Follow these 6 Steps to Declutter Kitchen Counters and you’ll love your kitchen again! Learn how to banish paper and decorations, and what to do if people keep leaving their stuff on the counter!
Let me guess. Your kitchen counters are the dumping ground for practically EVERYTHING.
Your child’s gym shoes.
Drills, baseball hats, balls…
You name it. It has probably ended up on your kitchen counter.
Today I’m going to give you six tips to keep your kitchen countertops clear so you can use them in the way they were intended!
In my Facebook Group, “Declutter This — Home Organization for Everyone,” a member submitted this picture and asked for help with her kitchen island:
Here’s the advice I gave her in the video I made and which I give to you as well! (You can view the video by joining the Facebook group).
First of all, you need to adopt the mindset that kitchen countertops are sacred and are only for food and food-related items.
That means you can have food, cereal boxes, dirty dishes and plates, mixers, toasters, sugar canisters and the like on your counters.
I don’t expect you to keep your counters spotless all the time. We cook, eat, and clean, in that order.
What I AM saying is that if something is on your counter and is NOT related to food, it does not belong there and should be removed immediately!
In that vein, I suggest that you take all trinkets, figurines, pictures, etc. off your kitchen counters.
I once saw a t.v. show where a family had a whole bunch of framed pictures on their kitchen island. I think this is a big problem, for three reasons:
- All those pictures take up a lot of space that could be used for preparing food.
- They make it a lot harder to clean the island, because you have to move them all to wipe around them.
- They are in danger of getting splattered with water, grease, and other food items.
This is why I feel that most decorative items do not belong on kitchen counters. It’s o.k. to have one or two items to spice up your kitchen decor, but any more than that just makes your counters cluttered and causes the problems I just mentioned.
This is a big one! NO PAPER ON THE KITCHEN COUNTERS!
I know this is hard. I understand that sometimes kids need to do their homework at the kitchen counter. But once they are done, paper should not be left there.
I suggest a simple mind game to help you keep your counters clear of paper. Just imagine that any paper set on your counter will immediately burst into flame.
That means no newspapers, magazines, school papers to sign, or anything else, including the mail (which I’ll talk more about next).
Full disclosure: I have paper in my kitchen, but it’s all stored vertically in a magazine rack in the corner. I keep magazines and newspapers in there I want to read.
You may need a folder to store school papers that need to be signed or bills that need to be paid. But it should be upright in a magazine holder–never laying flat on the counter.
Don’t bring your mail to the kitchen. Just don’t do it.
So many of us bring mail into the house and just drop the stack on the kitchen counter.
Instead, I suggest you walk straight to the recycle bin and throw away all the junk mail. Separate the rest into two piles–bills, and things you want to look at (like magazines, wedding announcements, etc.)
If you have no other place but the kitchen for your mail after you recycle the junk mail, put the mail you need to keep in a folder in your magazine rack.
What about the weekly grocery mailer? I suggest you look at the ads as soon as you get them (while sitting in front of your recycle bin), note any deals you want to take advantage of in your phone or on a notepad you keep in your purse, and then immediately recycle the ads. Remember–if you set them down on your countertop, they will burn up 🙂
Recycle all the coupons, too.
Unless you are one of those super couponer people who have a whole system and everything is super organized, just toss all the coupons into the recycle bin.
If you decide you need a coupon, you can always get it back out of the recycle bin. (Make sure you separate your paper recycling from other recycling!)
I’ve done this several times. I’ve needed a coupon for JoAnn Fabric, so I’ve just looked through the recycle bin until I found the most recent one.
That’s a lot better than having a stack of expired coupons on our countertop, pinned to a corkboard, or stuck to the side of our fridge.
Better yet, ditch the paper coupons all together and download a coupon app. The one I use and love is called RetailMeNot. You can just type in the name of the store, and more often than not, there will be a coupon that they can just scan at the register.
If people in your house insist on putting their things on the counter, no matter how much you implore them not to, or don’t buy into the whole, “Your stuff will all catch on fire if you leave it here” warnings, just get a large box or laundry basket to keep nearby.
Then place all items that are not food-related into the box or basket. People can retrieve their items from there, and your countertops will stay clear!
That is it! If you want to watch the video and get the whole scoop on keeping your kitchen countertops clear, you can join the Declutter This — Home Organization for Everyone Facebook group and watch it there!
Every week, I do a new video helping someone with a specific challenge. If you have an area in your home you’d like help with, join the group and submit your pictures!