Tips to keep Kitchen Counters Cleaner, Forever

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How to feel inspired when preparing food.

How is it that some kitchen counters always stay sharp and orderly and offer the most cooking space possible?    Others (maybe yours) are a messy clutter making the kitchen feel cramped claustrophobic.  A messy and cluttered kitchen space is not the most conducive to inspiring food preparation that feeds the mind, soul and body.   So clear off those counters, the will tent to be cleaner and more healthy as well. 

A white sink sitting on top of a counter.

1. Store as little as possible out on the counter.

Start with a foundational mission:   Cutter must go!   This may seem obvious but you need to store as much as you can away in cabinets and drawers and save open counter space for the absolute essentials.   A cleared-off counter is much more likely to stay that way so stay vigilant and avoid adding more bottles, appliances or nicknacks to your open space.   Let it breath!

2. Declutter

It’s time to get rid of anything you don’t use or need in your kitchen.    Duplicate kitchen tools, cookbooks you’ve never used and coupons… it’s time for them to go.  A  happy chef will never be rifling through drawers or disassembling the kitchen to dig out the necessary tools.  Eliminate everything that doesn’t need to be in your kitchen. 

Heres a list to Donate or toss to get you started:

  • Any more than three spatulas
  • Can openers (you only need one)
  • Corkscrews/wine bottle openers (keep the one you always reach for anyway)
  • Tupperware missing lids
  • Lids missing Tupperware
  • Empty glass jars you’re keeping “just in case”
  • Used twisty ties
  • Pens, pencils, Sharpies (you get to keep two of each)
  • Paper and plastic grocery bags (depending on what you use them for, keep about five of each)
  • Condiment packets from fast food places or restaurants
  • Take-out menus
  • Everything in the junk drawer (except what’s worth putting back in and organizing)
  • Papers and pictures stuck to the fridge
  • “Junky,” advertising, or broken magnets
  • Extra whisks (more than 1 is to much) 
  • Used candles
  • Salad tongs (you need one set, max)
  • Napkins from the drive-through
  • Expired spices (get new ones for maximum flavor; make a list)
  • Expired canned goods and other pantry items
  • Chipped mugs
  • Chipped dishes
  • Chipped anything
  • Old rags and sponges
  • Cleaners you never use (again, keep only what you always reach for)
  • Bottle brushes (you can keep three if they are different sizes)
  • Aprons in excess of whoever cooks in your household plus one for guests

3. Use trays or stands to corral items and group them together.

If you must have things on the counter, place them on trays or stands to make them look more organized and purposeful.  Trays, turntables or eve a large plate creates a home for the few Items you chose to keep out on the counter.   Grouping int organized vignettes gives the appearance of a more meaningful and artistic look. 

4. Move the cookbooks off the counter.

Seriously, are you really using cookbooks for your daily meals?   Unless you are  referring to them each day, there are much better places for them.  Put them on a shelf or in a cabinet rather than taking ups counter space. 

A kitchen with white cabinets and a large island.

5. Heres a list of things you should never store on your Countertops

Here is a list to help you pin down the culprits of your counter tip clutter.  Clear them once and for all. 

  • Rarely used appliances: Toaster and Blender pull them out when you need them.
  • Olive oil: Light and heat make your oil go rancid, keep in cool dark place in the pantry.  
  • Cookbooks: as we’ve discussed above. 
  • Papers, coupons and mail:  yes, all that stuff needs a quick look then move it on to the trash your your desk. 
  • Serve-ware: Unless you are hosting a party, no need for it to be on the counter. 
  • Uni-taskers:  Those avocado pitters, strawberry hullers, lemon zesters… tuck them away, out of sight (why did you get those anyway?)  
  • Pantry staples: Flour, sugar, oats… yes!, they need to go into the pantry
  • Wine bottles:  They’ll look much better in a wine rack or bar cart. 


6. Store scrubbers, sponges and dish-soap inside cabinet doors.

There are so may options for shelves that stick to the inside of your cabinet doors.   If you don’t use this area you are wasting valuable space.  Ikea, Target, Walmart, Container store all have excellent options.  

Here’s a start.  Now when your guest arrive, you’ll be the one with that tidy kitchen with clean open space to enjoy.   Cheers!


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