Kitchen countertops are a clutter magnet in every household! After all, it is a high traffic area. But it can be maddening to clear the countertops only to turn around and find them cluttered again. Here are 5 quick steps for how to clear kitchen counter clutter and keep them clear!
Identify the Biggest Offenders
If you want to achieve clear countertops, you must first identify the biggest offenders.
The biggest offenders are the items that end up as clutter on the countertops most of the time or repeatedly.
You can identify these items by spending a couple of days, or an entire week, to observe and take pictures. Or you could even take notes. At the end of each day, snap a photo or jot down the items that you see as clutter on the countertops.
- Where do these items usually come from?
- Who do these items mainly belong to?
- Do these items have a home or place they’re supposed to go?
- What obstacles are there to putting these items where they belong?
Use these questions to brainstorm solutions on how to clear kitchen counter clutter.
Consider the Flow of Your Day
Usually, the clutter piles up in particular areas of the home at particular times of the day. So, if you want to know how to clear kitchen counter clutter, think of the flow of your day.
For example: if one of your kitchen countertops always ends up full of stuff and you don’t have space to make dinner, what could you do to create the biggest impact?
The solution might include placing a small piece of furniture nearby to collect the clutter instead to keep the countertops clear for dinner prep. The furniture piece could then be organized as a “drop zone” with a dedicated place for each of the items to go.
Alternatively, you may not want to create more clutter with an additional piece of furniture. In this case, you could open the nearby cupboards and drawers. Take a look at how the space could be repurposed to make a home for everything. Perhaps the items stored in the cabinets or drawers could be stored elsewhere. In fact, it might even make more sense to put them someplace else!
Create a Place for Everything
In order to know how to clear kitchen counter clutter, you will need to create a place for everything.
Clutter multiplies and slowly creeps up on you when your stuff doesn’t have a place where they belong.
Cluttered countertops are an indication of 1 or 2 things:
- The items don’t have a home or place to go, thus they end up on the countertop.
- The cupboards are so stuffed that there is no place for the items to go, or no home to create for them, so they end up on the countertop.
If the kitchen cupboards are too stuffed, it’s time to declutter your kitchen to make space for what you truly need.
Use the One Touch Method
The one touch method basically is when you touch something once and put it away. This eliminates shuffling clutter around your home, since you put it away once it’s used.
It’s not set down to get put away later. Neither is it moved to another location for later. It’s put away immediately, in the moment.
So, to implement this method and reduce cluttered countertops, when you finish using something, put it away! Only touch it once.
Cut Out the Non-Essentials
Consider the kitchen: cluttered countertops are a source of frustration for many women, and especially moms with kids at home.
Are there items on your countertops that don’t HAVE to be there? Countertop space is precious real estate in the kitchen.
Decorative items, like farmhouse accessories and such, look nice in staged photos but can quickly become clutter in your daily life.
I’m not against decorative items, but if you have a small kitchen or you’re constantly frustrated by lack of countertop space, you may want to re-prioritize the items that live on the countertop.
Assess the items that currently live on the countertops. This may include things like kitchen appliances, decorative items, fruit bowls, and knife blocks.
Could the knives be put into a drawer with a knife organizer or put on the wall with a magnetic knife strip? Might the appliances be reduced to the top 1 or 2 that are the most used while the others are put in a cupboard? Could the fruit bowl be replaced with a wall-mounted fruit basket?
Find creative solutions for limited countertop space. Or check out these ideas on how to organize a small kitchen.
Does this work with kids?
If you’re reading this, and you’re a mom, you’re probably wondering…does this actually work with kids?!
As with anything in home life, achieving clear countertops with kids takes consistency and intentional training or reminding. Not necessarily nagging, but it does require repeated reminders.
It may require training because it’s forming a new habit. If your kids are used to throwing their jackets and shoes on the floor when they come in the door, then it will take forming a new habit with repeated consistency in order for them to hang up their jackets and put away their shoes.
Of course, there must be a specific place for them to hang their coats and place their shoes.
But once there is, they say it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Kids need reminders. And, no, they’re not perfect. None of us is.
However, once you’ve decluttered your home and have created a place for everything, the last step is getting your family on board to put things back in their place. This includes the kids, at an age-appropriate ability.
Rinse and Repeat
Those are a few tips for how to clear kitchen counter clutter. In order to keep them clear, you’ll need to rinse and repeat this process. When the clutter creeps back, identify the main offenders, observe any obstacles, brainstorm solutions, and create a place for everything. Then, be sure to put those things back in their place.