What To Store On Your Kitchen Counters (and What Not To) Checklist

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    What To Store On Your Kitchen Counters (and What Not To) Checklist

    What to store on your kitchen counters
    What to store on your kitchen counters. Getty

    A big part of organizing any space is knowing what to store there and what not to store there.  This is especially true for kitchen counters which tend to become cluttered and disorganized very, very easily.

    Below I've listed the most common kitchen counter items and which category they fall into:

    • Store on your countertops

    • Maybe store on your countertops

    • Don’t store on your countertops

    Store on the counter:

    ___ Canisters. Canisters (small and large) are a decorative way to store and contain small items. You can use them to contain grab-and-go snacks, napkins, and other small odds and ends to keep your counters from becoming cluttered.

    ___ Coffee maker. If you make coffee everyday, there's really no better place to store it then where you use it: on your kitchen counter.  The best option to to set up a coffee zone.  This means gathering everything that you use to make coffee and, storing above and below the counter where you coffee maker sits.  Include: mugs, to-go cups (if you use them), coffee and coffee filters.

    ___ Dish rack. A must if you don’t have a dishwasher, a maybe if you do.  I say “maybe” because you may only run your dishwasher a few times a week and opt to do your daily dishes by hand. I own this space-saving, sleek dish rack and I love it.

    ___ Mixer. There are very few drawers or cabinets that can store a large appliance like your mixer, and the size and weight may even damage your cabinets. Keep your mixer on the counter.

    ___ Paper towels. These need to be handy but not in the way.  You want to be able to grab them when you need them, but it’s  a pain to have to move a paper towel holder around. Keep it in a very easy-to-reach spot near the sink. I like this wall mounted paper towel holder.

    ___ Tools (contained in a crock). I keep a crock right next to my stove with spatulas, spoons, ladles, and tongs. It’s handy to have these right within easy reach when you’re working with food on or in the stove, and you can DIY a crock that fits the decor in your kitchen by using a vase, a ball jar, or a even a planter.

    ___ Salt and pepper shakers. Because you’re going to use these all the time, it makes sense to keep these handy.

    ___ Veggie/fruit basket. Many fruits and vegetable can’t be refrigerated and you’re more likely to eat them if you can see them right there on the countertop. Plus, fruits and veggies look nice.Next us, what to maybe store on your kitchen countertops

    Continue to 2 of 2 below.
  • 02 of 02

    What to Maybe Store On Your Kitchen Countertops

    Kitchen cabinet organization ideas
    Elfa shelving. Photo / The Container Store

    What to Maybe Store On Your Kitchen Counter:

    ___ Cookbooks. Move cookbooks onto a shelf when possible. This way you won’t have to move them to wipe down the countertops and they won’t become dirty when you’re cooking. When you’re cooking, protect your cookbooks with this cookbook holder, or this sleek stainless steel one.

    ___ Cutting board. I love those big cutting boards people leave on their counters. I don’t have the space for it, but if you do and you do a lot of chopping, then this is a great thing to keep on your counter.

    ___ Toaster oven. If you make toast daily, then go ahead and store this on top of your counter.

    What to Not Store on Your Counter:

    ___ Appliances you rarely use. This is where I’m going to use the poor waffle maker example again. If you don’t use it everyday, get it off the countertop. I like to store appliances I use only once or twice a year in a project bin.

    ___ Collections. Tea cups, figurines, photographs: Mount these on the wall. 

    ___ Papers. If you promise to store them in some type of message center contraption--preferably on the wall above the counter, then you can store a limited amount of papers here. Just don’t let this become a dumping ground for papers you are not sure what to do with.

    ___ Serving pieces. Store these--unless you entertain daily they’ll be taking up more room than is necessary.  Another option is to mount serving platters on the wall as decor.

    (Next, here's a quick to organizing your counters for maximum kitchen efficiency: How to Organize Your Kitchen Countertops​)