How to Declutter Your Countertops in 4 Easy Steps

Cluttered countertops can make your kitchen feel disorganized and stressful. Decluttering your countertops creates space to prep and cook, while making your kitchen look tidy and welcoming. Follow these 4 easy steps to declutter your countertops and transform your kitchen.

Step 1: Clear the Countertops Completely

The first step is clearing everything off your countertops so you have a blank slate. This allows you to evaluate what is actually essential to keep on your counters.

Here’s how to clear the counters:

  • Remove everything – appliances, kitchen tools, decorative items, paperwork, etc.
  • Don’t just shove items into cabinets to “declutter” the surface. Put items away properly or decide if they don’t have a home in the kitchen.
  • Wash counters well after removing all items.

With a fresh, clean surface you can now objectively assess what should stay on the counters and what should be stored elsewhere.

Step 2: Evaluate Items and Choose What to Keep on Counters

Deciding what needs to stay out on the counters depends on your kitchen setup and how you cook. The key is choosing functional items that you use often, while stowing away rarely used items.

Consider keeping these types of items on the counters:

Frequently Used Appliances

  • Coffee maker
  • Electric kettle
  • Stand mixer
  • Toaster oven

Keep appliances you use daily or several times a week on the counters for easy access. Store any extras you rarely use.

Cooking Tools and Utensils

  • Knife block
  • Cutting boards
    -Cooking utensils like wooden spoons, spatulas, etc.
  • Oil and vinegar dispensers
  • Salt and pepper shakers
  • Spice racks

Keep essential cooking tools and seasonings out that you reach for while preparing meals.

Fruit Bowl

A bowl of fresh fruit makes a healthy snack readily available.


  • Vase or bowl with fresh flowers/greenery
  • Essential oil diffuser
  • Decorative canisters (for storing staples like flour, sugar, etc.)

A few decorative touches make the space feel homey and lived in. Just don’t overdo it!

As you choose what stays on the counters, be selective. If you find yourself debating whether an item is used enough, it likely belongs in a cabinet. Remember – the goal is decluttering, so limit countertop items to the essentials.

Step 3: Find Homes for the Rest

For anything not staying on the counters, the next step is finding a home elsewhere in your kitchen. Here are some ideas of where to store items:

  • Cabinets: Use cabinets to store appliances, tools, and other items not used daily. Consider adding organizers inside cabinets to optimize the space.
  • Drawers: Use drawers for utensils, cooking tools, and small appliances. Dividers, trays, and other organizers can help keep them neat.
  • Shelves: Shelf units work nicely for cookbooks, bulk items, and extra dishes. Use baskets or bins for a tidy look.
  • Pantry: Your pantry is ideal for appliances used occasionally like a stand mixer, extra baking sheets, or a blender. Shelving and baskets help keep the pantry organized.
  • Hooks: Install hooks on walls or inside cabinets to hang utensils, oven mitts, and towels. Hooks maximize vertical storage space.

Take time to find optimal homes for everything removed from the counters. This transforms the clutter into organized storage that makes items easy to retrieve later. Labeling cabinets and drawers helps identify contents.

Step 4: Add Functional and Decorative Elements

The final step is accessorizing your decluttered counters in both functional and decorative ways. Here are some ideas:

Functional Additions

  • Kitchen caddy: A caddy with utensils, spices, etc. adds convenience while cooking.
  • Paper towel holder and trash bin: Near the prep area for easy cleanup.
  • Cutting board: A nice wooden cutting board left out is both useful and decorative.
  • Dish drying rack: Position near the sink to air dry hand-washed items.
  • Bread box: Keep bread and baked goods fresh on the counter.
  • Produce basket: Corralling fruits and veggies in one spot prevents them from rolling around.

Decorative Touches

  • Plants: Greenery instantly livens up kitchen counters. Opt for low maintenance plants.
  • Decorative canisters: Use glass canisters for storing staples like sugar, flour, coffee, etc.
  • Vase of fresh flowers/greenery: Add color and vibrancy.
  • Essential oil diffuser: Choose calming scents like lavender or eucalyptus.
  • Decorative bowls/trays: Corral small items like keys, mail, etc. in style.
  • Cookbooks: Prop up attractive cookbooks with recipes you want to try.

The final step is personalizing the clean counters in ways that suit your cooking/decor style. The key is keeping additions functional and minimal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of decluttering my countertops?

Decluttered counters make your kitchen look tidy and feel less stressful. You also gain usable workspace for prepping meals, serving food, and completing projects. It’s easier to keep clutter-free counters clean as well.

How often should I declutter my counters?

Aim to do a thorough decluttering of your counters seasonally, such as when you deep clean your kitchen each season. Then do a quick declutter monthly to prevent buildup over time.

Where should I store my stand mixer if not on the counter?

Stand mixers tend to be bulky, so storing in a cabinet can be tricky. Consider storing it in a pantry on a shelf, or inside a closet on a high shelf to keep the counter clear.

What about small appliances like my coffee maker and toaster that I use daily?

Frequently used appliances can stay on the counters, as you’ll want to access them daily. Just be sure to remove any extras you don’t use often.

How can I add items back to my counters without creating clutter again?

When putting items back, be very selective about what is truly needed/most used on the counters. Avoid “temporary” clutter turns permanent. Maintain open space!

Declutter for a Fresh Start

Decluttering your kitchen counters just takes some time and effort, but the payoff is huge. Your kitchen will become more functional, allowing you to cook and entertain with ease. The clean look also feels welcoming.

Follow these 4 key steps:

  1. Clear all items off counters
  2. Choose most essential items to keep out
  3. Find optimal storage for the rest
  4. Add functional/decorative elements

Focus on keeping only the necessities on your counters based on your cooking style and kitchen setup. Remove and properly store the rest. A few decorative touches complete the fresh new look.

Maintain your tidy counters by doing quick decluttering sessions monthly. An organized kitchen feels more inspiring and calming! Soon your decluttered counters will motivate you to prepare healthy meals and entertain guests in your beautiful kitchen.