Tips & Tricks for Clutter-Free Kitchen Countertops

a butcher block kitchen counter top free of clutter

I have a small amount of counter space in my kitchen and am easily frustrated not having enough space for food preparation so I keep an almost bare countertop.

The number one rule is to make your kitchen yours, exactly as you can realistically make it.

Because I have little counter space it would frustrate me no end to have to move stuff around to prepare foods. No matter when I peek in my kitchen I only see 4 objects on my kitchen counter. 

My kitchen has no island, has limited cabinet space and a clean kitchen that is well organized is important to me. It makes sense to me to keep the things most often used in easy reach. 

This post may contains affiliate links for which I may receive a small compensation at no extra cost to you.

The first step is to declutter

Remove everything from your kitchen counter first. If you are lucky enough to have a kitchen the size of my house like friends of mine do you may want to choose one area at a time on the counter to declutter.

Here are 21 wicked easy decluttering tips!

Most people if they’ve lived in a space long enough suffer clutter blindness. Clutter blindness means your eyes just get used to seeing the same old things in the same space that you do not even notice anymore.

I am convinced the first thing many people would declutter is the old dusty fake green plants that were placed up high on the top of kitchen cabinets- if they still saw them. At least this is the case when I help folks see.

Why declutter your kitchen counters?

Download this free Ultimate Declutter Dashboard to make decluttering and maintaining your home easier. It is motivating to chart your initial decluttering progress and continue with daily, weekly, and yearly checklists.

Easy meal prep

The most important reason is it is practical to make meal preparation as easy as possible, this is the main function of a counter, right? Seriously except hiding what is under the counter what other practical use is there for a countertop?

Try living with clear counters in your kitchen and using your kitchen cabinets to hold these things. If you don’t enjoy having more countertop space for meal preparations you can always put the stuff back on your counters.

Clean kitchen counters

It is much easier to clean decluttered kitchen counters and this contributes to a cleaner and visually pleasing kitchen. Unnecessary items can make the space look chaotic and crowded.

A healthier kitchen environment

A clean kitchen is a healthier kitchen, period.

How to declutter your kitchen counters?

How to start decluttering kitchen

The first step to any decluttering job is to get rid of as much as possible. I recommend arming yourself with 3 heavy-duty black contractor bags that are labeled in the following categories; trash, donate, and sell.

After you remove the items from your counter decide if you will keep the object or what bag it goes in.

When I suggest looking at each item I mean ask yourself if the air popcorn maker you bought in the nineties still needs to prominently sit on the countertop or if it is time to retire it.

If you use the popcorn maker regularly it makes sense to keep it in easy reach. If you have clutter blindness and don’t notice it now is the time to reconsider where this item will live- or be laid to rest.

Kitchen Organization

After decluttering your kitchen counters it is time to find designated areas for each remaining item. There is no shortage of clever, inexpensive storage solutions available to house small appliances, utensils, and other kitchen essentials.

A simple drawer organizer will make a big difference.

Utilize cabinets, shelves, and drawers strategically to ensure easy access while maintaining a neat and organized appearance.

Why anyone would have a big wood knife block on the counter when they can hang knives on a magnetic strip attached to the wall is beyond me, but what do I know? I keep my couple of good knives in a drawer alongside my few other cooking utensils.

Spices can be hidden in a pull-out spice rack cabinet in that little space next to the oven.

pull out spice rack

My sister says she likes the convenience of the stuff on her counter. Well, I do not like the inconvenience of not having ample workspace when I am preparing meals. Like I said everyone needs to plan their kitchens in the way that works best for their needs.

Kitchen Appliances

Kitchen appliances take up a lot of counter space. I want an air fryer and have no room in my kitchen so I won’t buy one.

This is a minimal mindset thing. I am pretty sure the quality of my life will not degrade because I do not have an air fryer considering I do not enjoy cooking and would probably get limited use with the clunky thing.

air fryer

My sister could not live without her air fryer. She loves to cook!

Letting go

When decluttering, it’s essential to assess the functionality of each item. If an item doesn’t serve a practical purpose, consider letting it go. In a small kitchen, where space is at a premium, keeping only the essentials is key. 

Streamline your decorations in the kitchen especially if you have a small space. If you keep your kitchen utensils in a well-loved container on your countertop this is your decoration.

kitchenutensils in a decorative pot

Avoid filling your counters with decorative knick-knacks that don’t contribute to the functionality of the space.

How to keep your kitchen counters decluttered?

My family won’t help!

The kitchen is not intended to be a dumping ground. Maintaining clutter-free kitchen counters requires a collective effort.

Enlist your family and anyone else who uses the kitchen to get with the program. Insist family members or housemates clean up after themselves and put the stuff they use away.

With team work your newly decluttered kitchen counters will remain a clutter-free space for all.

To keep a kitchen counter and any space in your home clutter-free you must follow one of the most practical steps of decluttering and have a designated place for every item. 

What should I keep on kitchen counters?

The easiest way to get and stay clutter-free, especially In a small kitchen is every item should serve a functional purpose. 

Minimizing unnecessary trinkets, decorations, kitchen gadgets, and random items, especially in smaller kitchens makes a big difference. 

Opt for practical and essential items, keeping the focus on creating an efficient and clutter-free kitchen that maximizes form, function and most of all efficiency.

Sustaining clutter-free kitchen counters

Regular Decluttering Sessions

To keep your kitchen counters clutter-free, schedule regular decluttering sessions or even easier- look around while you are stirring the pasta or waiting for microwave to finish its cycle. Take a few minutes a day to put stuff away, this is all it takes to remain clutter free.

Small appliances

In a clutter-free kitchen, the strategic placement of small appliances is crucial. Consider which appliances you use frequently and designate accessible storage for them.

For less frequently used items, find alternative storage solutions to keep them out of sight but easily retrievable when needed. This approach not only saves counter space but also contributes to an organized and efficient kitchen layout.

Some people love having a rolling butcher block cart to store things in.

Consider storing things in a closet next to the kitchen if you only have limited storage space in the kitchen.

a lady n thought

I have too much stuff!

For me, this means my decluttering maintenance plan starts at the point of purchase. Using the air fryer as an example again, I thought I wanted an air fryer. The really big size caused me to pause and this was when I realized I could use a setting in my oven to get the same result I was looking for.

Resist the temptation to purchase items on impulse. Ask yourself if you really need that kitchen gadget and how often you will use it. 

A friend of mine has a gadgety spice cutter, I use a pair of scissors I keep in my kitchen drawer, next to my single wood spoon and 2 good knives. An ordinary pair of scissors works fine for me.

Before adding new kitchen tools or decorative items, ask yourself if you need them. Will the item help or hinder your goal of maintaining clutter-free counters.

Curb impulse shopping

Opt for multi-functional tools that serve multiple purposes, like an ordinary pair of scissors and prioritize functionality over aesthetics. And after you use the scissors put it away!

This thoughtful approach rather than impulse shopping will help you remain clutter-free and organized.

You can transform your kitchen into a streamlined and inviting clutter-free space, where every inch of counter space is purposefully utilized. Make your kitchen a workspace that is both efficient and aesthetically pleasing, instead of frustrating and impossible to work in.

Simplicity, functionality, and an organized kitchen are the key considerations for me. I doubt I will ever find joy in cooking, as many do, for me just not being frustrated in my kitchen when preparing food is huge.

Bon Appetit!


Marj Bates is a life long ridiculously organized declutter-er and artist. Less is more are words Marj lives by in everything she does except collecting dogs. “Dogs are like potato chips! Can’t have just one.” says Marj. Marj wonders if growing up with a fanatically clean Jewish mom means her decluttering and organizational skills are in her blood.

For more Declutter Buzz & Freebies check out our safe and private Decluttering community on our Facebook page. We are a safe and private space of like minded folks tackling this all encompassing clutter thing once and for all. No shame allowed and always a few laughs!

To see more articles like this, please like and follow me. Thank you!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *