Simplify and Declutter Your Kitchen Counters

  • Organize Minimalist Kitchen Counters: Declutter and Simplify

    Simplify your kitchen counters
    Photo / VTvowen

    At the very least, kitchen counters need to be kept partially clear for cooking and preparing food. Yet these horizontal spaces often act like empty shelves, just begging to be filled with decorative items or things you intend to set down for just a moment. The following tips will help you simplify your kitchen counters.

    What you’ll need.

    -Garbage bags (for any trash you find.)

    -Cleaning supplies (for taking advantage of the opportunity to clean your counters.)

    -Holders (e.g. for a paper towel...MORE roll), containers (e.g. for silverware), and storage for sugar, fruit, or other food items that you truly prefer having within easy reach at all times.

    Why you should simplify your kitchen counters.

    First, you should clear off your counters to give yourself more room for cooking. Second, keeping counters clean is important because they’re so visible; a cluttered counter can make an otherwise neat kitchen (or entire house, if you have an open floor plan) look messy. Third, an uncluttered counter is easier to properly clean, which is essential in the kitchen. And fourth, even if you have a lot of counter space, remember that just because you can fit an entire collection of ceramic roosters on it, doesn’t mean you should. Empty space is calming and does not always need to be filled.

    How to simplify your kitchen counters.

    1. First, take everything off your kitchen counters and clean them.

    2. Next, evaluate every item that was on the kitchen counter and ask yourself whether it really belongs there. You might find some things you don’t need to save at all, and others that could easily be stored in a drawer or cupboard or your pantry. Ideally, anything you can keep elsewhere without inconveniencing yourself should be kept off the counter, freeing up that space. If possible, move items like paper towel rolls to a dispenser on the wall rather than one that stands on the counter, unless you have a whole lot of counter space and/or you strongly prefer counter-top placement for those items.

    3. Finally, arrange and organize everything you want on your counter. Keep anything you reach for often as close as you can to the place it’s used. For example, one thing you might want on the counter is a container of spatulas, wooden spoons, and so on. Place the container where you can reach it while standing in front of the stove. Of course, you’ll want dish soap and hand soap within arm’s reach of the sink. And if you keep anything that’s not food-related on your counter, such as a land-line phone or a calendar, move them as far from the cooking and washing up areas of your kitchen as you can. This protects your things from splatters of oil or water and also helps to divide your space into workable zones rather than a sprawling mess of stuff.

    4. When you decide to place something on the counter rather than in a drawer or elsewhere, try to find a kitchen organizer or storage solution with a small footprint. For instance, stand the cooking utensils mentioned above in a smaller rather than a larger container. If the layout of your kitchen leaves no place but the counter for a spice rack or silverware caddy, choose models that use vertical space, rather than horizontal space, for storage.

    If your counter is shaped so that one edge or corner is difficult to reach, either leave that space empty or use it to store something you don’t often reach for.


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