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4 Ways to Declutter Your Kitchen Counter

posted: 07/31/15
by: Blythe Copeland
Modern small kitchen interior with glass jars on natural stone countertop
iStock

Those perfect Pinterest kitchens you're coveting usually have one thing in common: Beautifully styled, clutter-free counters. If you're daydreaming of a world where all you have on your counter is a vase of fresh flowers, a pretty bowl of fruit, and perhaps an artfully arranged stack of books, then you need to get these four clutter-causing items off your counters first. Here's how to deal with the stuff you need, move the stuff you don't, and keep your kitchen counters clutter free once and for all.

1. Cooking tools.

In a perfect world, decluttering your counters would be as simple as putting everything in a drawer or cabinet--but if you had space, wouldn't you already do that? Still, your first step should be evaluating what's on the counter and deciding if there's a better spot for any of it: Cutting boards can hang on the inside of a closet door; your most-used knives can live on a magnetic knife rack on your backsplash; favorite cookbooks can be stored in a sideboard in the dining room (or most-used recipes can be pulled out and stored in your recipe box). Wall-mounted hooks can hang everything from serving spoons to rolling pins, using your vertical space to its full advantage.

2. Cleaning supplies

If keeping hand soap, lotion, and dish soap under the sink feels wildly inconvenient (because, well, it is), you can pretty up your counter by putting them into clear glass pump bottles. It may sound like an unnecessary extra step, but freeing up your space from the labels on your soaps and sprays will minimize the visual clutter of your kitchen for a calmer, more cohesive space. Color-coordinated sponges in a pretty dish will also help with quick clean-ups--without adding to the clutter.

3. Food and spices

The same goal of minimizing visual clutter applies to any food and spices you store on the counter. Flour, sugar, and dry goods should be kept in matching containers--clear is best, so you can see how much of each ingredient remains--and spices can be transferred to bottles that are all the same size and shape. For even better spice storage, consider a hanging spice rack instead of a larger spinning version, or mounting shelves on the inside of your pantry door to hold individual herbs and spices.

4. Mail

If your kitchen counter is your family's designed drop space for everything from permission slips to junk mail, then tackling the never-ending pile is key to reducing the kitchen clutter. Wall-mounted folders designated for each member of the family give you a place to put important papers, and implanting a shred-or-file rule -- where nothing that's junk makes it to the bins -- can help you stay on top of the mountain of paper.