve been useful in the kitchen for ages. You can store sugar, dry pasta, candy, or practically anything else in these appealing glass containers. Of course, you can also use any other jars or bottles as countertop storage, just make sure that they seal tightly if you’re keeping food in them. If you’re storing rubber bands or twist ties, any sort of container will do and lids aren’t necessary. Whatever you pick, simply line them up so they look neat (I like to organize mine by size as well, large to small) and preferably against a wall to make more space at the front of the counter.


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  • 05 of 06

    Use Vertical Storage

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    Instead of cluttering up a drawer with large and irregularly-shaped cooking utensils like spatulas and strainers, store all such tools upright in a vase or jar on your kitchen counter. They’ll be completely visible and easy to grab when you need them. As with mason jars, choosing a pretty vessel adds some decoration value to this practical organizing method. You can also store flatware this way, which eliminates the need for drawer dividers and lets you simply place a cup or tin full of forks and knives on the table for casual meals, instead of doling them out individually to each person.

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  • 06 of 06

    Divide + Conquer

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    If you have a large counter, divide it (mentally) into sections. Keep note paper and pencils in one corner, your fruit bowl or a vase of flowers in another area, and frequently-used items like paper towels or napkins or that jar of utensils described in number 4 near the sink or wherever you usually find yourself needing them. Once you get used to this, you’ll never stand staring at your counter looking for a pen or slotted spoon wondering where it managed to get to.